Local Hospitals preparing for winter

Local Hospitals preparing for winter

With winter rapidly approaching, Mid Cheshire NHS Foundation Trust (MCHFT) is urging local residents to take extra care of themselves, and to look out for elderly relatives or neighbours who may have existing medical conditions which are made worse by the cold weather.

In the North West alone, there are an estimated 1.3million people living with conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, asthma and cancer. Cold weather and the seasonal rise in common ailments such as coughs, colds, and mean that many older people and those living with these kinds of complaints are particularly at risk of catching seasonal illnesses. The which the winter months bring also increases the chances of injuries caused from slips, trips and falls.

Symptoms of Norovirus, sometimes known as the ‘winter vomiting bug’, can include nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea, as well as a fever or flu-like symptoms. People who have experienced any of these symptoms within the previous 48 hours should not visit friends or relatives if they are in hospital, as the virus can still be easily spread from one person to the next. Periods of cold weather also tend to coincide with a lowering of people’s immune systems, making it even easier for illnesses to spread.

Julie Smith, Director of Nursing and Quality at MCHFT, which runs in Crewe, Victoria Infirmary in Northwich and Elmhurst Intermediate Care Centre in Winsford, said: “We are asking the public not to come into hospital to visit their friends or family over the winter period if they have recently felt unwell themselves, particularly if they have symptoms such as diarrhoea, nausea or vomiting, or have had flu or a fever over the past 48 hours. Patients who are in hospital tend to have a lowered immune system, resulting in them being more vulnerable to picking up bugs such as these.

“Rather than risk passing on infections by visiting in person, we would suggest phoning the ward to check on relatives. We are happy for patients to make and receive calls on their mobile telephones in day rooms, and staff can facilitate a bedside telephone call for those whose mobility is limited.

“The comfort and care of our patients remains our top priority, and with the help of our local community, we hope to limit the spread of Norovirus and other viruses which may affect our hospitals in the coming months.”

MCHFT already has stringent hygiene measures in place and a rigorous cleaning schedule across its hospitals. Visitors are asked to remember to wash their hands with soap and warm water when coming onto or leaving a ward area, and to use the hand gels provided at the entrance and exit to all patient areas.

The Trust’s Infection and Prevention Control Service and senior managers work closely with staff to ensure that infection control is of the highest possible standards. Recently, the Trust achieved its 21st consecutive month of reporting zero MRSA Bacteraemia cases, and is on track for achieving its Clostridium difficile (C-diff) target this year.

The NHS is also encouraging members of the public to utilise the range of services available to them, as part of its Choose Well campaign. This ranges from Self Care (where minor illnesses, ailments and injuries can be treated with a well-stocked medicine cabinet) and using your local pharmacy, through to visiting your GP, local Minor Injuries Unit or Urgent Care Centre. Accident and Emergency Departments, along with calling 999, should only be used in a critical or life-threatening situation. By ‘Choosing Well’, patients will ensure that they get the right treatment, whilst also helping the NHS to manage its resources for those who need them most.

For further information on the local Choose Well campaign, please visit www.cecpct.nhs.uk/choose-well.
See the original article here.


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About Norovirus

    Noroviruses are highly contagious and are transmitted via the faeces and vomit of infected people, either through direct contact or throught contaminated objects or via food and water. The incubation period is one to three days.

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