December 16, 2008
The Royal Surrey County Hospital is asking for the public's help to ensure that it continues to run as smoothly as possible over the Christmas and New Year period.
The hospital is already experiencing a very busy period and all of our staff are working very hard to ensure that patients get the care and treatment they need.
In recent weeks there has been an increase in patients with respiratory illnesses and this has led to additional pressure being placed on beds, services and staff.
Director of Nursing and Operations and Deputy Chief Executive Sue Lewis said:
"All of our staff are doing a great job and are already working incredibly hard to care for our patients and to manage the increased numbers of people coming through our doors. We are asking for the public's support and help to get us through the Christmas and New Year period, when like most organisations we have less staff available to us.
"People should only come to A&E with a medical emergency. It is not for people with minor ailments and we ask that in this situation they seek alternative NHS care and advice from NHS Direct, a GP or pharmacist.
"Inappropriate A&E attendances make it harder for us to deal with all the emergency cases that do come in and it also means that patients sometimes have to wait longer to be seen and treated.
"We are also asking for the public's cooperation to ensure that the current outbreak in the community of norovirus causes minimum disruption to our services.
"We currently have a handful of cases of norovirus on some of our wards and are keen to keep the number of patients and staff affected to a minimum as that is an additional pressure we are keen to avoid.
"If visitors have symptoms please avoid visiting the hospital until two days after they have cleared up. We are fortunate that so far the current outbreak has caused very little disruption, but we are now asking for the public's help and cooperation to keep it that way."
Norovirus is more commonly known as winter vomiting and diarrhoea. The Royal Surrey is not experiencing huge numbers of cases, but the public are asked not to visit the hospital if they have been unwell or suffered from vomiting and diarrhoea in the last 48 hours. The norovirus is very common in the community between December and February and is very easily spread.
Visitors and patients are also asked to not bring food or flowers into the hospital.
NHS Direct can be contacted on 0845 46 47.
More information about NHS services in Surrey during Christmas and New Year can be found online at: http://www.surreyhealth.nhs.uk/
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