Call for visitors to help prevent cases of sickness and diarrhoea

Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust is urging visitors to stay away from hospital if they have suffered from diarrhoea or vomiting in the previous 72 hours.

Viral diarrhoea and vomiting cases are known to increase at this time of year, so staff at Southampton General Hospital and the Princess Anne Hospital are taking action to reduce the chances of spreading the sickness bug.

Currently, three wards at Southampton General Hospital remain temporarily closed to new admissions.

Members of the public intending to visit either hospital for any reason are asked to help with prevention by observing the following restrictions:

  • Avoid visiting if you are feeling unwell or have suffered any symptoms of either sickness or diarrhoea in the last 72 hours
  • Wash hands carefully both before and after visiting a clinical ward area and use the alcohol gels available
  • Do not sit on the bed of the person you are visiting and ask a member of staff if you need more chairs
  • Avoid bringing food in as a gift, and if this is essential ensure it is covered or wrapped
  • Avoid bringing in flowers and plants, which can cause clutter and prevent effective cleaning
  • Adhere to visiting hours, as this will allow time for essential cleaning to occur.

Judy Gillow, director of nursing, said: “We have learned from past experience that taking proactive action can have a huge impact on preventing further spread of diarrhoea and vomiting outbreaks and eases the additional pressures brought on by the winter weather.

“This time of year generally tends to bring a rise in cases of viral bugs, but our visitors can play a major part in helping to prevent the spread of the problem by following our restrictions.”

Posted on Friday 18 December 2009