This guideline offers best practice advice on the care of adults and children to prevent and treat surgical site infection.
Treatment and care should take into account patients' needs and preferences. People with, or at risk of, surgical site infections should have the opportunity to make informed decisions about their care, in partnership with their healthcare professionals. If patients do not have the capacity to make decisions, healthcare professionals should follow the Department of Health's advice on consent and the code of practice that accompanies the Mental Capacity Act. In Wales, healthcare professionals should follow advice on consent from the Welsh Government.
If the patient is under 16, healthcare professionals should follow the guidelines in the Department of Health's 'Seeking consent: working with children'.
Good communication between healthcare professionals and patients is essential. It should be supported by evidence-based written information tailored to the patient's needs. Treatment and care, and the information patients are given about it, should be culturally appropriate. It should also be accessible to people with additional needs such as those with a physical, sensory or learning disability, and to people who do not speak or read English.
If the patient agrees, families and carers should have the opportunity to be involved in decisions about their care.
Families and carers should also be given the information and support they need.
Care of young people in transition between paediatric and adult services should be planned and managed according to the best practice guidance described in 'Transition: getting it right for young people'.