NHS Western Isles is issuing infection control advice to anyone visiting Ospadal Uibhist agus Bharraigh in Benbecula, as a number of current inpatients have tested positive for Clostridium Difficile (C Diff).
NHS Western Isles will not be confirming the exact number of inpatients affected, as individuals would be easily identifiable, but the Board can confirm that numbers confirmed in the hospital are less than five.
Thorough investigations are currently underway to establish how the cases have arisen and an infection prevention and control review has been undertaken to confirm that patients in Benbecula are not at increased risk of C Diff infection.
NHS Western Isles Nurse Director/Chief Operating Officer Nigel Hobson stressed that it is not unusual for there to be cases of C Diff in any hospital but highlighted that the impact of this situation is being taken very seriously. He also reiterated that thorough investigations are underway.
“Measures have been implemented to allow enhanced cleaning to continue and to minimise the risk of any infection spreading,” said Mr Hobson. “The affected patients are being treated in single rooms, as is normal practice.”
The inpatient ward in Ospadal Uibhist agus Bharraigh in Benbecula has been closed to inpatient admissions until further notice as an infection control precaution, to minimise the spread of infection.
All other services in the hospital will continue as normal, including outpatient services and Accident and Emergency.
Infection control precautions, including ongoing enhanced cleaning of the hospital, have been implemented.
All affected patients and their families have been informed of the situation and the patients affected are being treated in isolation, to minimise the risk of any spread of
NHS Western Isles is undertaking investigations into the cases to establish what, if any, linkages there are between any of the patients.
In the meantime, patients in the Uists who require admission to hospital as an inpatient will either be transferred to Western Isles Hospital in Stornoway or to a mainland hospital.
Advice for visitors
If you are visiting a patient in Ospadal Uibhist agus Bharraigh, try to avoid taking any children under the age of 12 with you.
You should also:
· wash your hands with soap and water when entering and leaving ward areas;
· avoid healthcare environments if you are feeling unwell or have recently had diarrhoea;
· observe visiting hours and all visiting guidelines;
· visit only one patient; do not visit a number of different patients during the one visit; and
· speak to the nurse on duty if you are in doubt or have any questions or concerns.