We're temporarily cutting back visiting hours - 2-4pm and 6-8pm only until our Norovirus outbreak is under control. 

At the end of last week we explained that we were stretched in the hospital - due to cases of Norovirus in bays on several of our wards, meaning we couldn't admit patients to these areas, reducing our bed numbers and making it difficult to meet demand.

Although we've done everything we can to try and prevent the spread of this highly contagious infection it's not reducing significantly or fast enough - so we're taking action to cut back on visiting hours. We're certainly not introducing a blanket ban - just asking people not to come unless it's between the hours of 2pm-4pm and 6pm-8pm. It will help us to do more to stop the spread in its tracks - with more cleaning and tidying possible when there are fewer people around.

You'll find that when you do come and visit you'll be welcomed by a member of the ward team and they'll explain the risks and show you where the hand-washing facilities are so you can follow scrupulous hand-hygiene - cleaning hands with hot water and soap, along with hand gel as you arrive and leave - and as you move about the ward environment.
We know that visiting is important for patients and their relatives and we know you'll understand that this is a compromise we've had to take to protect patients from an infection that can prove fatal when you're already ill.

Thank you to everyone that's already shown their support by staying away if they have any sort of diarrhoea or vomiting bug (you must be symptom free for 48 hours before you attend) and for ensuring that there are no more than two people at a patient's bedside. Please don't bring children with you to visit, especially if they are under 12 and remember - if you're not sure our staff have washed their hands when they're caring for you or a loved-one please ask.

As always, if a patient is on end of life or palliative care please contact the ward and ask for advice and as soon as visiting is 'back to normal' we'll let you know.