Cleanliness and controlling infections
Keeping our hospitals clean is a major part of ensuring that we control and wherever possible avoid the spread of infections.
There are some high profile and well-known infections that can affect us whether we are at home or in hospital. You may have heard of MRSA, sometimes known as superbugs or Clostridium difficile.
Our job is to keep all areas of the hospital clean and infection-free, so that we offer the best possible environment for our patients.
We also train our staff to ensure that they reduce the risks from infections in everything they do.
Help us to keep our hospitals free from infections
- If you have not seen our staff clean their hands before they touch you please just say: "Have you cleaned your hands?"
- Always wash your hands after going to the toilet and before touching food.
- Please use the alcohol gel provided at the entrances to wards and departments.
- Tell a member of staff if you notice anywhere that has not been cleaned properly such as the ward, bathrooms or toilets.
- If you have a drip, drain or catheter that becomes sore please check with your nurse if it needs changing.
- Please take the whole course of any antibiotic medicines you are given.
- You should wash your hair and take a bath or shower as usual at home before coming in for surgery.
- If you have diarrhoea please tell the nursing staff.
- Please do not visit the hospital if you are unwell with cold-like symptoms or diarrhoea and vomiting symptoms.
- Please do not sit on the bed. If there are no chairs available please ask a member of staff to provide you with one.
- Any children visiting must be supervised all the time, so that they do not touch equipment or dressings.
- Make sure you wash your hands on the ward or use alcohol gel before and after visiting a patient in hospital, and follow advice on notices of side room doors.
- Check how many visitors are allowed in at any one time.
If you have any concerns or questions about cleanliness or infection control please speak to the nurse-in-charge on the ward or contact our infection prevention and control teams on:
Tel: 0115 924 9924 Ext 63866 (QMC) or 55578 (City Hospital).
You can read our Visitors Guide here:
Our infection rates
Our infection rates are lower than ever and we continue to see year-on-year improvements.
We are doing everything we can to prevent and reduce the risk of our patients catching an infection during their stay with us, but we also need your help.
- Hand hygiene is the simplest and most effective way to prevent infection. It is important that hands are washed with soap and water regularly and dried properly, especially before eating and after going to the toilet.
- Visitors must clean their hands on entering a clinical area (where there are patients) and before and after contact with a patient.
- We also encourage patients and visitors to help us to prevent infection by asking our staff if they have washed their hands.
- Please remind staff if the antiseptic hand gel container is empty.
- Please tell staff if you notice that any areas of the ward or department are not clean.
- Patients and visitors should remember not to touch any drips, drains or catheters that may be put in during their hospital stay, to prevent transferring bacteria (bugs) from their hands.
- People should not visit someone in hospital if they are suffering from a cough or cold and must not come to visit if they have diarrhoea and/or vomiting.
- Visitors should not eat or drink in wards and other clinical areas.
Smoking tobacco and cigarettes at NUH is not allowed. This applies to all patients, visitors and staff.
Whilst you are at NUH, please do not smoke anywhere inside or outside our hospital buildings.
Help and support to stop smoking
If you are a patient at NUH and you would like support to stop smoking, please speak to your clinical team.
We can also talk to you about the options for helping you if you need to stay in hospital.
You can also get free help and support to stop smoking at any time:
Call the free Smokefree National Helpline to speak to a trained, expert adviser.
Call now: 0300 123 1044
All lines are open Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm and Saturday and Sunday 11am to 4pm.
You can find all the information and free resources to help you quit on the Smokefree website here.