VISITING restrictions are being introduced at Gloucestershire hospitals from Monday because of a winter vomiting bug.
Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Trust said winter vomiting bug ‘norovirus’ is affecting hospitals and members of the community and it needs to take action to help control the spread of the illness.
From Monday, December 9, visiting hours will remain between 11am and 8pm, but visiting will be limited to two adults at a time across all adult inpatient wards at both hospital sites for the next two weeks.
And visitors should be the patient’s immediate family members or primary carer, however exceptions can be made on compassionate grounds or for those providing care.
These changes will be in force at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital and Cheltenham General Hospital.
A spokesman for the trust said: “If relatives have had any symptoms of diarrhoea or vomiting in previous 48 hrs they should be reminded not to visit.
“As children are more susceptible to norovirus we are discouraging visiting to adult inpatient wards for this time.
“For children’s and maternity areas, please speak to the wards to identify any visiting restrictions.”
Please see below for additional visiting restrictions that are specific to wards.
Specific ward visiting restrictions:
6-9 December: Following a recent case of diarrhoea and vomiting illness in the community, as a precautionary measure, members of the public are being asked not to visit relatives and friends on Ward 4a and Ward 4b at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.
The temporary visiting restrictions are designed to protect patients, to control the spread of the illness, and to limit the number of people moving in and out of the affected wards.
Exceptions can be made for relatives visiting on compassionate grounds. These visitors are asked to call ahead, or speak to a member of staff on entering the ward.
The visiting restrictions will be reviewed every day and lifted as soon as possible.
Information about Norovirus
Always wash your hands frequently with warm water and soap. You should always do this after using the toilet and before preparing food. This is good practice whether or not you have symptoms
Do not handle or prepare food for other people until you have been free of symptoms for a minimum of three days
If you, or someone you care for, needs medical advice call NHS 111 or call your GP surgery in the first instance
Norovirus is the most common cause of gastroenteritis (stomach bugs) in England and Wales and can affect people of any age.
Whilst this condition, sometimes called ‘Winter vomiting disease’ or ‘Winter vomiting bug,’ is an unpleasant experience, the infection tends to be short lived and most people will just need to drink plenty of fluids and take plenty of rest.
However, people who are already ill, such as patients in hospital, can sometimes get quite poorly as the illness can interfere with the effectiveness of the medicines they are taking and also make them weak and dehydrated.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of a norovirus infection begin around 12 to 72 hours after the patient picks up the infection. Symptoms usually last for 12 to 60 hours, but sometimes longer.
They start with feeling sick (nausea) often followed by projectile vomiting. The vomiting is frequently projectile. Many patients will also get watery diarrhoea. Some people will have a raised temperature, headaches and aching limbs (flu like symptoms).
Most people make a full recovery within 1-2 days, but some people (usually the very young or elderly) may become very dehydrated and require medical treatment.
How does Norovirus spread?
It is very contagious, is spread mainly from person to person and occasionally through food preparation, and is more likely to spread where people are in close proximity. Public places, like hospitals are susceptible to outbreaks and this may result in ward closures and restricted visiting