Infection chiefs make public appeal as virus hits hospital run by Redbridge trust
- Credit: Archant
The first cases of norovirus this winter have been recorded at Queen’s Hospital – and now infection prevention and control chiefs are asking the public to help ensure that it doesn’t spread.
The vomiting virus is highly contagious, and is brought into hospitals every year from the community.
Director of infection prevention and control Dr Ian Hosein is leading the work with staff at Queen’s in Romford and King George in Barley Lane, Goodmayes, reinforcing key practices including optimal hand hygiene.
He is also asking visitors to help keep the wards free of the bug.
“Norovirus is one of the most infectious agents that we face in the NHS,” he said, “and it causes significant disruption to the services hospitals can provide. The virus always begins with spread in the wider community and then it gets into hospitals.
“I am hoping that the public will get behind us and stop more cases coming on to the wards.”
A similar campaign last year was “incredibly successful”, a spokesman for Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT) said.
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She added: “We have seen a huge improvement in our A&E performance in recent weeks.
“But losing beds to the winter virus could affect that, and mean that people have to wait longer to be admitted to a ward.
“The number of bed days lost to the virus [last year] fell dramatically, with the hospitals needing to close far fewer beds and wards than normal.”