Norovirus outbreak at Infirmary

NHS Dumfries and Galloway were this week continuing to tackle a Norovirus outbreak which, at its peak, closed six wards at Dumfries Infirmary.

A cumulative total of 105 patients and 66 staff had been affected by the winter vomiting bug by Thursday since the outbreak began on 4 May.

Where circumstances are such that relatives and visitors are concerned about the need to visit loved ones, they are advised to contact the ward concerned for advice before coming to the hospital.

Members of the public are asked to adhere to the advice about handwashing and to use the hand hygene equipment in the ward.

The hospital’s Outbreak Control Team and infection control staff are continuing to monitor the situation closely throughout each day and is meeting daily to review the position.

According to Dr Martin Connor, Consultant Microbiologist who chairs the Outbreak Control Meetings:

“We are encouraged that we have, following the implementation of our outbreak control procedures, been able to plan for the re-opening of a number of wards in DGRI and returning them to normal operating status. However, we are not complacent and it is important that we all play our parts in minimising the spread of this bug as far as we can through good hygiene practise and in adhering to the appropriate control procedures. Norovirus is currently prevalent in our local communities and what we are seeing in our hospitals is a reflection of what is happening out there in the community and elsewhere in Scotland. Because we know it is in the community we are stressing the importance of avoiding visiting the hospital unless necessary and especially not to visit if any member of the public or their families are showing symptoms of the illness.”

* Following a special meeting of the NHS Dumfries and Galloway Board on Wednesday, a spokesman confirmed that two sites are under consideration for the proposed new Dumfries Infirmary.

He said: “Sites at Garroch and Summerfield are still under consideration and negotiations are ongoing on both these sites.

“As there are commercial sensitivities about the final choice of site, the NHS Board will make no further public announcemount at this time.”