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Hospital staff thanked for helping tackle norovirus
12:10pm Sunday 10th March 2013 in News
STAFF at the Alexandra Hospital have been thanked for their contribution to tackling the highly contagious norovirus, during the busy winter period.
The 130 strong team of Housekeepers at the hospital, which works 24-hours-a-day, has undergone specialist training to use Hydrogen Peroxide Vapour (HPV) fogging equipment, to deep clean areas affected by the winter vomiting bug.
So far they have carried out more than 100 HPV decontaminations, which aims to help control outbreaks quickly.
Heather Gentry, lead nurse infection prevention and control said: “The work of the housekeeping team has been essential to controlling norovirus outbreaks at the Alexandra Hospital.
“They are vital members of the whole hospital team, and crucial in our drive to prevent infection and maintain the high standards of cleanliness our patients, staff and public deserve.”
The Advertiser reported recently that norovirus is continuing to pile pressure on hospital wards not just at the Alex, but the Worcestershire Royal and Kidderminster Hospital.
At least 20 beds across the three hospital sites have been closed almost constantly since the start of November, with health chiefs reporting that levels of winter vomiting and diarrhoea are 30 per cent higher in Worcestershire than the rest of the West Midlands.
The highly contagious bug heaps pressure on hospitals as many patients cannot be sent home or into nursing homes and community hospitals because of the risk of spreading the infection.
During the height of the busy period accident and emergency departments were struggling under the strain.
Penny Venables, Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust chief executive, personally thanked the team in a surprise visit.
She said: “Housekeepers are a behind the scenes team, but their 24-hour-a-day work is essential to the running of the hospital.
“On behalf of the board, I’d like to thank the housekeeping team at the Alex for their hard work, and let them know how much they are appreciated.”
Ida Coombes, a housekeeper at the Alex, added: “I was really pleased about the surprise visit, it made me feel appreciated.
“It’s lovely to get compliments from patients, but it’s important to know that Penny recognises us too.”