New posters and installations urging visitors to help fight infection on hospital wards will be put up at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary from today.
University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust is launching the next stage of its promotional campaign encouraging people to wash their hands and stay away from hospitals if they are ill.
It aims to raise public awareness and remind staff, patients and visitors about what they can do to help reduce infections such as MRSA, norovirus and Clostridium Difficile.
The campaign is also running across the trust’s two other hospitals, Westmorland General in Kendal and Barrow’s Furness General, where the posters have already gone up.
It asks patients, staff and the public “Is it me, you or them” responsible for tackling infections.
Sue Smith, executive chief nurse of the trust, said: “We want to raise the awareness of the issue at a time when infections are on everyone’s mind.
“It is the season when Norovirus can strike, and we want people to think about infection prevention wherever they may be in our hospitals.
“Simple steps can make a huge difference. If everyone cleans their hands with soap and water when entering and leaving a clinical environment, and staff do so in between each interaction with a patient, hospitals can significantly reduce the risk of patients acquiring Clostridium Difficile and MRSA.
“We want patients to play their part. They have my full support if they challenge clinical staff as to whether they have cleaned their hands before they perform any task at the bedside.
“We know reducing hospital-acquired infections is a top priority for patients and the public, and it is our priority too.
“We are already taking steps to tackle infection and want to raise awareness of the importance of effective measures to combat hospital infections, which include hand-washing and using alcohol hand gel.
“The last thing in the world we want is for people that are coming into our hospitals picking up an infection. Everyone has a role to play.”
The trust said hand-washing was vital to tackle Clostridium Difficile and MRSA and reminded people not to visit hospitals if they have suffered from, or have been in contact with someone who has suffered from, diarrhoea or vomiting recently.