Infection Prevention & Control

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Our commitment to Infection Prevention & Control

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust is committed to the prevention of avoidable Healthcare Associated Infections. We have a comprehensive IPC programme and a dedicated Infection Prevention Team working alongside clinical staff; all of whom are dedicated to ensuring the safety of our patients.

We will:

  • Treat patients in a clean and safe environment and minimise exposure to healthcare associated infections.
  • Provide a well maintained, clean and safe environment using the most up to date cleaning methods and frequencies.
  • Provide our staff with education and training to ensure that they are competent to ensure infection prevention is at the heart of what we do.
  • Have matrons who are responsible for promoting a culture of cleanliness in their areas.
  • Listen to the views of patients, their families and visitors about the standard of cleanliness and report and monitor how we are doing.
  • Design any new facilities with ease of cleaning in mind.

Help us pull together to prevent infection

Unwell, sickness or diarrhoea in the last 48 hours? Please don’t visit!

Report any concerns about cleanliness standards.

Use the hand gel provided before and after visiting a ward.

Sit on a chair and not the bed when visiting, and try not to visit in work clothes if you work in a dusty or dirty environment.

Do not touch drips, wounds or catheters.

It’s OK to Ask!
Clean Hands Saves Lives logo

Effective hand hygiene is the single most important action staff can undertake to prevent the spread of germs that can cause healthcare associated infections. Our patients are welcome to ask staff caring for them to clean their hands using soap and water or the alcohol gel.

Remember – it’s OK to ask.

Concerns about cleanliness

If you have concerns about cleanliness or infection prevention you are encouraged to report these concerns to the nurse in charge or to our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS).

You can contact our PALS team on 0300 123 1732 or at

Infection Prevention & Control Annual Report


Norovirus is one of the most common stomach bugs in the UK, causing diarrhoea and vomiting. It’s also known as the ‘winter vomiting bug’ because of its prevalence in winter, but it can be caught at any time of the year. The symptoms usually appear one to two days after you become infected and typically last for up to 2 or 3 days.

If you’ve had symptoms of Norovirus, please wait at least 72 hours after your symptoms have passed before you visit our wards, to prevent the spread of the virus.

What to do if you have Norovirus:

Symptoms typically last two to three days, and you don’t usually need to get medical advice unless there’s a risk of a more serious problem. The advice is to stay at home to avoid spreading the Norovirus, which is very easily transmitted. 

  • Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. You need to drink more than usual to replace the fluids lost through vomiting and diarrhoea. Avoid fizzy drinks and fruit juice, as this can make diarrhoea worse. 
  • Rest and minimise contact with others, to prevent the spread of the virus.
  • Treat aches and pains or a raised temperature with paracetamol..
  • Eat plain foods such as bread, rice and pasta.

How to prevent the spread of Norovirus:

Norovirus can spread very easily. Follow these simple steps to minimise the risk of infecting others.

  • Wash your hands regularly while you’re ill. 
  • Stay off work or school for at least 48 hours after the symptoms have passed. Norovirus can be spread through close contact, touching contaminated surfaces or objects, or eating contaminated food.
  • Disinfect any surfaces or objects that could be contaminated. Wash any clothing or bedding, and don’t share towels or flannels. 
  • You don’t usually need to visit your GP as there’s no specific treatment. Antibiotics won’t help, as it’s caused by a virus.
  • Call 111 or your GP if you’re concerned or feel that you need advice.


MRSA bacteria are usually spread through skin-to-skin contact with someone who has an MRSA infection or has the bacteria living on their skin.

The bacteria can also be spread through contact with contaminated objects such towels, sheets, clothes, dressings, surfaces, door handles and floors.

Visit NHS choices for more MRSA information.

In line with Department of Health guidance, the Trust screens patients for elective (planned) surgery either in the pre-operative assessment clinic or on the ward prior to surgery. Patients admitted to our wards through emergency areas are similarly routinely screened for MRSA on admission.

Clostridioides difficile (C.diff)

We have made huge progress in controlling this superbug in the last five years, and the number of new cases per month is now very small. We control the use of antibiotics tightly (these are recognised to be probably the strongest factor in causing C.diff infection) and any patient with diarrhoea is speedily isolated, if possible within four hours. We have fast track cleaning teams who are trained to use additional cleaning methods to clean isolation rooms and ward bays used by infected patients.

If you are unfortunate enough to get C.diff, we will tell your GP so that (s)he will know how best to prevent your getting it again.

Visit NHS choices for more C.diff information.


This infection tends to occur in epidemics in the winter. Usually, affected patients are elderly, but this isn’t always the case. All people over the age of 65, and some younger people are eligible for free vaccination every Autumn, which will give you complete protection. At times of influenza epidemic, hospitals are under very great strain, so again visit only if absolutely necessary. Follow the Department of health advice to ‘Catch it, bin it, kill it’.

Every year the Infection Prevention & Control team prepare hospital staff for the expected influenza epidemic with education sessions and training in the correct use of protective masks.

Visit NHS choices for more Influenza information.

Our focus remains on doing all we can to ensure patients are getting the safest experience we can provide, with as few delays as possible, and making sure that we get patients home, or to the place they call home, as effectively as we can. For more information, please download Healthcare Worker Flu Vaccination Best Practice Management Checklist document, which is dedicated to staff getting their flu vaccination and with the highlighted strategy.

Flu safeFlu Safe – Don’t bring flu into hospital!

Flu causes a sudden high temperature, headache and general aches and pains, tiredness and a sore throat. You can also lose your appetite, feel nauseous and have a cough.

Please do not attend A&E or visit family and friends in hospital if you are unwell with flu-like symptoms.

You should always contact 111 or your GP in the first instance to be advised further.

Patients and visitors information leaflets

Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) leaflets: