Ways you can help


Interested in becoming a volunteer for Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust? Want to know know how you can help when visiting one of our hospitals?

Gifts and donations

Staff are not allowed to accept personal gifts of money, but if you wish to make a donation to the hospital please speak to the nurse in charge who will arrange for it to be paid into a hospital trust fund. An official receipt will be issued. Alternatively, a donation can be made direct to the hospital’s League of Friends.

Play your part

  • Try to be well informed about your health or condition; ask questions so you make informed decisions

  • Know your medical history and be prepared to tell the staff, who need to know about any treatment you are receiving, if you have any allergies or any known adverse reactions to medicines

  • Follow any treatment prescribed or health advice offered; if you do not intend to do this, please inform the doctor.

The importance of hand washing


Our hands are frequently contaminated throughout the day with germs, which cannot be seen with the naked eye. Our hands may appear clean but the germs will be there!

If hand washing is performed correctly, it contributes, more than any other single action, to controlling infection.


  • Wet hands thoroughly before applying soap.
  • Apply soap.
  • Vigorously massage surfaces of both hands, ensuring a good lather.
  • Pay particular attention to the fingertips, thumbs and between the fingers as these are areas that are frequently missed.
  • If you wear rings it is important that you move them and wash underneath.
  • Rinse hands thoroughly ensuring that you remove all soap, as your hands can become sore if soap is not completely rinsed off.
  • Dry hands thoroughly as damp hands encourage germs to survive.


  • After using the toilet.
  • Before eating or handling food.
  • When hands are visibly dirty or contaminated.

When should healthcare workers wash their hands?

Staff working for Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust are encouraged to wash their hands or use alcohol hand gel between each patient contact. They must wash their hands:

  • When arriving on duty and before leaving the ward or department.
  • After toileting others.
  • Before and after aseptic procedures i.e. changing dressings, examining wounds, changing bags of infusion (drip) fluids.
  • Before handling food, drink and medicines.
  • After carrying out any potentially infective procedures.
  • After removing gloves.
  • When hands are visibly contaminated.

If you notice that a member of staff has not washed their hands or used alcohol hand gel please do not be afraid to ask them to do so.

If you want further advice about the importance of hand washing please contact the Infection Control Support Department on (01803) 655757 and ask to speak to one of the Infection Control Nurses.

Cleaning your hands on arrival

You may be surprised to see, if you come to Torbay Hospital, that we have removed the hand gel dispensers from the building entrances. This change is in line with new guidance from the National Patients Safety Agency. Instead, we ask you make sure you use the hand cleaning facilities at the entrance to each ward and clinical area, and again when you leave. In many cases, where it can be more effective, we are providing soap and water in preference to hand gel.

Mind our backs

Whilst you are with us we are responsible for your care. But we also have a responsibility to ensure the safety of our staff. Healthcare staff suffer injuries due to lifting and handling, more than any other working group or industry. We are sure you will share our concern about this.

To reduce this risk, you can help our staff by doing as much as you are able. This can also help you when recovering or regaining your independence. You will not be asked to do anything that will put your own safety at risk.

If it is necessary to lift you we may need to use special handling equipment or hoists designed for patient use. Our aim is to care for you and our staff safely.

Reducing risks

The Trust takes the management of risk very seriously. If you notice anything that you think is unsafe or presents a risk to yourself or to staff, please tell the person in charge of the ward. We will welcome any comments that you have.

Respect and dignity

As a patient you have the right to expect the best possible care. We will try to provide that care with respect and dignity and ask the same from you in return.

We reserve the right to ask anyone who abuses us – verbally or physically – to leave the premises.

It is an offence to:

  • Cause any person to feel harassed, alarmed or distressed
  • Use threatening, abusive or insulting language or behaviour

The offence is punishable by six months imprisonment and/or a fine of up to £5,000. The Trust will report any such behaviour to the police and will support members of staff in taking legal action against perpetrators.

Patient information for teaching purposes

We are a teaching hospital and data such as x-rays, photographs, videos and laboratory samples may be retained and archived for teaching purposes. Wherever possible your identity will be removed from this data. This does not include data for research or the retention of organs. In these cases we will always ask for consent. You have the right to refuse to allow this information to be used for teaching. Please tell us if you do not wish this to happen.

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