TypeInfection Prevention and Control
Infection prevention is everyone’s duty, as is providing clean and safe care within a healthcare trust. Robust infection prevention practice is easier to acquire than to correct any problem, and will reduce infection rates.
The minimum requirements of any healthcare trust are:
- A culture to not accept Healthcare Associated Infections (HCAI)
- Be aware that HCAI is the duty of all staff
- Assure staff of HCAI
- A visible Infection Prevention and Control Team
The aim of the infection prevention and control service is to promote as safe an environment as possible for staff, patients and visitors. This is so that the risk of contamination and cross infection are reduced.
The infection prevention and control service is provided to Northamptonshire Healthcare Foundation Trust staff, as well as to offer advice and guidance to GP practices and nursing homes within Northamptonshire and Nene and Corby Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).
AddressYork House, Isebrook Hospital, Wellingborough, NN8 1LP
NHFT’s infection prevention and control nurses are based at York House, Isebrook Hospital and can be contacted on: 01933 235857. Public Health England provide out of hours advice on 0300 303 8537.
Lead Infection Prevention and Control
Tel: 01933 235855
Infection Prevention and Control Nurse
Tel: 01933 235856
Infection Prevention and Control Nurse
Tel: 01933 235857
Tel: 01933 235860
Guidance for the general public relating to management of Covid-19
Preventing spread of infection
There are general principles you can follow to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
- wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. This is particularly important after taking public transport
- avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- avoid close contact with people who are sick
- if you feel unwell, stay at home, do not attend work or school
- cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin.
- clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home and work environment
There is currently no vaccine to prevent Covid-19. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus.
The best way of preventing infection passing from one person to another is by cleansing our hands. All opportunities to promote hand hygiene to staff, patients and visitors should be considered. The posters below provide information on hand washing and use of hand gels to ensure the correct method is used at the right time. Additional posters to support effective hand hygiene include promotion of 'Bare Below the Elbows' and are also available below.
Hand hygiene undertaken by healthcare staff must always be carried out in accordance with the '5 Moments of Hand Hygiene' guidance. Patients should not be afraid to ask healthcare staff if they have cleansed their hands prior to provision of care or treatment.
When to wash your hands
You should always wash your hands before:
- Preparing food
- Caring for the sick
- Changing dressings
- Giving medicines
- Looking after babies or the elderly
- Starting work, especially if you are a food handler or health professional
- Putting in contact lenses
You should always wash your hands after:
- Handling raw foods, particularly meat, fish and poultry
- Going to the toilet
- Touching rubbish/waste bins
- Changing nappies
- Caring for the sick, especially those with gastro-intestinal disorders
- Coughing or sneezing, especially if you are sick
- Handling and stroking pets or farm animals
- Gardening, even if you wear gloves
- Cleaning cat litter boxes
Preventing the spread of Norovirus
To help prevent the spread of viral gastro-enteritis please take particular care with washing your hands by using warm water and soap. This is especially the case before preparing or eating food, after sneezing or coughing, after using the toilet and if you've had contact with anyone who has been symptomatic. Alcohol hand sanitizer dispensers, which are becoming more readily available around most public places, are an alternative if a hand wash basin isn't readily available. However, please remember that soap and warm water is much more effective.
Think of ways that children can be encouraged to wash their hands more thoroughly. An example of this is singing 'Happy Birthday to You' twice through, which takes roughly fifteen seconds and is the amount of time it takes to thoroughly cleanse hands. It is important to encourage this practice as schools are somewhere that infections such as diarrhoea and vomiting can be easily spread. Another way to minimise the spread of viruses is to ensure that children are kept away from school until they have been free from diarrhoea and/or vomiting for 48 hours, if the cause is thought to be infectious.
If you are unwell with symptoms of diarrhoea and or vomiting it is important to keep away from other people as much as you can until you are better. If at all possible you shouldn't visit your GP surgery or hospital, either as a patient or a visitor. Telephone your GP or NHS 111 for advice if the symptoms do not quickly subside or you have additional concerns. In addition to this, if you are visiting people in hospital please refer to the local advice for that area prior to visiting. This will also include not visiting if you have had symptoms of diarrhoea and/or vomiting in the last 48 hours, have provided care to or had recent contact with others who have had diarrhoea and/or vomiting in the last 48 hours. This includes those who are prone to infection, for example if you are elderly, frail, pregnant, visiting with children or are immuno-compromised.
There is no specific treatment for viral gastro-enteritis apart from letting the illness run its course, however there are some simple infection control procedures to follow:
- Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration
- Wash hands thoroughly after using the toilet
- Food preparation for others should be avoided until 48 hours after symptoms have subsided
- Telephone your GP or NHS 111 for advice if the symptoms do not quickly subside or you have additional concern.