Infection Prevention and Control
Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust is committed to minimising the risk of infection to patients, staff, carers and visitors.
We have a dedicated nurse-led Infection Prevention and Control Team, which provides information to staff, patients and visitors on infection prevention and control.
The Team also provides advice and support to all services within the Trust, including wards, Community Services, Children’s Services and Specialist Services e.g. Dental, Forensics, Podiatry and Minor Injuries Units.
What we do
Anyone working for Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust must undertake training in Infection Prevention and Control on an annual basis so that they remain up to date in current practice. This training is carried out by the Infection Prevention and Control Team.
The Department of Health has provided national guidelines for MRSA screening which the Trust follows.
All patients being admitted to Community Hospitals and older adult mental health wards, will be screened for MRSA. This is to identify how many patients are carrying these bacteria that we do not know about.
For patients who are confirmed as positive and require treatment, information leaflets explaining this process are available and will be given to those requiring them.
Occasionally outbreaks of infection do occur, particularly during the winter months.
In your own interests and to reduce the likelihood of being exposed to infection, please do not visit an area or ward if they are affected unless absolutely necessary.
It is also vital to avoid affecting others that if you are unwell, especially with diarrhoea and/or vomiting, you do not visit any inpatient or clinic areas until you have been symptom free for 48 hours.
What you can do to help
Hand washing is the most simple and effective way to prevent infections occurring. This is especially important in hospitals and other healthcare settings where people who are unwell may be more vulnerable to infections.
Hands pick up germs that we cannot see so although your hands might look clean, they may still have germs on them. Germs can be picked up from any surfaces we touch, including door handles, toilet seats and through contact with other people’s skin.
There are some important times when you should wash your hands. These include:
- After visiting the toilet
- Before meals
- Before entering or leaving a patient area
- Before and after any skin contact with a patient
- Before and after using any medical equipment or devices
- Whenever your hands are visibly dirty.
Our staff should also keep their hands clean and all patients and visitors are encouraged to challenge staff if they believe they have forgotten to do so. Times when staff should clean their hands include:
- Before and after examining you
- Before and after administering medication
- Before and after performing personal care
Hygienic hand rub can be used to clean hands when they are not visibly dirty and you may see healthcare workers using this in many instances. The hygienic hand rub can kill most germs on your skin and is a good alternative if no hand washing facilities such as a basin with soap, water and towel are available.
Hygenic hand rub should be available for your use at the entrances to all wards and departments, but if you cannot find any or if a dispenser is empty, please tell a member of our staff.
There is a range of infection prevention and control information leaflets on the wards which include MRSA, Clostridium difficile, hand hygiene, gastroenteritis and isolation nursing so please feel free to ask staff for one.
Non-urgent advice: How are we doing?
Our Infection Prevention and Control Team is on the frontline in combating MRSA and other Health Care Associated Infections (HCAI) by ensuring providers meet legal requirements. They work alongside Health and Social Care Groups to promote good practice and carry out surveillance and monitoring of these type of germs.
Click on the link below for our latest data:
28 June to 20 September (xls)
If you have any questions or concerns please contact the Infection Prevention and Control Team via email:
Page last reviewed: 3 August, 2021