Ward 3c among those to reopen

Cleaning has begun at three Highland hospitals in a bid to reopening following a period of closure due to norovirus.
Nairn Town and County, Lawson Memorial in Golspie and the County Community Hospital in Invergordon were all closed to new admissions last week as staff dealt with a number of cases of diarrhoea and vomiting, which was confirmed as norovirus.
Ward 3C at Raigmore Hospital, which was also closed to new admissions due to the virus, reopened yesterday.
Dr Jonty Mills, Acting Consultant Microbiologist for NHS Highland, explained that all affected patients have now recovered from the norovirus symptoms with no episodes of diarrhoea and/or vomiting for over 48hours.
He said: “All our patients have made a good recovery from these symptoms and the majority of staff are back to work with a small number still waiting for 48hours clearance before they can return to their duties. Ward 3C at Raigmore was able to open yesterday following deep cleaning over the weekend. Deep cleaning has started in the other hospitals and we are hopeful that they will be able to reopen by mid week.”
Dr Mills explained that while the virus had run its course in the affected areas it is still out in the community and the messages to the public remain the same.
He said: “Norovirus, which causes diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting, can spread in the air where someone has had diarrhoea or vomited and is extremely difficult to contain. We know it is in the community so are continuing to ask the public not to come to hospital if they have had any vomiting or diarrhoea within the previous 48hrs. By doing this we will be able to reduce, as much as we possibly can, the chances of it coming back into our hospitals.”
The public can also help to minimise the spread by following some simple rules:-

Do not visit a hospital if you or someone you live with has symptoms. If you have a hospital appointment, please get in touch and, where appropriate, your appointment can be rescheduled.

Wait until you have been clear of symptoms for 48 hours, as you may still be contagious, even if you feel well.
Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, especially after using the toilet and before eating.

If you visit someone in hospital, don't sit on their bed and keep the number of visitors to a minimum at any one time. Never touch dressings, drips, or other equipment around the bed.
  • Ask ward staff for advice before you bring in food or drink for someone you are visiting in hospital.
For more information about hand hygiene visit the Scottish National Hand Hygiene Campaign website www.washyourhandsofthem.com