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Ban on visiting Raigmore Hospital in Inverness after norovirus hits three wards

By Andrew Dixon

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Raigmore Hospital.
Raigmore Hospital.

NHS Highland has placed a temporary suspension on visiting at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness to help staff deal with cases of diarrhoea and vomiting.

Wards 5C and 6C were closed to new admissions last week due to several patients experiencing symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting. Ward 7A has also been closed to new admissions today for the same reasons.

Norovirus has been confirmed on all three wards.

The hospital's infection prevention and control team are monitoring the situation and have placed a temporary suspension on all non-essential visiting throughout the hospital to prevent the spread of the virus.

Dr Adam Brown, NHS Highland’s consultant microbiologist, said: “Staff across NHS Highland are working very hard to reduce the risk of these infections spreading further across the hospital and we continue to appeal for support from the public to help with this.

“We have now put in place a temporary suspension of visiting for all visitors for overall patient safety and to prevent further potential spread throughout the hospital. It will help us in respecting our patients’ privacy and dignity at a time when many are experiencing distressing symptoms and will also help in preventing the spread of norovirus to visitors.

Exceptions will be made for patients receiving end of life care or for those who are critically ill.

“Exceptions will be made for patients receiving end of life care or for those who are critically ill. If you feel that visiting is essential please contact the ward first by phone before coming to the hospital. Please do not visit the ward unless by prior arrangement with the nurse in charge.”

A spokeswoman for NHS Highland said: "If you, or anyone you live with, has had symptoms of diarrhoea and/or vomiting please refrain from visiting a hospital or care home setting until you have been symptom free for 72 hours."

Dr Brown added: “We are grateful for the support staff across all our hospitals in NHS Highland are receiving from the public at the moment and appreciate everyone’s understanding and co-operation at this time.”

The temporary suspension of visiting will be reviewed at the end of this week.

Related article: Another ward closed at NHS Highland's Raigmore Hospital in Inverness

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