Tips for staying well this winter from West Suffolk Hospital
PUBLISHED: 10:00 24 November 2015
Visitors to West Suffolk Hospital are being given practical tips on how to guard against illnesses such as flu and norovirus this winter.
During a week-long event which started yesterday, information is being made available on everything from keeping warm to having the flu jab and eating well.
Advice about the best ways to treat common illnesses such as coughs and colds is also being handed out and people are being reminded of the wide range of services available at their local pharmacy.
Tomorrow and Friday, staff from the infection prevention and housekeeping teams will also be stressing the importance of good hand hygiene, which reduces people’s risk of contracting contagious illnesses.
They will give visitors a chance to test out the hospital’s high-tech portable sinks, which are fully automated and feature a video screen which counts down to make sure they wash their hands for the full 15 seconds required to kill a virus.
The sinks are usually positioned outside wards or near the hospital’s front entrance during norovirus outbreaks to limit the spread of the infection.
Rowan Procter, interim chief nurse at the hospital, said: “We hope that this week-long campaign will give patients and visitors to the hospital lots of useful tips and practical advice to help them stay well this winter.”
According to the hospital, up to half of men and a quarter of women fail to wash their hands after they’ve been to the toilet. Alarmingly, between two and 10 million bacteria can be found between the average fingertip and elbow.
Ms Procter continued: “By following some simple advice at home, such as making sure they keep warm, eat a good diet and wash their hands after using the loo and before preparing food, people can help protect themselves from a range of illnesses.
“As well as helping individuals to stay well, following these steps will also have a knock-on effect at the hospital as it will reduce the risk of visitors passing on illnesses such as norovirus and the flu onto our patients.
“The public can play a really important role in making sure this doesn’t happen simply by following good hygiene practices and regularly washing their hands.”
Anyone who has had diarrhoea or vomiting should stay away from the hospital for at least 48 hours after they have recovered to reduce the risk of passing on the illness.
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