Infection expert to help stop winter bug at Romford hospital

The UK’s top infection-busting expert has been drafted into Romford’s main hospital to help fight the notorious winter vomiting bug.

Dr Ian Hosein, the first director of Infection Prevention and Control in the country, is working with staff at Queen’s Hospital, in Rom Valley Way, and also at King George Hospital, in Goodmayes, to reinforce good practices to prevent norovirus.

Dr Hosein said: “Norovirus is one of the most infectious agents that we face in the NHS, and it causes significant disruption to the services hospitals can provide. The virus always begins with spread in the wider community and then it gets into hospitals.

“Our staff are being optimally trained to prevent, contain and ultimately defeat this threat. But, we do need the help of the wider public. They could bring the virus into a hospital with them if they have recently been ill, or bring in contaminated food items.”

Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the hospitals, have issued this advice:

1. Be careful with food hygiene. Think about how you prepare food for yourselves and where you eat.

2. If you get symptoms of vomiting or diarrhoea, do not come into hospital to see your friends or relatives. You may give the virus to them as well as other patients and staff. The virus continues to shed from you even after you feel better so leave at least two days after you have stopped feeling unwell before you consider coming into hospital as a visitor.

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3. Do not bring in food for your relatives unless pre-wrapped and from a recognised commercial source.

4. Hands must be washed when you get to our hospitals at sinks on the wards.

5. Use the alcohol gel provided frequently. Dispensers are located throughout the hospitals.

Dr Hosein said: “Helping us to defeat the winter vomiting virus means that we will have as many hospital beds available as possible, and we will be better able to care for those who need our help.”