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hospitalhandwashingThe Isle of Wight NHS Trust is concerned about the rise in reported cases of diarrhoea and vomiting (D&V) in the community and is issuing an important reminder for visitors and patients.

Anyone heading into St Mary’s Hospital should ensure they cleanse their hands on entering and leaving the hospital, and entering and leaving clinical areas.  This must be a mixture of both hand gel (at the main entrance, to stop other germs) and using soap and water (particularly important for norovirus prevention) in available hand basins – either in toilets or on the ward being visited.

Shaun Stacey, Interim Deputy Chief Operating Officer at St. Mary’s Hospital, said:

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“I would like to remind members of the public to ensure they make use of the hand gel and hand washing facilities provided at St. Mary’s Hospital and other healthcare facilities on the Island. This is not only to protect patients who are vulnerable, but also our staff who are needed to deliver our services.

“The hospital is currently coping with a surge in the number of poorly elderly patients being admitted, we really cannot afford to compromise patients further by introducing D&V into our hospital. Viral gastroenteritis is highly infectious and we must be extra vigilant and prevent becoming infected and spreading it to others by washing hands with soap and water after you have been around someone who is ill.

“It is vital that anyone who is feeling unwell with vomiting and/or diarrhoea, planning to visit their friend or relative in hospital, nursing or a residential home, stays at home for at least 48 hours after the symptoms stop to avoid the spread of infection.”

Keeping hydrated and drinking plenty of fluids is very important, particularly for the very young and older person who are most at risk.  If the symptoms persist, telephone NHS 111.    Further details of symptoms are available on the NHS Choices website

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