Public urged to cooperate with infection control

12/04/2011

Public urged to cooperate with infection control People are asked not to visit the Erne Hospital if they have been feeling unwell and, if visiting, to respect visiting times and visiting restrictions in place to assist in reducing infection.

An increase in vomiting and diarrhoea has been experienced among patients in a number of ward areas of the Erne Hospital in recent weeks. Areas of Wards 9 and 10 currently have a small number of patients with symptoms and temporary restrictions on new patient admissions to these ward areas are in place.

Dr Anne Kilgallen, Western Trust Medical Director, has asked for the public's cooperation with measures to help control the potential spread of infection including a decision to limit one visitor at a time at the patient's bedside in the ward areas affected.

Dr Kilgallen said: "The Trust's Infection Prevention and Control team is continuing to provide advice in relation to this ongoing situation and the increased infection control measures have been taken.

"The public has an important role to play by not visiting the hospital if they are feeling unwell, particularly if they have diarrhoea and/or vomiting. And if someone has been unwell we would advise them to wait until at least 48 hours after they have been ill before visiting the hospital.

"Visitors are asked to limit visiting to the designated times of between 3pm and 4pm and from 7pm until 8.30pm. They should only visit the one patient whilst at the hospital and they should not move from ward to ward when visiting.

"Those who are visiting are asked to thoroughly wash their hands before and after visiting.

"I would ask relatives and friends of patients in hospital for understanding and for their cooperation with the nursing staff with the arrangements which have been put in place."

Norovirus, also known as the winter vomiting virus, has been confirmed in a number of patients in recent weeks. This virus is common in the community at this time of year and it is a short-term, unpleasant illness, with most people getting better within a few days.

Further meetings are being held to review this situation on an ongoing basis with a view to reopening ward areas affected to patient admissions.