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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 July, 2005, 10:06 GMT 11:06 UK
Patients' checklist

All surfaces should be visibly clean with no blood or body substances, dust, dirt, debris, adhesive tape or spillages.

Sinks baths and toilets should be clean as above. They should also be lime scale free and plugs and overflow should be free of build up.

The area should be tidy, ordered and uncluttered with only appropriate, cleanable, well-maintained furniture.

Rooms should be cleaned daily - as should all items which come into contact with a patient, including personal belongings.

Bed frames should be cleaned daily. The underside of the bed should be cleaned weekly and the full bed cleaned when a patient is discharged before a new patient is placed in it.

If you see something that's unclean then tell someone

Matrons are in charge of setting and upholding cleanliness on wards. They have the power to withhold payment if standards are not being met. Nurses can pass on complaints to them.

There are plans to connect patients' bedside phones to a hospital cleaning helpline, these are being rolled out throughout the country.

Hand washing

Soap and water or alcohol gel should be available on wards so that staff and visitors can clean their hands.

Hands should be washed, or decontaminated using alcohol gel immediately before caring for a patient, and coming into direct contact with them and after this activity where hands may have become contaminated.

When in hospital wash your own hands frequently and ask your visitors to do the same

If you think someone is about to treat you who hasn't washed their hands then you should ask them to

Barrier and isolation rooms

Doctors, nurses and cleaning staff should all be following more strict procedures in terms of cleanliness towards patients in these areas.

They should wear gloves, which they have put on fresh for entering that room and carrying out activities there. They should dispose of these gloves after use.

Aprons and masks, if they are necessary for that room, should also be freshly put on before entering the room and disposed of afterwards.

Water should be changed between each barrier room.

Concerns about infection control can be raised with any staff. The matron will be in charge of seeing that procedures are followed on his or her ward.


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