Infection Prevention & Control

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Infection prevention and control for patients and visitors

This page aims to help you work with us to limit the spread of infection within our practice. Healthcare-associated infections occur for a variety of reasons, some of which mean it can never be eliminated completely, but we can all help to reduce the risk.

Your feedback is important

The World Health Organisation (WHO) encourages us to “Elevate the voice of patients!”   Therefore, we encourage you to work with us so we can make the experience in healthcare settings safe for all.  Please tell us if you see anything that falls below standards or if you have suggestions on how we can do better.  Your voice is important to us.

Why can infections occur in the practice?

Everyone entering our premises – patients, visitors and staff – bring with them a variety of germs.  Some of these, in certain circumstances, may be capable of causing infection.  Some people may be in the incubation period for an infection of which they are unaware, or they may actually be suffering from an infection.  For some patients an infection may be the reason for attending the practice.

In addition to this we all have bacteria all over our bodies, even when we are healthy.  These normal bacteria are good for us and essential for our health, but if moved from one part of our body to another, or from person to person, they may be capable of causing infection.  So, there is a constant source of bacteria, some of which may cause infection to vulnerable people.  The problem is that any patient may be vulnerable. The very young and very old are particularly at risk due to their weakened ability to fight infection.  Others are vulnerable due to broken skin, chronic illness and certain treatments, all of which may also weaken the immune system.

What can we do to reduce the risk of spreading infection?

Appropriate and thorough hand hygiene by staff, patients and visitors contributes more than any other single thing to the control of infection.

Hands pick up bacteria from things that we touch, and even though our hands may appear clean, bacteria will be present. Healthcare staff should wash their hands or use alcohol gel before any close contact with a patient, such as before contact with a wound and after this contact.  If this doesn’t happen, don’t be afraid to ask them to do so.

 What else can we do to reduce the risk of infection?

  • Always wash your hands when entering and leaving the practice, either with soap and water or alcohol gel if hands are visibly clean.
  • If you have had diarrhoea and/or vomiting, you need to be free of symptoms for 48 hours before visiting.
  • If you have any open wounds, a clean waterproof dressing should be used to cover them.

  • World Health Organisation: World Patient Safety Day 2023: Engaging Patients for Patient Safety –
  • Infection Prevention & Control Lead: Dr Jeyaseelan Selvarajah
  • Infection Prevention & Control Link Worker: HCA Assistant Practitioner Rebecca Crook