Healthcare Associated Infection

Hands being washed with alcohol gel
A Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI) is an infection that may affect people when they are receiving healthcare.  People mainly catch these infections in hospitals, but they can also get them in care homes, doctors’ surgeries, health centres and even at home if they are being cared for there. On these pages you will find general information on Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI) such as MRSA and Clostridium difficile (C diff), as well as information and advice about Hand Hygiene. Infection prevention and control is about improving and protecting the health of everyone in Tayside through the prevention, identification, and management of HAI.
NHS Tayside’s Infection Control team regularly work with members of the public and have developed an Infection Control Programme.
It also provides support and advice to staff and others on how to prevent the spread of infection through good infection control practice.
Members of the public and visitors to our hospitals can help us to control and prevent the spread of infection by following these simple rules:
  • Try not to visit relatives or friends in hospital if you or someone you live with is unwell.
  • Wash and dry your hands before you visit a hospital, particularly after going to the toilet. NHS Tayside provides alcohol hand gels at the entrance to all wards for use by staff, patients and visitors.
  • Always ask staff for advice before you bring food or drink into hospital for a patient.
  • Don't sit on patients' beds and don't bring too many visitors at once. Never touch dressings, drips or other equipment around the bed.
  • If you think NHS premises are not as clean as they should be, let the nurse in charge on the ward know. If you think a healthcare worker has forgotten to wash their hands, remind them about this.
  • Have a good routine of personal hygiene and cleanliness at home, especially when someone in the household is sick or has been in hospital.
  • Only take antibiotics if they have been prescribed to you by a doctor, and complete the full course of treatment.
To encourage good hand hygiene amongst our staff, patients, visitors and the general public, NHS Tayside displays posters and screens throughout all our sites reminding everyone to wash their hands regularly.

Documents can be made available in other languages and formats on request. Please contact NHS Tayside Communications Department on 01382 424138.