By Connie Osborne Friday 27 September 2013 Updated: 27/09 07:16
VISITING times to hospitals across the county will be cut in a bid to stop another outbreak of norovirus.
From October 1, those visiting patients at the Alexandra Hospital, Worcestershire Royal and Kidderminster Treatment Centre will now only be able to do so from 3pm until 7.30pm unless exceptional circumstances apply.
Each patient will only be allowed two visitors at a time, while anyone under the age of 16 is discouraged from attending in the hope of controlling infection after numerous outbreaks last year.
The way outbreaks are managed will also be changed by introducing cohort wards for the first time this year at the Alexandra Hospital and Worcestershire Royal Hospital.
This means any patient who is either admitted with norovirus, or develops norovirus whilst at the hospital as an inpatient will be treated in a separate ward to other patients.
As part of the move, information stands will also be placed at each of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust’s hospitals to remind people to help fight infection in the run up to the official NHS winter period which starts at the beginning of October.
Staff, patients and visitors will be able to test how clean their hands and mobile phones are, learn effective hand washing techniques, take part in a quiz, and pick up further tips and information.
Heather Gentry, the Trust’s lead infection prevention and control nurse, said: “Last year we suffered more than ever as a result of norovirus spreading through our wards, ultimately leading to cancelled operations. We do not want to be in the same position this year.”
“We are reminding people early on what they can do to help limit the spread of infection and hope that they take the key messages on board.”
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