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PATIENTS are being urged not to visit hospital if they have symptoms of diarrhoea or vomiting in order to help protect patients on our wards.
There are currently cases of the highly contagious Norovirus vomiting bug on several wards at the Royal Sussex County Hospital.
Staff at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust are isolating patients and ‘deep cleaning’ affected areas once patients’ symptoms have stopped in order to reduce the chances of the infection spreading further.
Patients and visitors are asked to avoid coming into hospitals or GP surgeries if they have any symptoms of diarrhoea or vomiting.
Norovirus can spread to others very easily. The best thing to do is to stay at home until at least 48 hours after the symptoms have cleared to reduce the risk of passing it on.
Dr Rob Haigh, Medical Director at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, said:
“Norovirus is highly infectious and highly unpleasant, and when it gets into a hospital, it spreads very easily. We are urging anyone with any symptoms of vomiting or diarrhoea to stay away from hospitals and ask all visitors to follow good hand hygiene rules and to wash their hands regularly in soap and warm water.”
Dr David Supple, Brighton GP and Chair of NHS Brighton and Hove CCG, said: “Lots can be done to ease the pressure on the hospital and the public has a part to play in helping by ensuring they access the right services at the right time, as many people are going to A&E with problems that could be treated more quickly elsewhere.”
People are also reminded to only ever visit A&E in an emergency and to make use of all available health services, including calling NHS 111, local pharmacies, GP surgeries and the urgent care centre at Brighton Station for minor injury treatment without an appointment.
This week some wards have been closed to new admissions at times to help prevent the sickness and diarrhoea from spreading.
On Thursday the Chichester, Catherine James, Vallance and a bay in the Jowers Ward was closed to new admissions and transfers after five new cases.
That followed five cases on Wednesday.
Visitors should wait until they have been symptom free for at least 48 hours before attempting to come in to the hospital.
The hospital trust is also asking visitors to use the hand gels provided before entering and leaving a ward.
Closing wards to new admissions puts extra pressure on hospitals as they approach their busiest time of the years. It means fewer beds are available and this can lead to delays.
Source: The Argus