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Borders hospital ward remains shut by norovirus

Borders General Hospital. Credit: ITV Border

Ward Four at the Borders General Hospital remains shut, because of a norovirus outbreak.

NHS Borders says the situation is being managed by its Infection Prevention and Control Team, with support from frontline colleagues.

I would like to thank the public for their co-operation in limiting visits to the hospital whilst norovirus is present.

Over the weekend visitors to Ward 4 remain strongly discouraged, 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.”

– Evelyn Rodger, Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Acute Services

Norovirus is one of the most common causes of diarrhoea and vomiting illness. It is very infectious and spreads quickly between people. This is why outbreaks happen in hospitals where a number of people are sharing facilities. However it doesn’t just occur in hospitals, and can start abruptly and spread quickly through communities.

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 Ed James, Consultant Microbiologist


NHS Borders: Cancelled operations double

Borders General Hospital Credit: ITV Border

NHS Borders have put the high level of cancelled operations in August down to a failure in a specialist ventilation system used in the operating theatre.

Explaining the health board’s commitment to patient safety, Evelyn Rodger, Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Acute Services said:

I recognise that a cancelled procedure is extremely frustrating for a patient and their family. The safety and clinical needs of our patients will always be considered first.

The failure of the laminar air flow system has had quite an impact on our theatre cancellations this month. Immediate action was taken to fix the problem with this highly specialist piece of equipment, but it did mean that one of the theatres was out of action for four days.

August also saw a high number of emergency admissions requiring surgery, which meant that in nine cases, the emergency procedures took clinical priority.

No one takes a decision to cancel a procedure lightly – it matters too much to our patients - and a dedicated piece of work is underway to improve our performance in this area.”

– Evelyn Rodger, Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Acute Services

Jim Hume, Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP for South Scotland and health spokesperson, has said that the SNP Government needs address why NHS Borders is continuing to cancel operations for non-clinical reasons.

The comments came after the numbers released show the percentage of cancelled operations in NHS Borders is higher than the national average.

The latest statistics show that 7.7% of operations were cancelled in the Borders due to capacity or non-clinical reasons in August, twice that of recent months (3.8% in July and 3.9% in June).

of operations were cancelled in the Borders due to capacity or non-clinical reasons in August.

Mr Hume commented:

Questions need to be asked of the Health Secretary as to why NHS Borders is continually being forced to cancel operations due to capacity or non-clinical reasons, and why there’s now a doubling of cancellations since June.

Clearly the SNP Government isn’t putting enough support where it should be, resulting in staff shortages and added pressure on existing staff. That’s no good for patient health and safety, and it’s no good for staff morale.

A lack of support from the SNP government means our hard working NHS staff are consistently being asked to do more with less, and patients are being made to take the hit through cancelled operations.”

– Jim Hume, Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP

Ewan Jones, 11, raises money for children's ward

Ewan presents the cheques. Credit: NHS Borders

An 11-year-old boy from Galashiels has raised £354 for the Children's Ward at the Borders General Hospital, and the Scottish Network for Arthritis in Children.

Ewan Jones ran up and down all three of the Eildon peaks in the Scottish Borders.

He was diagnosed with a rare eye condition called Iritis, almost three years ago.

Ewan’s story is quite remarkable. He treats life with great determination; he has overcome his illness with great determination and ran over the Eildons with great determination, especially given the torrential rain on the day.

We are really proud of him and delighted that he has raised this money for the Ward.”

– Mandy Headspeath, NHS Borders

Borders Hospital to be criticised in report

Borders General Hospital Credit: ITV Border

A report due to published today is expected to criticise hygiene and cleanliness at the Borders General Hospital.

The Health Environment Inspectorate report will be particularly critical of conditions in operating theatres.

An action plan to improve cleaning techniques at the hospital has already been put in place.


Plan to improve hygiene at Borders General Hospital

Borders General Hospital. Credit: ITV Border

An action plan to improve cleanliness and hygiene techniques has been put in place at operating theatres at Borders General Hospital.

The move comes ahead of a report by the Scottish government's Health Environment Inspectorate, which is expected to be critical.

Norovirus: unnecessary visitors asked to avoid Borders General Hospital

Credit: ITV Border

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

New car park opens at Borders General Hospital

Credit: ITV Border

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."

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