New moves have been introduced to tackle hospital associated infections (HAIs) such as MRSA as part of the NHS Cleanyourhands campaign, which has been launched throughout the country.
Salisbury District Hospital has one of the lowest infection rates in the country and we are keen to tell staff, patients and visitors what they can do to stop the spread of infections.
As part of the national cleanyourhands campaign, alcohol gels are available at bedsides and entrances to wards. Staff, visitors and patients are asked to clean their hands before moving from one area to another.
The campaign is one of a number of initiatives run by the Trust's infection control team. The team is responsible for providing training and increasing awareness of infection control issues, and giving specialist advice to staff when patients are known to have an infection.
Tracy Nutter, who as nurse director is responsible for infection control at Salisbury District Hospital, said:
"MRSA is one of a number of common germs and is carried by a third of the population without causing them any problems. However, MRSA can cause problems if it enters the bloodstream through wounds, which is why it's so important to follow good practice in hospital and maintain a clean and sterile environment.
"As part of the Trust's commitment to infection control issues, the infection control team has been expanded. This is so that when people do come in with infections, we put in place our infection control measures quickly to treat the patient and also reduce the spread of infection."
Ms Nutter added: "We know that we cannot be complacent and we will continue with our ongoing education to ensure that good practice in hospital is followed and that we identify cases early."
"We also know that patients and visitors recognise that they also have a role to play in the control of infections and are keen to get involved. The message that we want to get across is that infection control is everybody's business. Although there will always be germs such as MRSA, norovirus and Clostridium difficile, there is much that we can all do to limit its impact and spread," Ms Nutter said.
How can people help?
Always wash hands, or use the alcohol gels provided before leaving one area for another or if you move from one patient to another.
If someone is coming into hospital as an outpatient or inpatient we ask that they let staff know if they have had MRSA before. If they are an inpatient we may need to place them in a single room and take swabs to make sure that they no longer have the germ. Once they have the 'all clear' we would then move them on to an area with other patients.
If you have been unwell, or in contact with viral infections, please do not visit the hospital if at all possible.