Keeping you safe is our priority. 

Patient safety incidents are rare, however there are some simple things that all patients can do to help stay as safe as possible. 

This includes:

Simple steps to stay safe

Access a British Sign Language (BSL) version (YouTube)

Useful links

'Simple steps to keep you safe during your hospital stay' (Patient information leaflet - NHS England)

Avoiding blood clots

Blood clots can be a significant risk to patients in hospitals. These are also called venous thromboembolism (VTE).

There are two main types of VTE. These are deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). 

All patients must be assessed for VTE on admission. If you or someone in your family has previously had a blood clot, it's important that you tell our staff who are providing your care. 

Useful links

Reducing the risk of hospital-associated blood clots (Patient information leaflet)

Reducing the risk of infection

If you're ill, injured or have a wound or tube placed in your body, you're more at risk of developing an infection. Infections can increase the time it takes you to recover and lead to a longer stay in hospital and poorer outcomes. 

If you are having surgery, please make sure you read our patient information leaflet about surgical wounds and preventing infection.

Surgical wounds 

A surgical wound infection is also known as a surgical site infection. 

Our teams work hard to prevent these occuring, which means most patients do not get a wound infection. However, it's important to be aware of what they are, risk factors and what you can do to help our teams prevent you getting one. 

What is a wound infection

Either during or after surgery, bacteria from your body or the environment can enter your body through the cut made by the surgeon.

If the bacteria multiply, they can cause an infection at the site of surgery, for example your sternum (chest) or leg (where the vein is harvested for heart bypass surgery).

Symptoms include:

  • The skin around your wound is red or sore, or feels hot and swollen.
  • Your wound has liquid (often green or yellow pus) coming out of it.
  • Your wound opens up.
  • You feel generally unwell or have a temperature.

Risk factors 

The two main risk factors of wound infections are having diabetes and/or being overweight.

Reducing your risk of wound infection

Our staff will take every precaution to reduce the chance of you developing a surgical site infection, but you can help us reduce the risk by following these steps:

  • Be the fittest you can be ahead of surgery in terms of weight and diet.
  • Apply your nasal gel as instructed before and after your operation. This helps reduce the number of bacteria in your nose.
  • Use your special antiseptic body and hair wash as instructed before and after your operation. This helps reduce the number of bacteria on the skin.
  • Please do not touch your wound site.
  • Please do not apply any lotions, ointments or powders to any wound until it heals.  

Useful links

'Preventing surgical site (wound) infections’ (Patient information leaflet)

Preventing falls

We work together with patients, their families and carers to do all we can to prevent falls in hospital. 

To help reduce the risk, please let our nurses know if you require mobility aids or assistance, if you have an exisiting medical conditions (such as Parkinson's) or if you usually have help at home. 

You should also follow our guidance on 'what to bring into hospital'. 

Useful links

'Falls prevention in hospital' (Patient information leaflet)

Personal hygiene

Washing your hands is one of the easiest ways to protect yourself and others from illnesses such as food poisoning, viruses like flu and coronavirus (COVID-19), and surgical wound infections.

This is because good hand hygiene removes dirt and reduces the number of organisms on your hands.

Please maintain robust hand hygiene throughout your stay by washing your hands for at least 30 seconds using the soap provided in your room.

We would empower you to ask our staff or your visitors to ensure they have performed hand hygiene before you receive personal care. 

Making sure you have clean clothing is also important. We will provide you with clean towels and flannels.

Useful links

Video: How to wash your hands (

Cleaning and clutter

To support us with cleaning your room to the very highest standards, please do not clutter your rooms with personal belongings. This allows our cleaners to access floors and surfaces. 

Follow our guidance on 'what to bring (and not bring) into hospital'

Deteriorating patients

We have a robust system where any deteriorating patient on the ward is reviewed by a team of specialist advanced nurse practitioners. These nurses are known as the ‘ALERT’ team. 
The ALERT nurses work closely with ward and critical care teams.
If you are worried about a patient, we actively encourage you to share your concerns with the nurse in charge on your ward. 
We are continuously reviewing our practice in line with the national roll-out of Martha’s Rule to ensure that a process is in place for patients and relatives to request an independent review from a critical care outreach team.