Hospital Illness Outbreaks In Spotlight As New Figures Released

PHE Figures Issued As Worcestershire Royal Hospital And Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre Are Amongst Latest Affected

17.09.2014

New figures published by Public Health England (PHE) have revealed that 17 illness outbreaks at hospitals were reported to the body during August, with 11 recorded by PHE as ‘due to norovirus.’

The latest statistics covered the period from Week 32 to 35 this year, the latter being the week beginning August 25th.

According to PHE, the figures took the total number of reported outbreaks across 2014 to 421, with 94 per cent leading to ward closures and 65 per cent being confirmed as due to norovirus.

Concerns regarding the issue of illness in hospital have continued in recent weeks with wards being closed at both the Worcestershire Royal Hospital in Worcester and the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham due to such problems.

Worcester News reported that four wards at Worcestershire Royal Hospital were closed to visitors for two days last week as a result of the illness issues, and enhanced cleaning was carried out on the affected wards in an effort to contain the virus.

In addition, the Nottingham Post reported on September 10th  that four wards had been closed to new arrivals at the Queen’s Medical Centre due to similar illness issues. Norovirus has reportedly been identified as the cause of the problems in three wards, with tests continuing in one other.

Anyone who is concerned that they are suffering from symptoms has been asked to stay away from the hospital for 72 hours.

Expert Opinion
It is worrying to see so many hospital wards have been closed in relation to reports of illness problems in recent weeks and recent months.

"As a result of our work on behalf of those affected by illness outbreaks, we have seen how illnesses such as norovirus can have long-term consequences for those affected– significantly disrupting their lives and in some cases leading to further health problems.

"Gathering as much information as possible is vital in order to ensure that lessons can be learned which will prevent these issues from being repeated."
Amandeep Dhillon, Partner