Hospital wards reopen to visitors

ALL wards at Hinchingbrooke Hospital are now open to visitors, following the recent outbreak of diarrhoea and vomiting,

ALL wards at Hinchingbrooke Hospital are now open to visitors, following the recent outbreak of diarrhoea and vomiting, but restrictions remain in place to prevent a further recurrence of the virus.

Friends and relatives can now visit patients on all wards, but only two visitors per patient at any one time, and children are banned. Visiting is restricted to one hour a day, between 7pm and 8pm. Visitors must wash their hands with soap and water when visiting wards, and must not sit on beds.

The hospital is urging visitors who have been ill or in contact with anyone who has been ill with diarrhoea or vomiting in the previous 48 hours to stay away.

Hazel ward and the delivery suite are also open, but visiting is restricted to partners only. The treatment centre and outpatients appointments are not affected.


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A hospital spokesman said: "Hand-washing and hygiene do not apply only to hospital staff. Ensure that hands are washed with soap and water before entering a ward and when leaving it. There are facilities for hand washing on every ward.

"Restrictions on the number of visitors are there for a reason. Crowds of people around a bed can put other patients at risk of infections."

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Hazel ward and the delivery suite are also open, but visiting is restricted to partners only. The treatment centre and outpatients appointments are not affected.

"We also continue to ask members of the public considering attending the accident and emergency department with symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting to contact NHS Direct, their GP or their GP's out-of-hours service first."

Liz Pointing, director of nursing, midwifery and operations at Hinchingbrooke Health Care NHS Trust, said: "We are pleased to be able to re-open our wards to visitors. The trust has worked very closely with the strategic health authority, primary care trust and neighbouring hospitals to bring the outbreak to a conclusion.

"We thank the public for heeding our requests to stay away from affected wards while they were closed and we ask them to abide by our restrictions to limit their visiting to one hour a day.

"It is important to reiterate our advice that anyone with any symptoms of diarrhoea or vomiting in the previous 48 hours, or who has had close contact with anyone with such symptoms, should avoid coming to the hospital. Visitors can also help us with infection control by ensuring they wash their hands with soap and water when they come onto wards and by not sitting on hospital beds.

"Staff at the hospital have worked incredibly hard to maintain patient care and infection control during the outbreak."

INFORMATION: Patients with scheduled admissions should call 01480 416420 or 01480 363678 for further information.

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