Help keep hospitals healthy

HOSPITAL visitors are being asked for their help in tackling winter bugs.

Cases of diarrhoea and vomiting traditionally go up at this time of year caused by two types of virus, norovirus and rotavirus, which cause unpleasant but short-lived symptoms for the majority of people.

But the bugs can have a devastating effect if they get into a hospital and can lead to hospital wards being unable to accept any new admissions, NHS staff going off sick and appointments being postponed.

Caroline Thurlbeck, strategic head of performance at NHS North East, said “If these bugs get into a hospital, they can make people who are already poorly seriously ill, particularly older people and those who have long term health conditions.

“We need people to help us keep our services running as normal.”

If people have been sick or had diarrhoea within the last 48 hours they should not visit a hospital and try not to take children aged 12 years or younger to visit, as they often pick up these bugs at school.

No more than two visitors should go to see each patient at any one time.