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Infection Prevention

Our infection prevention team


Coronavirus Public Health England advice

The NHS in Herefordshire and Public Health England (PHE) are extremely well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal.  Click here to access advice in relation to Coronavirus. 

To protect our patients, visitors and staff we have implemented a zero tolerance approach to Health Care Associated Infections.

  • Our key role is to monitor healthcare associated infection, we educate our staff, and raise awareness of infection control with our patients, visitors and the public, ensure policies are up to date and based on the best evidence; we undertake audits; and manage outbreaks. The team consists of a consultant microbiologist, a lead infection prevention nurse and five infection prevention nurses. The team is represented at the Trust Board by the Director of Nursing.

Hand hygiene

  • Our staff actively promote the ‘Clean your hands’ campaign as an important way of controlling infection.

  • Hand hygiene is regularly audited by all areas and reported at the Infection Prevention Committee. Alcohol hand gel is available at the end of every patient bed. Patients are encouraged to ask staff whether they have cleaned their hands.


  • All patients who are being admitted to hospital will be screened for MRSA. Usually two swabs will be taken. One is taken from your nose and one from your groin. Sometimes more swabs will be required e.g. if a wound or catheter is present. 
  • This screening will take place at your pre-op appointment, prior to your hospital admission, as part of the assessment before surgery. 
  • However, it may be carried out in the emergency department or on one of the wards if you are admitted to hospital in an emergency, not as a planned procedure. 
  • If you have a positive result for MRSA, we will prescribe you with a cream and body wash, which you will need to use as directed. 
  • If you are already a patient in one of our hospitals you may also be given a bed in your own side room, rather than sharing a four bedded bay with other patients. This is part of the Trust’s infection control measures and normal procedure.


  • Some patients will be screened for CPE (carbapenemase producing enterobacteriaceae). 
  • These are antibiotic resistant bacteria, which live harmlessly in the gut of all humans and animals and aid the digestive process breaking down the food we eat. However, if this germ gets into the wrong place such as the bloodstream or bladder they can then cause infection.
  • Screening will be undertaken for patients who have been in hospitals other than those in Herefordshire or Powys in the past 12 months. It is especially important to have this screening if you have been a patient in a hospital abroad or in Manchester or London.
  • Screening for CPE is either by inserting a swab in your bottom, or taking a stool sample.
  • If you have a positive result for CPE and you have no signs or symptoms of infection then you will not need to be treated. However, if you do have an infection, we will discuss with you the appropriate treatment.

Extra auditing of infection prevention practices on all our wards

  • All hospital wards undertake a suite of infection prevention audits - these include cleanliness audits and audits which examine the care of lines, catheters (these are just examples). 

Antibiotic prescribing policy

  • This is available to all prescribers at the Trust electronically and via an app. Compliance with the policy is regularly audited. 

Patients can help our fight against infections

What can patients do to help?

Visitors can help our fight against infection

What can visitors do to help?

© Wye valley NHS Trust 2020