People attending appointments or visiting patients at Walsall Manor Hospital within the circumstances currently allowed are being urged to make sure they stay away if they have sickness and diarrhoea.
Norovirus infection, often referred to as the winter vomiting bug, is easily transmissible and is currently affecting two wards in the hospital.
Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust wants to protect patients, their families and carers as well as its own staff and is urging anyone with any symptoms to avoid visiting the hospital.
Lisa Carroll, the Trust’s Director of Nursing, said: “Norovirus is very easily spread from person to person especially in places where groups of people are together for periods of time or where there are people more susceptible to infection due to being ill, or with weakened immunity.
“While we are doing all we can within the hospital environment we also need the public’s help. Anyone who has sickness and diarrhoea, or has experienced these symptoms within the last 48 hours, is being asked to please not attend for appointments or to visit.
“We are all well used to taking precautions to minimise the spread of COVID-19 but need to be just as mindful of other infections that can also have serious implications.”
The most effective precaution against norovirus is to wash hands regularly with soap and warm water, and not just rely on hand gel. The symptoms last around two days and the only treatment required is to drink plenty of fluid to stay hydrated. Anyone worried about symptoms, should contact their Pharmacy, GP or NHS 111 online.
Compassionate visiting arrangements for certain circumstances have been in place throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and these currently remain in place for those who are visiting:
Patients receiving end-of-life care.
Patients with a mental health issue such as dementia, a learning disability or autism, where a visitor not being present would cause the patient to be distressed and that level of distress could not be managed/supported by the multi-disciplinary team.
Patients who have an extended hospital stay
Visiting for maternity, paediatric/neonatal services and hospice services will follow local guidance.
Visiting arrangements are being reviewed regularly.