Norovirus Restricts Ward Visits

21 April 2010, 12:07 | Updated: 21 April 2010, 12:18

Visits to patients at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital are being restricted in a bid to stop the spread of Norovirus.

Four wards are asking visitors to call ahead before coming to the hospital. Kemp Welch, Shawford, St Cross and Clifton wards have been affected by the virus which continues to be rife in the local community. In some cases it is thought that visitors who have been poorly have inadvertently passed on the illness to patients.

As well as visits to these wards only going ahead with the agreement of clinical staff, people are being asked to stay away from all other wards, only making visits if absolutely necessary.

Consultant Microbiologist Dr Matthew Dryden said: “Norovirus is extremely prevalent across the whole country. We are aware that there is an outbreak in the local area too. Our infection control rates and regimes are very impressive but even doing all the right things can’t stop Norovirus if it keeps being brought in. We know that visitors cheer patients up but we need to prioritise the safety and recovery of our patients which is why we need to limit visits.”

“If visits are necessary, we ask people to be stringent with their hygiene. There are plenty of handwashing facilities at the hospital. A thorough wash with soap and water followed by hand gel is necessary before entering any clinical area. There is no such thing as hands being too clean!”

People who feel better but have been unwell are especially unwelcome. They could still transmit the virus even though their symptoms have ceased. Children can also present a higher risk of transmission.

These are the numbers visitors should call before are:-

Kemp Welch 01962 825100 and 01962 825101

St Cross  01962 825024 or 825025

Shawford 01962 824304

Clifton 01962 825381 or 5382.