How to be a Healthy Visitor

The Patients Association Guide to Getting it Right


A HOSPITAL IS NOT A HOTEL


Patients are vulnerable to infection. Everyone in a hospital, especially visitors, is vital to keeping them as safe as possible for patients.


1. DON’T GO


Don’t visit if you are ill with any infection such as a cold. If in doubt check with ward staff beforehand. If you are taking antibiotics, YOU may be vulnerable to hospital infections as well. Again, check with ward staff.


2. BE CLEAN


Wear clean clothes. You wouldn’t wear dirty clothes to go out on the town, so don’t even think of wearing them to a hospital.


3. TAKE CARE


Take wipes with you and use any infection control methods provided on the wards such as hand gel.


4. THINK BEFORE YOU TOUCH THE PATIENT


Are your hands, and face, clean?


5. NEVER SIT ON THE PATIENT’S BED


Just think for a moment about the transfer of dirt and germs from your clothes to their blankets/


6. CHECK VISITING HOURS IN ADVANCE


Hospitals are changing visiting times. ‘Open Access’ is being replaced by set hours so that staff can ensure patients have protected times for meals and wards are clean.


7. KEEP THE NUMBERS DOWN


There simply isn’t room for more than 1 or 2 visitors at a time.


8. CHECK WITH THE HOSPITAL IF THERE ARE RULES ABOUT GIFTS


Some hospitals will no longer allow flowers on some wards. The hospital shop will sell gifts that pass the ‘ward test’.


9. ALWAYS WASH YOUR HANDS IF YOU USE HOSPITAL TOILETS


10. BE VIGILANT


If you see something that makes your patients more vulnerable, e.g. full waste bins, point it out to a member of staff.


Download this document as a PDF

Helpline: 0845 608 4455   Email: helpline@patients-association.com

The Patients Association, PO Box 935, Harrow, Middlesex HA1 3YJ

T: 020 8423 9111   F: 020 8423 9119   E: helpline@patients-association.com

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