Health and care services in Gloucestershire are keen to help stop the spread of Norovirus, protect vulnerable patients and support NHS services.

Local health services have issued advice to the public as an increasing number of Norovirus cases are identified in the community and in hospital.

The important campaign messages are:

  • Do not visit healthcare facilities like hospitals if you have had diarrhoea and/or vomiting until three days after symptoms have stopped (even if these were mild symptoms)
  • Do not visit friends or relatives in hospital if you have recently been in contact with anyone who has diarrhoea and/or vomiting
  • Always wash your hands frequently with warm water and soap. You should always do this after using the toilet and before preparing food. This is good practice whether or not you have symptoms
  • Do not handle or prepare food for other people until you have been free of symptoms for a minimum of three days
  • If you, or someone you care for, needs medical advice call NHS111 (or phone your GP surgery if you need medical assistance)

Self-care advice:

  • If you are unwell and have symptoms of norovirus, stay at home as norovirus is contagious
  • Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration and take paracetamol for any fever, aches and pains
  • If you feel like eating, eat foods that are easy to digest
  • If your symptoms last longer than a few days or if you already have a serious illness, call NHS111 or your GP surgery for advice

Banners, posters and leaflets carrying the key Combat Norovirus campaign messages are available at healthcare facilities across the county, including hospitals and GP surgeries.

Leaflets for relatives explaining how to protect vulnerable patients are available from healthcare staff, and campaign information and resources is available on NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group’s website here and through social media channels.

Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Director of Infection Prevention and Control Maggie Arnold said:

“We are encouraging all our staff and visitors to get behind this important campaign and help tackle the spread of Norovirus head on. Anyone visiting our hospitals will not fail to see the campaign messages – we just need every individual to take it to heart and help protect our vulnerable patients.”

Director of Nursing and Quality at Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust Liz Fenton said:

“We fully support this campaign and will be working with our colleagues across the county to reinforce these key messages to prevent the spread of Norovirus to our patients and service users.

We would really encourage the public to take the campaign messages to heart. By taking a few preventative steps to stop the spread  we can help to reduce the pressure on the health and social care community, including hospitals, care homes and other health services.”

Clinical Chair at NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group and local GP, Dr Helen Miller, said:

“The campaign reinforces our shared responsibility to combat the spread of Norovirus in the interests of patients, staff, relatives and the NHS as a whole. We urge everyone to take heed of the important messages and act responsibly – it could make a real difference and could even save lives.”