Reduce The Risk Of Healthcare Associated Infections

Reduce The Risk Of Healthcare Associated Infections

A Healthcare Associated Infection (HCAI) is an infection that may occur within two to three days after admission to hospital. Infections are caused by micro-organisms such as viruses, fungi or bacteria, which are often called bugs or germs.


These include:

  • Premature babies
  • Sick children
  • People with medical conditions such as diabetes
  • People whose immune systems don’t work normally
  • People with wounds
  • People being treated with equipment such as a drip or urinary catheter

A HCAI may include any of the following:

  • Urinary tract infection
  • Wound infection
  • Pneumonia (lung infection)
  • Septicaemia (bloodstream infection)

Hospital staff can protect you from infection by washing their own hands with liquid soap and water, or by cleaning them with alcohol rubs or gels. If a member of staff needs to examine you or carry out a procedure, feel free to ask if they have first washed their hands or used alcohol gel.


Do not attend the hospital if you are unwell e.g. have a cold or flu, cold sore, rash, diarrhoea or vomiting until you have spoken with the midwife or Emergency Room staff.

  • Keep your hands and body clean when you are in hospital
  • Ensure you always wash your hands after using the toilet and before eating
  • Wash your hands before and after contact with your baby and always after changing baby’s nappy
  • Have a container of moist hand-wipes (baby wipes) with you
  • Bring personal toiletries with you including liquid soap, clean towels, clean face cloths (preferably disposable), shower gel and shampoo
  • Keep the top of your locker and bed table clean
  • Don’t leave fruit or food exposed for long periods on top of the locker
  • Wash your hands before and after visiting with liquid soap and water. Alternatively, use one application of the alcohol hand gel, available at the hospital entrance on visibly clean hands. Rub the gel well onto your hands and allow them to dry
  • Use the public toilet only, not the patients’ bathrooms
  • Do not visit when you are unwell e.g. have a cold or the flu, a rash, cold sores, diarrhoea and/or vomiting
  • Do not eat or drink in the ward. The canteen and coffee shop are provided for these purposes
  • Do not bring children to visit who are unwell
  • Do not use a patient’s cup or glass
  • Do not sit on the patient’s bed, use the chairs provided