Harrogate District Hospital is reminding people who have recently had an upset stomach to postpone their visit until they are free of symptoms of vomiting or diarrhoea for at least 48 hours. Visitors to wards and departments should ensure that they follow instructions to wash their hands or use the hand gels provided, to guard against infection.
This follows a number of cases of diarrhoea and vomiting in patients, staff and visitors to the Hospital. These infections are frequently caused by the bug ‘norovirus’, which may affect busy places such as schools, hospitals, offices and other places of work at this time of year. Infection control experts at the Hospital say the virus is extremely contagious, so it is particularly important for people to make sure they don’t inadvertently bring it onto the wards.
Prof Kevin Kerr, Director of Infection Prevention and Control said:
We are working extremely hard to stamp out this infection, but we really need the help of the public to ensure that patients, and the staff who look after them, do not pick up this nasty bug.
This is a job is made much more difficult for us if people don’t take on board advice about not visiting if they’ve had symptoms of diarrhoea or vomiting.
Patients, staff and visitors across a number of our wards have now had symptoms of vomiting and diarrhoea, which shows how easily it can spread.
Please don’t visit the Hospital until you have been free of symptoms for at least 48 hours.
People coming into the Hospital for an appointment or to visit a relative, are asked to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water in areas affected by the sickness bug and also use the alcohol hand rubs provided on entering and leaving other clinical areas. Those who are unsure as to whether they should visit a relative should telephone the ward in advance and ask to speak to the Nurse in Charge, who will be able to advise them.
There are infection prevention and control notices displayed around the Hospital. The Trust is extremely grateful to staff and its volunteer Hand Hygiene Champions for reminding everyone of the importance of good hand hygiene, especially in a Hospital.
The Trust requests that patients who have an outpatient appointment but have had symptoms of diarrhoea or vomiting in the past 48 hours, should telephone the relevant Department for further advice.