06:32am Thursday 14 December 2017

Use A&E for the right reasons and help stop the spread of norovirus in local hospitals

 

All local hospitals have seen high volumes of patients over the past few days which makes it even more important for local people to choose the right service to meet their needs and to help keep norovirus bugs at bay by not attending Accident and Emergency (A&E) if they are suffering from diarrhoea and vomiting.

 

University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust currently has two wards closed due to norovirus. Anyone looking to visit either the Hospital of St Cross in Rugby or University Hospital, Coventry should check the Trust website homepage at www.uhcw.nhs.uk for daily updates. Ward closures will also be updated on the Trust’s Twitter (@nhsuhcw) and Facebook pages.

 

Norovirus is very common and for most people it’s no worse than a short bout of diarrhoea and vomiting that should clear up within 24-72 hours. However, for the more vulnerable, it can have a more significant effect.

 

Washing your hands with soap and water will remove the virus off your hands. The hand gel does kill other bugs but not norovirus, so it should be used alongside good hand washing.

 

Clinical leads are asking members of the public to help prevent the spread of norovirus, which can be very dangerous to elderly and sick people, by staying away from hospitals and if at all possible if they have had any diarrhoea and vomiting symptoms and to take note of the following advice. 

 

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and warm water and then use hand gel, to protect yourself and others from infections.
  • Ensure that toilet areas in your home are kept clean, particularly if you have been experiencing symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting.
  • Wash any clothing or linen that could be contaminated with norovirus.
  • Disinfect any hard surfaces that could be contaminated.
  • Stay away from work, school or social gatherings until you have been free of symptoms for at least 48 hours.

 

Dr Steve Allen, Accountable Officer of NHS Coventry and Rugby Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “People across Coventry and Warwickshire can help in preventing the spread of norovirus by taking necessary precautions, simple actions like washing your hands with soap and water ensuring that that the toilet area at home is kept clean from vomit and diarrhoea and staying away from other people for at least 48 hours. If you are worried about prolonged symptoms, you can contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647 or ring your GP practice.”

 

A&E departments in Coventry & Warwickshire are there to deal with very serious illnesses and injuries that require immediate hospital attention. However, we know that many people each day visit when other services would have been quicker for them and more appropriate for the NHS.

 

There are a wide range of NHS services available such as self care; community pharmacies; local GPs, Urgent Care Centre and the Walk-In Centre which could provide the right care.

 

**ENDS**


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