Vomiting bug spreads at hospital

By Richard Wright

Sunday, March 16, 2014

 

UPDATED SUNDAY 19.42

NOROVIRUS is spreading at St Mary’s Hospital, Isle of Wight health chiefs have confirmed.

The diarrhoea and vomiting bug has now led to the closure of several areas.

Colwell Ward, Appley Ward, stroke rehabilitation and general rehabilitation wards are all currently closed to new admissions.

One bay in the hospital’s Medical Assessment Unit is also closed to new patients.

"It is clear that norovirus is circulating in the Island community and that it is not just a problem associated with the hospital," said a hospital spokesman.

"As part of the trust’s actions to reduce the risk associated with the public bringing further infection into the hospital, we have taken the decision to restrict visiting across all areas of the hospital.

The visiting restrictions are:

Essential visiting only.

Once daily between 2pm and 3pm.

No more than two visitors per patient.

Children under the age of 16 and elderly or vulnerable adults should not visit unless necessary.

"Anyone who has had symptoms, such as vomiting and diarrhoea, must not come into the hospital until they have been clear of those symptoms for at least 48 hours," said the spokesman.

"The trust stresses the decision does not affect any outpatient appointments or clinics and patients should attend as normal. "

It says it is "vital" that anyone who is feeling unwell with vomiting and/or diarrhoea, and planning to visit their friend or relative in hospital, nursing or a residential home, stays at home for at least 48 hours after the symptoms stop to avoid the spread of infection.

The trust emphasises the importance of good hand hygiene.

* All five ward areas remain closed to new admissions today (Sunday) as health chiefs at St Mary's Hospital continue to deal with the norovirus outbreak.

Alan Sheward, executive director of nursing and director of infection prevention and control at the Isle of Wight NHS Trust, said: "We have a plan in place to completely clear the Medical Assessment Unit to enable the entire unit to be steam cleaned. Other closed areas are being deep cleaned once all patients in those areas are 48 hours clear of symptoms.  

"The need for strict infection control arrangements are clear to all staff, volunteers and visitors. We’re very grateful to everyone, staff and volunteers, who have been working so hard to help us resolve this problem.  

"We’re also grateful to visitors and Islanders generally who are taking greater care with hygiene and hand washing."

Patients visiting the Beacon Centre and Emergency Department should only be accompanied by one person, if possible.

Reporter: richardw@iwcpmail.co.uk

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