Within the last week, the Trust has seen an increase in outbreaks, mainly in medical elderly wards of the winter vomiting bug, Norovirus. Wards affected have been wards H9, H90, C20 and H100.
Patients and staff have been affected prompting the temporary closure of the areas affected to help curb the spread.
These types of virus often originate from the community and can spread quickly when a number of people spend time in close proximity.
Greta Johnson, Director of Infection Prevention and Control said:
“It is not unusual for hospitals to experience cases of viral gastroenteritis, such as Norovirus, at this time of year. These types of virus often originate in the community and can spread quickly when a number of people spend time in close proximity, such as in schools or on a hospital ward. Norovirus is infectious and is usually quite mild, lasting for about 48 hours, however people who have had symptoms can remain infectious for a further 48 hours after the symptoms have gone away. Symptoms include headache, nausea, stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhoea, often sudden in onset.
Patients and visitors will notice in areas affected, measures to control the spread which include nursing patients in isolation or together if a bay is affected. Clinical staff will wear surgical facemasks and comply with prudent hand washing and wearing personal protective equipment e.g. gloves and aprons when appropriate. An increase in cleaning in areas affected reduces the risk of spreading the virus from the environment to patients and staff.
Other control measures can include the temporary closure of affected areas, and the polite reminder for people not to visit whilst the area is closed. Visitors are reminded to speak to the nurse in charge, in some circumstances visiting can be facilitated at the discretion of the ward sister. Visitors are reminded not to visit any patients in the hospital if you have had D&V and to let the ward sister know if you have developed symptoms and recently visited patient(s) on the ward, only visiting again when you have been symptom free for 48hrs.
It’s important we all play a part in reducing the impact of Norovirus for patients, staff and visitors.
For further information, please use the NHS Choices link below: