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Patients & visitors

How visitors can help

If you are visiting friends and family while they are in hospital, please follow this advice to help us fight the spread of infections and keep our patients safe:

  • Please do not visit if you are unwell and in particular if you have diarrhoea or vomiting are feverish and have a cough or cold. Please do not visit until you have been  clear of symptoms for 72 hours - this is because you may remain infectious even after the symptoms have stopped
  • Please follow any instructions given by staff or on notices
  • Please  clean your hands when entering and leaving wards and after assisting patients to the toilet or handling soiled clothing.
  • If you are taking personal laundry home from infectious patients then please ask staff for a copy of the leaflet 'washing clothes at home'.
  • Please do not touch wounds, drips etc unless you have received advice from staff
  • Do not bring in food for patients without asking staff for advice. It is especially important not to bring food in from a household where people have diarrhoea or vomiting.
  • Please do not sit on the beds, if you cannot find a chair please ask a member of staff for help.  
  • It is also important that you do not visit if you have any flu-like symptoms. Patients in hospital are particularly vulnerable to infection, so if you do visit and bring in a bug with you, you risk passing it on to them as well as otherpatients and staff around them.
  • Please place rubbish in the bins provided.

Finally, please do tell us if you spot any cleaning problems so that we can take action.

Keeping Norovirus out

Norovirus commonly circulates in the community during the winter and increasingly throughout the year. It is particularly important that you do not visit patients in hospital if you have had any diarrhoea or vomiting symptoms in the last 72 hours. The stomach bugs that cause diarrhoea or vomiting such as norovirus are highly contagious, and can spread rapidly through hospitals.

Even if you feel well after a sickness bug, you could still be contagious, so it’s vital that you help us to look after your loved ones by holding off your visit until you have been symptom-free for 72 hours.

Things you should know about norovirus:

  1. Norovirus is the most common cause of infectious diarrhoea and vomiting in England
  2. The virus is highly contagious and spreads rapidly anywhere that people are gathered, including schools, offices, hotels and hospitals
  3. Norovirus is not easily killed by alcohol rubs and so washing hands with soap and water after using the toilet is very important.
  4. Norovirus is not a so-called ‘superbug’ like MRSA (which is a bloodborne infection) or Clostridium difficile (which is mostly linked to antibiotic use)
  5. The virus is usually mild, and people generally recover within 2-3 days. However, it can have a much more serious affect on vulnerable hospital patients
  6. If you have had norovirus, you will remain contagious for up to 72 hours after your last episode of diarrhoea or vomiting, and in some cases even longer. That is why it is vital that you do not visit people in hospital if you have been ill in the last three days. Remember too, to always wash your hands well with soap and water after using the toilet.

Infection rates

MRSA 2011-12 dataPoole Hospital has low rates of infections such as MRSA and c-difficile - find out more below:

Infection rates

Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Longfleet Road, Poole, Dorset BH15 2JB. Tel: 01202 665511

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