Local Hospitals Ask People with Winter Vomiting Bug to Stay Away

While access for visitors is restricted at Chelsea and Westminster

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Chelsea and Westminster Hospital

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust


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Local hospitals, including Chelsea and Westminster, Charing Cross and Hammersmith, are asking people who think they may have the Novovirus bug to stay at home.

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital say they recognise that visitors are important to patients’ wellbeing, but at this time of year the risk of visitors spreading Norovirus (diarrhoea and vomiting—D&V), colds and flu is so high that they need to restrict visiting to ensure the safety of our patients and staff.

The hospital add that they are asking for your co-operation to ensure that they can deliver safe care.

If you have had diarrhoea or vomiting in the last 72 hours you should not visit a patient under any circumstances. You may still be infectious.

If you are visiting please clean your hands before contact with your relative and before leaving the ward.

Visitor restrictions:

  • General Wards: Limited to two visitors per patient.  In the event of an outbreak of D&V visiting will be restricted further.
  • Intensive Care Unit (ICU) / Burns ICU and High Dependency Unit (HDU): Immediate family only
  • Children’s Wards and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU): Child’s parents only
  • Maternity: Mother’s partner or other named support person only

These measures are temporary but will be in effect until further notice to ensure the safety and wellbeing of patients and visitors.

If you have had diarrhoea or vomiting in the last 72 hours and need to reschedule an outpatient appointment, please contact the hospital on 020 3315 6666 to arrange another appointment date.

Chelsea and Westminster Chief Nurse and Director of Patient Flow and Experience, Therese Davis says: " We do not take this decision to restrict visiting lightly—we know it causes upset for the family and friends, and the patients themselves who look forward to seeing their loved ones.

" Please be assured that our patients have been informed that visitors have been restricted and there is a phone by every bed so that you can either speak or leave a message for patients.

" If you would like to discuss this further, please speak to the nurse in charge by calling our switchboard on 020 8746 8000 and asking for the ward where your relative is being cared for. Thank you for your co-operation at this difficult time."

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, comprising Charing Cross, Hammersmith, Queen Charlotte's & Chelsea, St Mary's and Western Eye hospitals, also says it is vital that anyone who is feeling unwell with an upset stomach, vomiting or diarrhoea should not visit hospitals because this increases the risk of spreading the infection to patients and staff.

Norovirus is the most common stomach bug in the UK, affecting people of all ages. You should seek medical attention if you have symptoms and:

  • You already have a serious illness
  • The patient is a child under six months old
  • Your symptoms persist for more than three or four days

You can seek medical attention by contacting NHS Direct on 0845 46 47, visiting www.nhsdirect.nhs or contacting your GP.

Imperial add that you are a patient with Norovirus symptoms and are attending A&E or any other hospital service, please inform staff as soon as you arrive.


January 8, 2013