Public cooperation requested for infection control measures

13/09/2011

Public cooperation requested for infection control measures

The Western Health and Social Care Trust is asking for the cooperation of the public with increased infection control measures and is requesting people not to visit patients in Altnagelvin Hospital if they have been feeling unwell themselves.

 

An increase in vomiting and diarrhoea has been experienced among patients in a number of areas in Altnagelvin Hospital in recent days and two wards - a medical ward and an orthopaedic ward - have been temporarily closed to new patient admissions.

 

Norovirus, a vomiting virus, has been confirmed in a number of patients.  Norovirus is common in the community and it is a short-term, unpleasant illness, with most people getting better within a few days.

 

The Trust's Infection Prevention and Control team is continuing to provide advice and increased infection control measures have been taken including increased cleaning.

 

Alan Corry Finn, Western Trust Executive Director of Nursing, said: “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 had diarrhoea and/or vomiting before visiting the hospital.

 

“Those who are visiting are asked to thoroughly wash their hands before and after visiting, for their own protection as well as for the prevention of the spread of infection to patients.

 

“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 should not move from ward to ward when visiting.

 

“We are asking relatives and friends of patients in hospital for their understanding and cooperation with the nursing staff with the arrangements which have been put in place in the interest of patients.”

 

The situation will be kept under review with a view to reopening the ward areas affected to patient admissions.