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Infection control

Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust is fully committed to preventing the spread of infections in hospital – or any other healthcare environment. Preventing the spread of these infections is one of our top priorities, and it’s crucial that staff, patients and visitors all work together.

 

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Team

We have a team of specialists who are dedicated to fighting infections, and making sure they are properly isolated.  The team includes microbiologists, specialist nurses, pharmacists, scientists and data analysts.

Services

In line with national guidance, we carry out MRSA testing on all inpatients and emergency admissions. If the test shows you are carrying MRSA you will be told as soon as possible. This does not mean that you are infected – only that you are carrying it on your skin.

Your surgeon may decide to delay your operation to see if you can be cleared of MRSA. However, in many cases the surgery will carry on as normal but you will be asked to take some treatment for a few days before the operation. This involves applying an ointment to the inside of your nose (where the germs tend to gather first), and showering and shampooing your hair with an antiseptic soap.

When you are admitted for your operation you may be nursed in a single room. Alternatively you may be placed in a ward (or part of a ward) with other patients who have tested positive for MRSA. This allows us to contain and control the germs, and prevent them from spreading.

In addition to preventing the spread of MRSA, we work hard to prevent the spread of other conditions, including chest infections, urinary infections, or infected wounds.

Our efforts to control the spread of infections also include:

  • Promoting hand hygiene among all staff, patients and visitors. Hand wash sinks are available throughout wards and departments
  • Alcohol gel/sanitiser dispensers are available at the bedside and in all clinical areas. We encourage all staff, patients and visitors to clean their hands regularly with this.
  • We use strict quality control measures to ensure the food served to our patients is of the highest standard.
  • Making sure that visitors make use of the chairs provided, rather than sitting on patient beds.

Patient Stories

Please feel free to share your experiences of this service. Please e-mail your views to swbh.comms@nhs.net

Contacts

Ms Rebecca Evans, Head of Infection Control Nursing Services: revans1@nhs.net

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