Norovirus at Liberton Hospital

Visitor restriction lifted at Liberton Hospital

NHS Lothian has today (12 March 2013) lifted a temporary restriction on visitors at Liberton Hospital.

The restriction, which was enforced on Wednesday 19 February, proved effective in helping to limit the spread of norovirus amongst patients, the public and staff.

All nine wards at the hospital have now reopened to new admissions and relatives and friends of patients are again able to visit.

Dr John Bremner, Acting Chair of the Incident Management Team and Consultant Medical Virologist, NHS Lothian, said: “I would like to thank the public and patients for their co-operation and understanding during this period. The temporary restriction on visitors played a key role in stopping the virus spread.

“I would also extend my gratitude to all staff who have worked tirelessly over the last few weeks to deal with this incident. Their commitment and knowledge has proved invaluable.”

Norovirus is the most common cause of infectious gastroenteritis in the UK, and cases generally escalate during the winter months. The main symptoms are vomiting and diarrhoea, and the virus is highly contagious. Although there is no specific treatment the infection usually only lasts for a few days and most people make a full recovery.

Prof Alison McCallum, Director of Public Health and Health Policy, NHS Lothian, said: “The past month has been challenging but with the exceptional hard work of all staff and the understanding of patients and visitors we have been able to manage the situation.

“We understand it may have been frustrating but relatives and friends of patients have overwhelmingly supported our efforts and staff have constantly updated visitors on the situation.

“Norovirus is highly contagious and therefore where even one patient displays symptoms a whole ward may need to be shut to new admissions to restrict the spread of the infection.

“While we have strict infection control procedures in place to contain any outbreaks within our hospitals, which includes closing wards to new admissions, visitors can help by washing their hands when entering and leaving wards and not coming into hospital if they are feeling unwell.”

Mrs Helen Ruthven, whose mother was a patient, expressed her gratitude to staff. She said: “The staff at Liberton were just amazing when my mum was in and they kept in contact with me during the restrictions. It almost brought a tear to my eye the tender way they dealt with the elderly patients, who were obviously quite upset about the situation- they deserve a medal.”

Ms Ruth Macquillan, a patient in ward six at the hospital took the time to thank staff for their assistance. She said: “It was a little annoying but I do understand why the restrictions were put in place.

“I have to say that the staff have been excellent. They’ve kept me and my sister informed of everything that has been going on throughout and I have to thank them for that.”

If you are visiting a friend or relative in hospital please remember to:

  • Make sure your hands are clean. This is one of the most important ways to stop infections spreading. Please wash your hands when entering or leaving hospital wards.
  • Don’t visit if you are feeling unwell. Patients can be more susceptible to infections than those who are generally well. If you aren’t well enough to visit you are welcome to phone the ward.
  • Don’t visit until 48 hours after vomiting or diarrhoea. If you have vomiting or diarrhoea you should not visit patients in hospital until 48 hours after your symptoms have stopped. This is important because you may be infectious for up to 48 hours after the symptoms have stopped.
  • Don’t prepare or bring in food unless this has been agreed with the Nurse in Charge.

 

ENDS

 

Notes to Editors

  • 58 patients have been confirmed as having norovirus since the start of the outbreak.

 

Issued: 12 March 2013

David Ridd

Communications Manager

0131 465 5645

07730 616 435



Update at 14:45 on Monday 11 March 2013

A temporary visiting restriction is still in place at Liberton Hospital however the situation is improving on a daily basis as NHS Lothian staff manage the current cases of norovirus.

One further ward has now been reopened to new admissions, meaning a total of seven wards are now open to new admissions, however two wards remain closed.

Relatives of patients on newly opened wards are being informed by nursing staff. The wards which are open to admissions are allowing visitors in liaison with nursing staff, however those wishing to visit patients on the remaining closed wards are asked to contact Liberton Hospital on 0131 536 7800 to find out when it may be appropriate to visit.

It is very important that relatives and friends intending to visit any ward at Liberton Hospital, open or closed, inform nursing staff of their intention to help staff manage the situation.

Norovirus is highly contagious so please refrain from visiting if you are feeling unwell, for the benefit of your and the patients’ wellbeing. In order to help prevent the spread of infection please ensure you wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before visiting Liberton Hospital. If you have suffered from vomiting and/or diarrhoea please wait until at least 48 hours after all of your symptoms have stopped and you feel back to normal.

 


Update at 14:00 on Sunday 10 March 2013

The situation at Liberton Hospital continues to improve, however the temporary restriction on visitors is still in place to allow NHS Lothian staff to manage the current cases of norovirus.

One further ward has been reopened to new admissions this afternoon (10 March).  Six wards in total are now open to new admissions, however three wards remain closed.

Wards which are open to admissions are now allowing visitors in liaison with nursing staff, however relatives or friends of patients on closed wards are asked to contact Liberton Hospital on 0131 536 7800 to find out when it may be appropriate to visit. It is important that the public inform nursing staff of their intention to visit any ward at Liberton Hospital to help staff manage the situation.

In order to help prevent the spread of infection please ensure you wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before visiting Liberton Hospital. Please refrain from visiting if you are feeling unwell. If you have suffered from vomiting and/or diarrhoea please wait until at least 48 hours after all of your symptoms have stopped and you feel back to normal.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Update at 14:30 on Saturday 9 March 2013

The temporary restriction on visitors at Liberton Hospital is still in place to allow NHS Lothian staff to manage the current cases of norovirus.

 

The five wards which are open to admissions are allowing visitors in liaison with nursing staff, however relatives or friends of patients on the four remaining closed wards are asked to contact Liberton Hospital on 0131 536 7800 to find out when it may be appropriate to visit.
 
It is important to inform nursing staff of your intention to visit any ward in Liberton Hospital in order to help them manage the situation.

 

In order to help prevent the spread of infection please ensure you wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before visiting Liberton Hospital. Please refrain from visiting if you are feeling unwell. If you have suffered from vomiting and/or diarrhoea please wait until at least 48 hours after all of your symptoms have stopped and you feel back to normal.
 

 


 

Update at 14:45 on Friday 8 March 2013


The temporary restriction on visitors at Liberton Hospital is still in place to allow NHS Lothian staff to manage the current cases of norovirus.

The five wards which are open to admissions are allowing visitors in liaison with nursing staff, however relatives or friends of patients on the four remaining closed wards are asked to contact Liberton Hospital on 0131 536 7800 to find out when it may be appropriate to visit.

It is important to inform nursing staff of your intention to visit any ward in Liberton Hospital in order to help them manage the situation.

In order to help prevent the spread of infection please ensure you wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before visiting Liberton Hospital. Please refrain from visiting if you are feeling unwell. If you have suffered from vomiting and/or diarrhoea please wait until at least 48 hours after all of your symptoms have stopped and you feel back to normal.



Update at 15:30 on Thursday 7 March 2013

The temporary restriction on visitors at Liberton Hospital is still in place to allow NHS Lothian staff to manage the current cases of norovirus.

Five of the wards remain open to new patients; however, four wards still remain closed to new admissions.

Wards which are open to admissions are now allowing visitors in liaison with nursing staff, however relatives or friends of patients on closed wards are asked to contact Liberton Hospital on 0131 536 7800 to find out when it may be appropriate to visit.

It is important that the public inform nursing staff of their intention to visit any ward at Liberton Hospital to help staff manage the situation.

Before visiting a patient at Liberton Hospital please ensure you wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Please refrain from visiting if you are feeling unwell and if you have suffered from vomiting and/or diarrhoea please wait until at least 48 hours after all of your symptoms have stopped and you feel back to normal.

 


Update at 14:30 on Wednesday 6 March 2013

The temporary restriction on visitors at Liberton Hospital is still in place to allow NHS Lothian staff to manage the current cases of norovirus. Restricting visitors has helped to improve the outbreak however it is important that this is maintained on wards where the infection is still present.

Five of the wards remain open to admissions; however, four wards still remain closed to new admissions.

Wards which are open to admissions are now allowing visitors in liaison with nursing staff, however relatives or friends of patients on closed wards are asked to contact Liberton Hospital on 0131 536 7800 to find out when it may be appropriate to visit.

Before visiting a patient at Liberton Hospital please ensure you wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, and please refrain from visiting if you are feeling unwell or within 48 hours of suffering from vomiting and/or diarrhoea.

NHS Lothian would like to thank staff for their hard work and the public for their continued co-operation during this period.



Update at 14:00 on Tuesday 5 March 2013

NHS Lothian is maintaining the temporary restriction on visitors at Liberton Hospital to allow infection prevention and control staff to manage the current cases of norovirus and prevent further spread of the infection.

The situation at Liberton is improving: however, while there are still a small number of patients affected, there is a need for continual assessment and ongoing monitoring of patients on all wards.

Five of the wards remain open to admissions; however, four wards still remain closed to new admissions.

Wards are being reopened to new admissions when an entire floor has been free from infection for a sustained period of time. All new admissions are being screened for symptoms beforehand and are not being admitted to Liberton Hospital if there is any risk of norovirus present.

NHS Lothian would like to thank staff for their hard work and the public for their co-operation during this period, and would ask that relatives or friends of patients contact Liberton Hospital on 0131 536 7800 to find out when it may be appropriate to visit.

For further information on norovirus, its symptoms and treatment, please visit the NHS Inform page http://bit.ly/noroinform 



Update at 14:30 on Monday 4th March 2013

A temporary restriction on visitors at Liberton Hospital remains in place due to norovirus on the site.

Five wards are open and are accepting new patients however four remain closed to new admissions.

Infection prevention and control staff continue to manage the spread of the virus and NHS Lothian would like to thank the public for their co-operation during this period.

Relatives and friends of patients are asked to contact Liberton Hospital on 0131 536 7800 to find out when it may be appropriate to visit.

Wards are being reopened to new admissions when an entire floor has been free from infection for a sustained period of time. All new admissions are being screened for symptoms beforehand and are not being admitted to Liberton Hospital if there is any risk of norovirus present.

For further information on norovirus, its symptoms and treatment, please visit the NHS Inform page http://bit.ly/noroinform



Update at 1400 on Sunday 3rd March 2013

 

 
Four wards remain closed at Liberton Hospital on Sunday 3 March as a result of norovirus.
 
Five wards are open to new admissions while the temporary restriction on visitors is maintained as infection prevention and control staff manage the spread of norovirus on the site.
 
Dr Ingolfur Johannessen, Chair of the Incident Management Team and Consultant Medical Virologist, NHS Lothian said: "Progress is slow but steady due to the nature of norovirus but we have planned for that situation, based on experience.
 
"We would expect to see the situation gradually improve with each passing day, as the measures in place take effect.
 
"I would like to reiterate my thanks to the staff for their hard work and to the public for their co-operation during this period and would ask that they contact Liberton Hospital on 0131 536 7800 to find out when it may be appropriate to visit."
 
Wards are being reopened to new admissions when an entire floor has been free from infection for a sustained period of time. All new admissions are being screened for symptoms beforehand and are not being admitted to Liberton Hospital if there is any risk of norovirus present.
 

 

For further information on norovirus, its symptoms and treatment, please visit the NHS Inform page bit.ly/noroinform
 

 

Update at 1400 on Saturday 2nd March 2013 

The situation at Liberton Hospital remains the same as yesterday with five wards open to new admissions and four wards closed due to norovirus.

The temporary restriction on visitors is maintained as infection prevention and control staff manage the spread of norovirus on the site.

Dr Ingolfur Johannessen, Chair of the Incident Management Team and Consultant Medical Virologist, NHS Lothian said: “We always knew that progress would be slow but steady and that has been the case.

“I cannot pay enough tribute to the staff in all areas who are working extremely hard and going the extra mile to make progress at Liberton. It has been and continues to be a real team effort.

“I would also like to reiterate my thanks to the public for their co-operation during this period and would ask that they contact Liberton Hospital on 0131 536 7800 to find out when it may be appropriate to visit.”

Wards are being reopened to new admissions when an entire floor has been free from infection for a sustained period of time. All new admissions are being screened for symptoms beforehand and are not being admitted to Liberton Hospital if there is any risk of norovirus present.

For further information on norovirus, its symptoms and treatment, please visit the NHS Inform page bit.ly/noroinform​


 Update at 15:30 on Friday 1st March 2013 

The situation at Liberton Hospital continues to improve however the temporary restriction on visitors is maintained as infection prevention and control staff manage the spread of norovirus on the site.

Two further wards have been reopened to new admissions this afternoon (1 March 2013). Five wards in total are now open to new admissions; however, four wards remain closed to new admissions due to norovirus.

Dr Ingolfur Johannessen, Chair of the Incident Management Team and Consultant Medical Virologist, NHS Lothian said: “Our staff are working round the clock to manage the spread of the virus and are making progress.

“I would like to reiterate my thanks to the public for their co-operation during this period and would ask that they contact Liberton Hospital on 0131 536 7800 to find out when it may be appropriate to visit.”

Wards are being reopened to new admissions when an entire floor has been free from infection for a sustained period of time. All new admissions are being screened for symptoms beforehand and are not being admitted to Liberton Hospital if there is any risk of norovirus present.

For further information on norovirus, its symptoms and treatment, please visit the NHS Inform page bit.ly/noroinform

ENDS
 

Notes to Editors

  • 58 patients have been confirmed as having norovirus since the start of the outbreak on 29 January.
  • 23 members of staff have experienced symptoms since the start of the outbreak on 29 January.
 
 
 
 

Update at 13:00 on Thursday 28 February 2013

NHS Lothian is maintaining the temporary restriction on visitors at Liberton Hospital to allow NHS Lothian infection and control staff to manage the current cases of norovirus and prevent the spread of infection.

The situation at Liberton is improving: however, while there are still patients affected, there is a need for continual assessment and ongoing monitoring of patients on all wards.
 

Three of the wards remain open to admissions; however, six wards still remain closed to new admissions.

 

“Wards are being reopened to new admissions when an entire floor has been free from infection for a sustained period of time. All new admissions are being screened for symptoms beforehand and are not being admitted to Liberton Hospital if there is any risk of norovirus present.


For further information on norovirus, its symptoms and treatment, please visit the NHS Inform page http://bit.ly/noroinform

  

 
Update at 12:00 on Wednesday 27 February 2013
 

The temporary restriction on visitors remains in place at Liberton Hospital to allow NHS Lothian staff to manage the norovirus outbreak and prevent the spread of infection.

Three of the wards are open to admissions; however, six wards still remain closed to new admissions. While improvements in the situation are welcomed, there is continual assessment and monitoring is ongoing.

 

NHS Lothian would like to thank relatives and friends of patients for their support and continued co-operation, and would ask that they contact Liberton Hospital on 0131 536 7800 to find out when it may be appropriate to visit.

 

 
Update at 13:00 on Tuesday 26 February 2013
 

NHS Lothian is maintaining the temporary restriction on visitors at Liberton Hospital to allow infection prevention and control staff to manage the situation and prevent the spread of norovirus.

Three of the wards are open to admissions; however, six wards still remain closed to new admissions. While improvements in the situation are welcomed, there is continual assessment and monitoring is ong
oing.
 

Relatives and friends of patients are asked to contact Liberton Hospital on 0131 536 7800 for further information and to find out when it may be appropriate to visit.

 

 
Update at 14:00 on Monday 25 February 2013
 
NHS Lothian is maintaining the temporary restriction on visitors at Liberton Hospital as infection prevention and control staff continue work to prevent the spread of norovirus.
 
Two further wards have now been opened to admissions, however six of the nine wards still remain closed to new admissions. The progress of the situation is welcomed but is continually being assessed and monito
red.
 

Relatives and friends of patients are asked to contact Liberton Hospital for further information and to find out when it may be appropriate to visit.

 
Notes to Editors
 
 
  • 58 patients have been confirmed as having norovirus since the start of the outbreak on 29 January.
  • 22 members of staff have experienced symptoms since the start of the outbreak on 29 January.


 
 
Update at 14:00 on Sunday 24  February 2013
 

A temporary restriction on visitors remains in place at Liberton Hospital as NHS Lothian infection prevention and control staff continue work to limit the spread of norovirus on the site.

Eight of nine wards remain closed to new admissions, and progress is being made as the situation is frequently assessed and monitored. It is hoped that two more wards can be re-opened tomorrow (Monday 25 February) to admissions.

NHS Lothian would like to thank the families and friends of patients at Liberton for their patience and co-operation during this time, and would like to express gratitude to staff for their extremely hard work and commitment to the best interests of patients, visitors and the public.

 

 ​
 

Update at 14:00 on Saturday 23 February 2013

 
NHS Lothian would like to thank families and friends of patients for their co-operation as a temporary restriction on visitors remains in place at Liberton Hospital due to an outbreak of norovirus.
 

Eight of nine wards remain closed to new admissions. The hospital team and NHS Lothian infection prevention and control staff are continuing to work to control the spread of the infection. Progress is being made and the situation is continually assessed and monitored.

NHS Lothian would also like to thank staff for their hard work and commitment to the best interests of patients, visitors and the public.


Update at 14:00 on Friday 22 February 2013​

A temporary restriction on visitors remains in place at Liberton Hospital as NHS Lothian infection prevention and control staff continue work to limit the spread of norovirus on the site.

Eight of nine wards remain closed to new admissions, and progress is being made as the situation is frequently assessed and monitored.

NHS Lothian would like to thank the families and friends of patients at Liberton for their patience and co-operation during this time, and would like to express gratitude to staff for their extremely hard work and commitment to the best interests of patients, visitors and the public.

 

 
Update at 14:00 on Thursday 21 February 2013
 
A temporary restriction on visitors remains in place at Liberton Hospital as NHS Lothian infection prevention and control staff continue work to limit the spread of norovirus on the site.
 
Eight of nine wards remain closed to new admissions and the situation is being continually assessed and monitored.
 
Dr Ingolfur Johannessen, Chair of the Incident Management Team and Consultant Medical Virologist, NHS Lothian, said: “I would like to reiterate my thanks to the public and staff for their co-operation and hard work during this period.
 

“It is pleasing to hear that relatives and families have accepted that the temporary restriction on visitors is in the best interests of their loved ones.

“We are making progress on limiting the spread of the infection and the temporary restriction on visitors is being assessed and considered on a daily basis in conjunction with plans for re-opening wards to new patients.”
 

Notes to Editors

 
  • 54 patients have been confirmed as having norovirus since the start of the outbreak on 29 January.
  • 21 members of staff have been confirmed as having norovirus since the start of the outbreak on 29 January.
  • Relatives and friends of patients are asked to call the hospital ward for further information and to find out when it is appropriate to visit. Relatives can call the wards directly or phone the hospital reception on 0131 536 7800.
 


Update at 14:00 on Wednesday 20 February 2013
 

NHS Lothian would like to thank the public for their co-operation as a temporary restriction on visitors remains in place at Liberton Hospital due to an outbreak of norovirus.

Relatives and friends have been contacted by staff and advised not to visit the hospital whilst these restrictions remain in place. Eight of the nine wards within the hospital are currently closed to new patients as part of strict infection and prevention control procedures.

The situation is being continually monitored and relatives are asked to contact the hospital if they require any further information.
 

Important information

Relatives and friends of patients are asked to phone the hospital ward for further information and to find out when it is appropriate to visit. Relatives can call the wards directly or phone the hospital reception on 0131 536 7800.
 
More information on norovirus can be found here: www.nhsinform.co.uk/health-library/articles/n/norovirus/introduction

 
 
Norovirus at Liberton Hospital
 

NHS Lothian has today (19 February 2013) taken the precautionary measure to temporarily restrict visitors at Liberton Hospital due to an ongoing outbreak of norovirus relatives and friends of patients are being contacted by staff and are being advised not to visit the hospital in a bid to halt the spread of the outbreak.

Eight of the nine wards at the hospital are currently closed to new patients as part of strict infection and prevention control procedures. 
 
The situation is being continually monitored and relatives are being asked to contact the hospital if they require any further information.
 
Dr Ingolfur Johannessen, Chair of the Incident Management Team and Consultant Medical Virologist, NHS Lothian, said: “A large number of patients at Liberton Hospital are affected by norovirus with a significant number testing positive for the virus.
 

“We have taken the decision to temporarily restrict visitors in a bid to prevent the further spread of the infection and to ensure the hospital returns to normal working as soon as possible.

“By restricting the number of visitors it is hoped that this will reduce the number of people who are exposed to norovirus and therefore shorten the duration of the outbreak.”
 
Prof Alison McCallum, Director of Public Health and Health Policy, NHS Lothian, said: “Our priority is always patient, public and staff safety. While we understand that this temporary visiting restriction may cause some frustration, this measure will allow us to help prevent further spread of the infection and ensure safe patient care.
 
“We understand that there may be extenuating circumstances where members of the public need to visit loved ones, such as if they are seriously ill. If this is the case, relatives or friends are asked to call ahead to the ward to arrange visiting.
 
Infection prevention and control staff from NHS Lothian are continually monitoring the situation and it is hoped that the hospital will reopen to visitors in the very near future.
 
Ms Fiona Cameron, Head of Service, Infection and Prevention Control, NHS Lothian, said: “This is always a busy time of year for hospitals and is being exacerbated by a general increase in the prevalence of norovirus in the community.
 
"We would ask the public for their co-operation at this time. Clinical and nursing staff are working very hard to minimise any distress and discomfort to patients whilst there is norovirus in the wards.”
 
Norovirus is highly contagious, and outbreaks spread quickly around closed communities, such as hospitals and nursing homes. The symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea and nausea, come on suddenly and last between 12 to 60 hours. Because people become unwell without warning, people who are providing care can also become infected.
 

If you are visiting a friend or relative in hospital please remember to:

Make sure your hands are clean. This is one of the most important ways to stop infections spreading. Please wash your hands when entering or leaving hospital wards.

Don’t visit if you are feeling unwell. Patients can be more susceptible to infections than those who are generally well. If you aren’t well enough to visit you are welcome to phone the ward.
Don’t visit until 48 hours after vomiting or diarrhoea. If you have vomiting or diarrhoea you should not visit patients in hospital until 48 hours after your symptoms have stopped. This is important because you may be infectious for up to 48 hours after the symptoms have stopped. Don’t prepare or bring in food unless this has been agreed with the Nurse in Charge.
 
ENDS

Notes to Editors

 
  • 51 patients have been confirmed as having norovirus since the start of the outbreak on 29 January.
  • 17 members of staff have been confirmed as having norovirus since the start of the outbreak on 29 January.
  • There are currently 151 patients at Liberton Hospital.
  • Senior charge nurses and ward teams will assist in optimising patient/visitor communications during this period, e.g. by using ward phone, mobile phones (where permitted).
  • Relatives and friends of patients are asked to call the hospital ward for further information and to find out when it is appropriate to visit. Relatives can call the wards directly or phone the hospital reception on 0131 536 7800.​​​ ​​

 

12/03/2013