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Norovirus Update 03/05/2017

Wednesday 3rd May 2017

Norovirus update

Clare Pratt, Deputy Director of Nursing, said:

“We would like to thank the public for their patience and understanding during this recent outbreak of Norovirus.

“To ensure we prevent the spread of this highly contagious sickness bug, and to protect the safety of our patients, visiting was temporarily suspended at Arrowe Park Hospital.

“Following guidance from our Infection Prevention and Control team, this temporary suspension on visiting has now been lifted (with the exception of Ward 23, Ward 27 and Ward 33 in which we are requesting that visitors are limited to two people per patient).

“We understand that this suspension will have impacted families visiting their loved ones, but please be assured that this decision was made solely to prevent any further spread. We hope friends and families will appreciate that this action was taken in the best interests of patient care.”

Clare Pratt added:

“As a large acute hospital, our proactive Infection Prevention and Control Team carry out daily inspections of our Trust and will advise the organisation on what measures should be taken on board to reduce any unnecessary risk of infection spreading.

“To protect the safety of those we are caring for, we sometimes have to make difficult decisions that will be in the interests of our patients. From time to time it will prove necessary to close a room, a bay or even a whole ward until patients who have had Norovirus are fully recovered and symptom free.

“In addition to protecting our patients, it is also important that we minimise the number of staff who are exposed to this highly contagious bug. During times of Norovirus we will reduce the movement of our teams between wards to prevent the further spread of infection. To maintain our high standards of cleanliness, it is also normal practice to ensure rooms, bays and wards are all thoroughly cleaned before they are reopened.

Chris Oliver, Director of Operations said:

“No hospital trust is immune to infection. When cases of Norovirus are confirmed, the Trust acts quickly to isolate wards and will do its utmost to stem its spread.

“We know Norovirus remains in the local community. We would therefore repeat our message asking visitors to not to come into the hospital if they have had symptoms of sickness and diarrhoea within the last 48 hours.

“The public is also urged not to come into our Emergency Department if they have had Norovirus symptoms unless it is a genuine emergency.”

Norovirus symptoms include a sudden onset of vomiting and/or diarrhoea. Some people may have a temperature, headache and stomach cramps.

People are advised to follow these simple steps to help:

  1. Take plenty of fluids
  2. Wash your hands regularly
  3. Keep yourself away from others – especially from GP surgeries or hospitals
  4. If your symptoms continue for more than two days seek advice from NHS 111 by calling 111 on your phone or visit the NHS Choices websitefor further information.

For non-emergencies, people can contact NHS 111 for further advice by calling 111.