More wards open at Pilgrim as norovirus outbreak is contained

Pilgrim Hospital, Boston.
Pilgrim Hospital, Boston.

Four more wards are set to reopen at Pilgrim Hospital in Boston as the situation regarding the norovirus outbreak eases.

The hospital is now accepting admissions onto ward 6A. This takes the number of wards closed due to the outbreak down to five.

With fewer patients and staff now showing active symptoms, the hospital is also looking to open three more wards on Saturday.

Although the situation has improved, restrictions are still in place and the hospital is advising anyone who wants to visit a friend or relative in hospital to ring the ward before visiting. The ward will then advise whether it is appropriate to come to the hospital or not. Wards can be contacted via the main switchboard at Pilgrim on 01205 364801.

Dr Suneil Kapadia, Medical Director at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Our staff are working incredibly hard to contain the outbreak and support patients and families. I’d also like to thank all those people who have stayed away from hospital.

“Norovirus is the most common cause of stomach bugs. The virus is easily transmitted from one person to another by contact with an infected person or through contaminated food or drink, or touching contaminated surfaces or objects. Around 12 to 48 hours after becoming infected, the virus causes sudden onset of nausea followed by projectile vomiting and diarrhoea. Therefore it’s really important to make sure that we protect vulnerable patients and hospital staff.

“This is why we are asking everyone considering visiting a friend or relative in hospital to think carefully about whether they need to come if they have experienced diarrhoea, vomiting or flu-like symptoms in the past four days. Before visiting a loved one in hospital, please call ahead to talk to staff to make sure it’s the best thing to do.

“We know that sometimes visitors feel that they must take every opportunity to visit sick friends or relatives, however if they themselves have been unwell, they could be putting others at risk.”

The two wards that remain closed will only reopen for admissions once the patients have been discharged and the area has been symptom free for up to 72 hours. Then the wards will need to be deep cleaned to eliminate all signs of the virus.

If you have norovirus, the best thing you can do is rest, and take plenty of non-caffeinated drinks to avoid dehydration.

People worried about prolonged symptoms, should contact NHS 111 or ring their GP surgery. They will provide advice for people who are at the greatest risk from dehydration from diarrhoea and vomiting, such as children under the age of five or the elderly.