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Hospital ward reopens after three-week closure for infection control

PUBLISHED: 15:11 30 May 2018 | UPDATED: 15:11 30 May 2018

Oxborough and Necton Ward sign at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn. Photo: The Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Oxborough and Necton Ward sign at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn. Photo: The Queen Elizabeth Hospital

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital

An entire hospital ward had been shut for three weeks for a deep clean as part of an infection control measure.

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian BurtThe Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

The Oxborough ward at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in King’s Lynn closed to new admissions on Friday, May 4 and patients were transferred to an alternative ward.

The 33-bed specialist rehabilitation ward was closed for three weeks for a deep clean and reopened on Friday, May 25.

Emma Hardwick, chief nurse, said: “Whilst closed the ward received a deep clean as is normal in these circumstances, we also took the opportunity to carry out essential repairs.

“Patients were kept informed during this time and moved to an alternate ward to ensure they continued to receive safe and appropriate care.”

An infection control banner was placed outside the Queen Elizabeth Hospital last year. Picture: Chris BishopAn infection control banner was placed outside the Queen Elizabeth Hospital last year. Picture: Chris Bishop

A report by the hospital chief executive Jon Green states that the ward had closed for repairs and a deep clean following infection, prevention and control (IPC) issues.

It continues: “Whilst consistent delivery relies on many factors including antibiotic use, standards of cleaning and good systems, the one thing that we are all responsible for are our own infection control behaviours.

“We often talk about targets and wards closing and how not washing your hands affects the hospital. Whilst all this is true I recently started a number of short briefings which clearly explain to staff the human cost of spreading infection.”

The briefings include a short video which demonstrates the physical and physiological effects of hospital infections on an elderly woman and her daughter.

“We are doing this to remind everyone of just how important infection control is,” Mr Green said in his report.

“Whilst this is aimed at clinical staff as they have most contact, and more importantly multiple patient contacts, we all have a part to play and remember to do the right thing every time.”

In November last year, a banner was placed outside the QEH to encourage visitors to wash their hands with soap in the sinks provided after it saw a surge in the number of patients with symptoms of Clostridium difficile, also known as C.diff, a bacterium that can infect the bowel and cause diarrhoea.


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