Infection, Prevention and Control

Bridgewater’s Infection, Prevention and Control Team is made up of specialist nurses who can provide advice and support on all matters relating to the prevention of a number of infectious diseases and the actions that are required to reduce infection.

Wash hands

The team are available to give this specialist advice to the public, healthcare workers and other community agencies when required.

You may have heard of the term Healthcare Associated Infection or ‘HCAI’, this term is used to describe infections caused or picked up by patients whilst having a healthcare intervention, i.e. operation or wound care.

The aim of the Trust’s infection, prevention and control team with our staff is to ensure that staff and people who use the services understand their responsibilities in reducing infection, and take steps to do this. This may be through good standards of hand hygiene, staying away from healthcare premises when ill with diarrhoea or flu for example, and following basic cleanliness measures.


Hand hygiene

All staff are trained in hand hygiene and must undertake regular audit to provide evidence that they are doing this correctly.

If you’re visiting healthcare premises you too should wash your hands on entering and leaving and at other times if you feel they are contaminated. You may also use the alcohol hand rubs that are situated on walls before as you enter clinics and hospitals.

If you feel hand hygiene is not being performed appropriately on our premises or by staff then please contact the Trust infection, prevention and control team who will take up this matter for you.


Environmental Hygiene

The Trust is very keen to improve upon and maintain the cleanliness in our clinical premises. The cleaning services we use are asked to clean to national cleaning standards, and our staff are expected to maintain cleanliness throughout the day by cleaning the equipment they use between patients.

All clinical premises are audited annually to provide evidence that the environment is clean and where standards are not met actions are taken immediately to rectify this. If you are unhappy with the cleanliness of the clinical environment please contact the Infection, Prevention and Control team.


MRSA (Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus)

Although there are lots of bacteria that can cause harm, ‘MRSA’ has been a particular problem to patients receiving healthcare. Whilst infections due to MRSA have reduced over the years because of better cleaning and care in hospital and community, patients in hospital and the community will have concerns about this bacteria and we would therefore refer them to the NHS Choices’s MRSA webpage, where they can read the most up to date information.


MRSA and Hospital

If you or a family member is going into hospital you will be screened (swabbed) in several areas around your body and nose to see if you have the MRSA bacteria without knowing. If the swabs show that you have the bacteria on your skin or up your nose you may be asked to use ointments and skin washes to remove it. The hospital or community nurses will advise on this.

Advice for those affected by MRSA outside of hospital

If you have MRSA, a leaflet with information and advice for managing your day-to-day life has been developed by the Department of Health and Infection Prevention Society. This leaflet has good information about managing MRSA and infection and answers common concers that you, family and visitors may have.

View or download this leaflet.


Clostridium Difficile

Clostridium Difficile is a bacteria that can cause diarrhoea and is often associated with patients who have had a number of antibiotics in hospital or in the community. It is a major cause of infection and symptoms range from mild or quite severe. Patients with Clostridium Difficile require prompt medical and nursing advice and care, and will be contacted as soon as a diagnosis is made. You can read more about Clostridium Difficile by clicking on the link below, this will take you to the NHS Choices’s Clostridium Difficile webpage.


How to contact the Infection, Prevention and Control Team

If you require any further advice or information please contact the team via the main switchboard 01942 482630 and ask to speak to an Infection, Prevention and Control Nurse.


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