Infection Control

The best way to prevent bacteria from passing from one person to another is by cleaning our hands. Hand gel dispensers are clearly displayed at the entrance to every ward at the Manor Hospital and we ask that anyone entering a ward uses it.
To use the hand gel - squirt some gel onto the palm of one hand then rub your hands together vigorously making sure that you cover all areas of your hands and fingers. Keep rubbing your hands together until the gel evaporates. This should take just 20-30 seconds.
All of our staff are trained to wash their hands before having any contact with patients - do not be afraid to ask them if they have done so if you are not sure that they have.

Other precautions we ask you to take when you use our services.

  • Please avoid sitting on beds, instead use the chairs provided for you
  • Please comply with our visiting times and the number of people allowed at any one time
  • Avoid sharing toiletries
  • Please limit the amount of personal belongings that you bring to the hospital
  • Please do not visit if you are ill. Stay at home if you have a cold, infection or stomach upset and only visit if you have had no symptoms for at least 48 hours
  • Please keep children, especially babies, at home as they are more vulnerable to germs and infections.
  • If you are unsure or if you do not know if your condition is infectious then please do not hesitate to telephone the wards and ask their advice.
  • Please help us to keep our hospital clean and tidy.

How do we know who has MRSA?

In accordance with Department of Health Guidelines Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust screens all emergency patients. This is for two reasons; the first is to ensure that patients being admitted from other care settings, where there is a possibility that they would have acquired MRSA, can be identified and treated quickly to prevent themselves from developing an infection (e.g. in a surgical wound or catheter). If you fall into one of the identified groups then a swab will be taken from your nose, groin as well as any wounds you may already have. These are the common places on the skin where MRSA is found. You will have these swabs taken by the nursing staff when you are admitted.
Patients are also screened if they are going to undergo a procedure where it is important that an MRSA infection doesn't occur. This includes orthopaedic joint replacement surgery. Swabs will be taken from the nose, groin and any wounds as above. If you attend the pre-operative admission clinic these will be taken for you there. If you are admitted straight to the ward, or are already in hospital, the nursing staff on the ward will take the swabs for you.
Please be reassured that the swabs do not hurt and are important in order to protect you and other patients from acquiring an infection with MRSA.
If you would like to know if you will be screened for MRSA when you come into the hospital you should ask staff in the area you are seeing, e.g. pre-admission clinic, Outpatients or a ward.

How do we care for patients with infections?

If a patient has a confirmed or suspected infection or is prone to infections we will need to use extra precautions. This may involve you being moved to a room of your own and staff may need to wear aprons and gloves when they are caring for you. It is rare that visitors are required to take extra precautions but this should be checked with the staff looking after you. If you have any questions about your care please ask the staff looking after you.

What do we do if an outbreak of an infectious condition is suspected?

The Infection Prevention team has close links with the Health Protection Agency and Community Infection Prevention Nurse Teams which helps to monitor levels of infectious conditions and share information nationally and within our local area.
Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust treats all incidents and outbreaks very seriously. An outbreak in a hospital may only need two patients with some conditions. Outbreaks and incidents are reported within the hospital and there are systems in place to help us to learn from these in order to improve and plan for their future management.

Outbreaks occur in both hospital and community settings, most commonly viral gastroenteritis and flu type illnesses and the spread of these is difficult to prevent. To limit the spread within the hospital it is sometimes necessary to close wards to new admissions and delay discharges. This helps to prevent further spread of the infection into care settings within the community.
If you are a patient or visitor and are in an area affected by an outbreak you will be informed by staff when you next visit or may see signs informing you of extra precautions that you need to take.

Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust takes the prevention and control of health care associated infections (HCAI) very seriously. The Trust is committed to the promotion of good infection prevention practices and we realise that this can only be achieve if all members of the team play their part. This team includes anyone who works in the Trust, particularly those who work in patient areas. We also believe that patients and visitors play an important part in the prevention and control of infections.

If you have any concerns about infection protecting and control or cleaning please speak to the matron in charge of the relevant ward or department.

Facts and Figures
Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust participates fully in the Department of Health's mandatory surveillance scheme. This means that the number of patients developing infection due to MRSA in the blood and the number of patients acquiring Clostridium Difficile associated diarrhoea are reported regularly and the Department of Health publicises these figures. The latest figures can be accessed by the following link below:

MRSA Bacteraemia:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/mrsa-bacteraemia-annual-data

Clostridium difficile:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/clostridium-difficile-infection-annual-data