Hospital asks for public’s help to reduce infections

15 February 2013

bacteriaHarrogate 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 large outbreak of the “winter vomiting bug”, norovirus, at York Hospital over the past week. Infection control experts at Harrogate 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:

A number of Hospitals across the country have been unfortunate enough to have significant infection outbreaks this winter, most recently our colleagues nearby in York. We really need the help of the public to keep this nasty bug out of SanitizerHarrogate District Hospital.

It can spread very easily and quickly in an environment like a Hospital, causing an extremely unpleasant illness not only in our patients, but also in our staff who look after them and other visitor.

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.

 Prof Kevin Kerr added:

We have a fantastic team of volunteer Hand Hygiene Champions stationed outside our wards to remind people about the importance of hand washing. Please listen to their advice as they are there to help us in caring for patients.

There are infection prevention and control notices displayed around the 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.

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