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A&E Busy and Norovirus

Newsdate: 9 January 2017

Winter is traditionally the time of year that more people fall ill and that can put increased pressure on the Trust. The Christmas and New Year period has been a demanding time for the Trust and the country as a whole.

The presence of Norovirus, the winter vomiting bug, in the hospital and community, has added to the pressure the hospital is under. Over the past three weeks, the Trust has closed three wards to new admissions, these have now been reopened. However, Norovirus is still circulating within the hospital and in the community and wards continued to be monitored closely. Several care/nursing homes have also had to close their doors due to the virus. The closures meant that the number of beds, both in the hospital and in the community, was significantly reduced at a time when A&E was already in a very challenging position. This resulted in being unable to move patients through the hospital as quickly as we would like.

Our priority remains patient, public and staff safety, we are therefore appealing to members of the public to support the hospital by staying away if you have signs and/or symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting. This will protect our patients and our staff from contracting the virus. If you do come to the hospital, it is particularly important to use good hand washing and other hygienic practices as a matter of routine. This will help stop the spread of further infection.

Mary Fleming, Director of Operations and Performance states, ‘We are still anticipating that the significant pressures will remain within the hospital over the next couple of weeks as this is traditionally our busiest time of the year. We are asking the public to think twice and make sure they choose the right service. Making the right choice will ensure the right treatment is given as quickly as possible.’

A&E departments should only be used for serious illness.  They are there to provide immediate emergency care for people who show the symptoms such as blacking out, bleeding you can’t stop, severe chest pain, choking, loss of consciousness, stroke. These are all emergencies which require urgent hospital care.

Urgent appointments are available to see a GP between 6.30pm and 8pm weekdays and between 10am and 4pm on Saturday and Sunday.  If you are registered with a Wigan GP please telephone 01942 482848 and book yourself an urgent appointment.  Telephone lines are open 9.30am to 7.15pm weekdays and 9.30am to 3.15pm weekends and bank holidays.

Advice and guidance can also be sought from Pharmacist or NHS111, a confidential service for non-emergency medical help. It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is staffed by fully trained advisors and experienced clinicians. The Out of Hours GP Service can also be contacted through NHS111.
Thank you for your support.

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