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Norovirus closes two wards at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary

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Wards 12 and 18 at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary are currently closed due to confirmed Norovirus outbreak.

A total of nineteen patients and three members of staff have been affected since Friday 1 May.

It's believed the "winter vomiting bug" is circulating throughout Dumfries and Galloway at the moment.

Members of the public who have symptoms of vomiting and diarrhoea are asked not to visit the hospital until 48 hours after symptoms have resolved.

Police probe hospital death

The woman died at the Cumberland Infirmary Credit: ITV Border

Police in Cumbria are investigating after the death of a woman at a hospital in Carlisle.

The probe is being carried out after a 57-year-old woman died at the Cumberland Infirmary on Sunday.

North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust has promised there will be a "full and thorough investigation" to determine what happened.

We are saddened to confirm that a patient safety incident has taken place and we have declared this in line with our incident reporting process.

“The Trust is now supporting our staff to take all required immediate steps and we will conduct a full and thorough investigation.

Our thoughts are with the family at this very difficult time.”

– Spokesperson, North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust

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NHS Borders appeals for return of unused medication

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Patients across the Scottish Borders are being urged to return stocks of unused medication after new figures revealed more than £600,000 is wasted each year in the region on unwanted medicines.

NHS Borders is using Medicines Waste Awareness Week (11-15 May) to say to people: "Don't be a Borders hoarder."

Over the course of the week the public are being asked to check their cupboards for stocks of unused or unwanted medicines and return them to their local pharmacy where they can be disposed of safely.

“Many people do not complete a course of medicine, or frequently tick all the boxes on repeat prescriptions, even if those medicines are no longer required. The medicines are then just tidied away into a cupboard and forgotten about. Not only is this a waste of money, but it could also be dangerous if the medicines get into the wrong hands.

“During Medicines Waste Awareness Week we are asking everyone to look inside your cupboards and to return all unwanted and unused medicines to your community pharmacy, where they will be safely disposed off. Elderly people and those with multiple long term conditions may have large stocks of medicines they don’t need, so please encourage your family and friends to do the same, and offer to help elderly relatives or people you care for.

“While you’re at the pharmacy, let the pharmacist take a look at your list of prescribed medicines. They will be able to give you advice on whether you would benefit from a medicines review."

– NHS Borders Director of Pharmacy, Alison Wilson

NHS Borders estimates that at least £600,000 is wasted every year on unused medicine. To put it into context that could pay for:

  • 20 additional nurses per year – GP practice nurses or hospital nurses (which would staff a 15 bedded ward)
  • 250 additional children's operations each year
  • 300 additional births per year
  • 35 additional domestics each year to keep our hospitals clean
  • 10,000 additional physio appointments each year
  • 4,000 additional outpatient appointments each year

Norovirus: unnecessary visitors asked to avoid Borders General Hospital

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Borders General Hospital has asked the public to avoid visiting this weekend"unless absolutely necessary" following an outbreak of norovirus.

The Department of Medicine for the Elderly at the hospital is currently closed to admissions and two bays in Ward 4 are also closed.

In addition, two bays at Haylodge Hospital in Peebles have been closed due to patients experiencing symptoms of the winter vomiting bug.

If visiting this weekend is absolutely necessary, staff have warned that visits should be limited to two visitors per patient at any one time and that visits with children are being actively discouraged.

In order to safeguard vulnerable patients and enable us to limit the spread of this highly infectious virus, members of the public are being asked not to visit relatives and friends at the BGH this weekend unless absolutely necessary.

“The hospital can be very busy at the weekends with visitors. In order to control the spread of Norovirus we urge the public to comply with our request and to stay away from the hospital.

"The D&V illness is usually over within 48 hrs, but is highly infectious, which is why NHS Borders needs to limit the number of people moving in and out of the hospital.

"The last time we issued a request of this nature the co-operation from the public was incredibly helpful, and we would be most grateful once again for people to take our advice and please stay away.”

– Evelyn Rodger, NHS Borders Director of Nursing and Midwifery

NHS Trust 'welcomes open and honest debate'

NHS Credit: PA

North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust has responded to the Royal College of Nursing's six-point plan to improve healthcare in the region.

The Trust says it welcomes "open and honest debate":

The Trust very much welcomes an open and honest debate about how we can create safe and sustainable services for the future.

We are committed to playing our part in integrating care across primary, acute and social care and working closely with colleagues in partner organisations to address the challenges we all face. Providing safe and sustainable services for the long-term is our absolute priority and this, in turn, will help us to attract more staff to work in North Cumbria. The Trust Board has recognised that we need further investment into nursing recruitment and development – something I feel very strongly about.

This year we are seeing two intakes of student nurses at the University of Cumbria and the nursing cadet scheme at Lakes College is fantastic. We are also continuing to recruit international nurses as we closely monitor our nurse staffing levels to ensure safe care at all times.

As nurses, midwives and allied health professionals, we have a privileged and unique opportunity to directly shape the experiences of our patients and their families/carers. It is my absolute belief that by working together across organisational boundaries and with a clear sense of direction and identified priorities, we can lead the way in standards of care, education and clinical research, to meet the challenges we collectively face in Cumbria.”

– Gail Naylor, executive director of nursing & midwifery at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust

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New car park opens at Borders General Hospital

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An extra thirty-eight long stay parking spaces are now open for use at the Borders General Hospital.

The new Car Park 8, which was built after safety concerns were raised by patients, visitors, and staff, was completed last week.

It's hoped the new facility will free up more short stay spaces situated closer to the hospital for patients and visitors to use during clinic and visiting times.

"Inconsiderate and inappropriate parking on the Borders General Hospital site was increasing and was putting people at risk.

In recognising this we took proactive action to address the problems that were being experienced and we continue to monitor the use of the car parks to allow further developments, such as creating these additional spaces."

– EVELYN RODGER, INTERIM DIRECTOR OF ACUTE SERVICES

New car park opens at Borders General Hospital

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An extra thirty-eight long stay parking spaces are now open for use at the Borders General Hospital.

The new Car Park 8, which was built after safety concerns were raised by patients, visitors, and staff, was completed last week.

It's hoped the new facility will free up more short stay spaces situated closer to the hospital for patients and visitors to use during clinic and visiting times.

"Inconsiderate and inappropriate parking on the Borders General Hospital site was increasing and was putting people at risk.

In recognising this we took proactive action to address the problems that were being experienced and we continue to monitor the use of the car parks to allow further developments, such as creating these additional spaces."

– Evelyn Rodger, Interim Director of Acute Services

Nursing union proposes improvements to healthcare in Cumbria

Royal College of Nursing Credit: PA

The Royal College of Nursing is launching its vision for the future of healthcare in Cumbria.

At the moment all the major hospitals in the county are in special measures after a number of failings were identified.

The RCN is asking all the prospective parliamentary candidates in Cumbria to sign up to a series of principles, aimed at bringing long-term improvements to the county's healthcare.

Norovirus closes parts of Borders General Hospital

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The Department of Medicine for the Elderly (DME) at the Borders General Hospital is currently closed to admissions due norovirus.

One bay in Ward 4 has also been also closed.

Visiting the DME is strongly discouraged at this time, and the general advice is to stay away from any hospital ward if you, or anyone in your family, has experienced symptoms of diarrhoea and/or vomiting in the past 48 hours

It is vital to protect yourselves and your loved ones from catching this unpleasant virus. Patients, visitors and staff can help minimise the spread by complying with instructions given by staff and paying attention to the signs at the entrances to the hospital and wards.”

– Dr Tim Patterson, NHS Borders’ Consultant in Public Health Medicine
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