Infection Control Statement
Infection control is essential to the safety of our patients, their families, carers and our staff. It is considered an important part of an effective risk management programme.
Infection control covers everything from hand hygiene and vaccinations to the cleanliness of the surgery. Each year the surgery produces an annual statement about infection control in the practice.
How Can You Help?
Think you have an infection like diarrhoea and vomiting? Norovirus, which causes diarrhoea and vomiting, is one of the most common stomach bugs in the UK. It’s also called the “winter vomiting bug” because it’s more common in winter, although you can catch it at any time of the year.
Norovirus can be very unpleasant but it usually clears up by itself in a few days. You can normally look after yourself or your child at home.
If you do need to come to the practice and think you may have an infectious disease please tell the receptionist so they can arrange for you to wait somewhere which is isolated from other patients who may be vulnerable to infections in the waiting room.
Good hand hygiene is one of the most effective ways of preventing the spread of infection. Germs that naturally live on the skin can cause harm, by using the hand gel or by washing your hands with soap and water, you can help to protect yourself and other patients.
As a patient you can help by not touching any wounds that you may have and by cleaning your hands.
We ask that you wash your hands with soap and water:
- When your hands are visibly dirty.
- After visiting the toilet.
- After covering a sneeze or a cough.
- When blowing or wiping your nose with a tissue, throw away the tissue and then wash your hands.
- Before eating your meals.
You can use alcohol gel when your hands are not visibly dirty or not as described above.
Antibiotics are only effective against infections caused by bacteria. They do not work against infections caused by viruses such as common colds, flu, most coughs or sore throats.
Your doctor will only prescribe antibiotics when you need them. Antibiotics may be lifesaving for infections such as meningitis. Antibiotic resistance is a growing problem around the world.
Our immune system is designed to have a “memory” of previous infections. When your body encounters a microbe that has previously caused an infection, it enhances its production of white blood cells and antibodies to prevent infection a second time. When you get vaccinated, you “trick” your body into thinking that it has been infected by a particular microbe thus boosting its own defences against infection.
Why Vaccinations Are Important
Vaccines are a very effective way to prevent the suffering (and costs) associated with vaccine-preventable infections. Vaccines are among the safest medical products available. The potential risks associated with the diseases these vaccines prevent are much greater than the potential risks associated with the vaccines themselves.
Because of vaccinations, we no longer see smallpox, and polio has almost been eradicated. No wonder vaccination is considered a modern miracle. Vaccination is one of the greatest breakthroughs in modern medicine. No other medical intervention has done more to save lives and improve quality of life.
You can read more about vaccinations available on the NHS and when you should have them at www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/how-vaccines-work.