The Hygiene Guide To Visiting Hospitals Or Care Homes

Many hospital based viruses can be dangerous to visitors and patients alike. The best way to prevent the transferring of viruses and diseases is to responsibly follow hygiene rules. Hospital bugs can cause nasty effects such as diarrhoea and vomiting.

Infections on top of another medical condition can be fatal so it is always best to take a duty of care when visiting a hospital or a care home. Spreading infections whilst in hospital can also mean a longer stay for patients, which in turn blocks the bed that another patient may need.

Hand Hygiene

Good hand hygiene is essential when entering a hospital or a care home. Our hands, typically, are the biggest transferrers of germs and nasty bugs so ensuring they are properly cleaned will help to limit the spread of viruses.

Most hospitals have dry soap dispensers or alcohol hand rubs in multiple locations. Hands are the biggest transferrers of germs,so keeping them clean is essential to keeping hospitals and care homes safe from infections and germs. It is good practice to apply soap or alcohol hand gel once you are entering or leaving a patient’s’ room. Use this hand hygiene routine especially after using the toilet and before handling food. It recommended you use a quick hand wash before and after every visit.

Avoid using bars of soap as these encourage the transferring of germs.

You may ask the staff to wash their hands although as trained professionals – hand washing is a regular occurrence for hospital/care home staff.

General Visiting Advice

It is advised not to sit on the patient’s bed as this can spread germs directly to the patient. It is also advised not to put your feet on the bed of the patient. Use the chairs provided around the bed. It is vital not to touch the patient’s wounds or any other medical equipment such as drips or catheters. You must not use the patient’s toilet – ask the ward staff where the nearest toilets for visitors are.

You may bring your own toiletries with you for yourself or your loved one. Do not allow others to use these toiletries.

You can expect the room and hard surfaces of your loved one to be cleaned everyday with.


In winter months the norovirus and the flu are commonly found on hospital wards or care homes. The norovirus can cause diarrhoea and vomiting and is highly infectious. Both viruses can be passed on easily and can be dangerous if a vulnerable person is infected. It is vital that anyone with any gastrointestinal symptoms, diarrhoea or vomiting should not visit the hospital to prevent the spread of potential viruses and to ensure the safety of patients.

Remember, when visiting a hospital or care home your first thought should be with the patients and what is going to be good for them. You can do this by ensuring that you follow the guidelines.

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