VISITORS are now allowed back into Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon, but on a limited basis. Patients in wards not affected by the norovirus outbreak, which is now subsiding, are allowed a maximum of two visitors at a time and only between 7pm and 8p
VISITORS are now allowed back into Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon, but on a limited basis.
Patients in wards not affected by the norovirus outbreak, which is now subsiding, are allowed a maximum of two visitors at a time and only between 7pm and 8pm. Children are not allowed to visit.
The number of patients infected by the "winter vomiting" virus is now down to 14, with five staff also afflicted.
Wards still closed because of infection are Mulberry and Lime, and visitors will not be permitted unless prior permission has been given by the ward managers or nurse in charge.
Hinchingbrooke's maternity unit and Treatment Centre are not affected by the outbreak, nor are outpatient appointments.
The hospital is also asking 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 in the first instance.
Liz Pointing, director of nursing, midwifery and operations at Hinchingbrooke Health Care NHS Trust, said: "We thank members of the public for staying away from wards during this outbreak.
"The most effective way members of the public can assist us to help the patients is by not visiting affected wards and by following the restrictions we are putting in place with regards to the new visiting arrangements.
"Our staff, and the Infection Control Team and our cleaners are working incredibly hard to control this outbreak."
Norovirus is the most frequent cause of infectious gastroenteritis in England and Wales. The symptoms usually last from 12 to 60 hours and may start with the sudden onset of nausea followed by projectile vomiting and/or diarrhoea.
Norovirus affects people of all ages. Most people recover very quickly but immunity to it is short-lived and it is easily transmitted from one person to another. It thrives in semi-closed environments where large numbers of people congregate, so schools, nursing homes and hospitals are most affected.
Patients with scheduled admissions should call 01480 416420 or 01480 363678 for further information.