UPDATED: St Mary’s Hospital is continuing to experience cases of patients with diarrhoea and vomiting, due to norovirus, leading to the closure of a number of areas.
Colwell Ward, Appley Ward, Stroke Rehabilitation and General Rehabilitation wards are all currently closed to new admissions. One bay in the hospital’s Medical Assessment Unit is also closed to new patients.
It is clear that norovirus is circulating in the Island community and that it is not just a problem associated with the hospital. As part of the Trust’s actions to reduce the risk associated with the public bringing further infection into the hospital, we have taken the decision to restrict visiting across all areas of the hospital. The visiting restrictions are:
- Essential visiting only
- Once daily between 14:00 and 15:00
- No more than two visitors per patient
- Children under 16 and elderly or vulnerable adults should not visit unless necessary
- Anyone who has had symptoms, such as vomiting and diarrhoea, must not come into the hospital until they have been clear of those symptoms for at least 48 hours
The Trust would like to stress that this decision does not affect any outpatient appointments or clinics and patients should attend as normal.
UPDATE MONDAY: St. Mary’s Hospital continues to face challenges with the number of patients experiencing Norovirus which causes diarrhoea and vomiting. As of yesterday morning, five ward areas were closed to new admissions and 21 empty beds were closed.
Alan Sheward, Executive Director of Nursing and Director of Infection Prevention & Control at Isle of Wight NHS Trust says:
“I’ve been at the hospital today working with the senior nursing and infection prevention and control teams. We have a plan in place to completely clear the Medical Assessment Unit to enable the entire Unit to be steam cleaned. Other closed areas are being deep cleaned once all patients in those areas are 48 hours clear of symptoms. The need for strict infection control arrangements are clear to all staff, volunteers and visitors. We’re very grateful to everyone – staff and volunteers – who have been working so hard to help us resolve this problem. We’re also grateful to visitors and Islanders generally who are taking greater care with hygiene and hand washing.”
It would be grateful if patients visiting the Beacon Health Centre and Emergency Department are only accompanied by one other person if possible. Access to Wards at the hospital is only via the main hospital entrance where visitors are asked to ensure they cleanse their hands on entering and leaving the hospital.
It is vital that anyone who is feeling unwell with vomiting and/or diarrhoea, and 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 elderly and the very young who are most at risk. If the symptoms persist, telephone NHS 111. Further details of symptoms are available on the NHS Choices website www.nhs.uk.
Good hand hygiene using soap and water is important during outbreaks of norovirus as it is highly contagious. Thorough cleaning of hard surfaces with a bleach solution, paying particular attention to the toilet and toilet area, will help to reduce the spread of the virus.