NHS leaders call on patients with norovirus to stay away from hospital

Published on Feb 1, 2019

The local NHS in Scarborough and Ryedale is calling on residents and communities for help to prevent the spread of norovirus.

York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has taken the unusual step of restricting visiting to York Hospital “for the safety of patients and staff” after an outbreak of the winter vomiting bug and the closure of wards.

Norovirus is also affecting several wards at Scarborough and Bridlington Hospitals, with people urged to think twice before visiting loved ones.

Anyone who thinks they may have flu or norovirus is advised not to visit a GP surgery, but to stay at home and call NHS 111 for advice if necessary.

NHS Scarborough and Ryedale CCG Associate Chair, Dr Peter Billingsley, said: “When we have loved ones who are poorly and in hospital, it’s natural we want to be with them, even if we’re feeling under the weather ourselves. However, norovirus is particularly contagious and the risk of passing these infections on to the person you are visiting in hospital who may already be quite ill – as well as other sick people and hospital staff – is extremely high.”

Beverley Geary, Chief Nurse at York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, added: “Over the past few weeks we have experienced a high level of norovirus at York Hospital which has resulted in the closure of wards in order to stop the spread, which means we have reduced bed capacity. Closing wards can help to contain the virus but visitors play a huge part in preventing the continued spread of the infection.

“The safety of our patients is our top priority. While we recognise the importance of having people visit when you are in hospital, we now need to introduce these measures in order to protect our patients, as well as keeping our staff safe, well and able to come into work.”

Norovirus is the most common stomach bug in the UK. Like the flu, it spreads rapidly in closed environments such as hospitals, schools and care homes. It can be spread through contact with an infected person, by contact with contaminated surfaces or by consuming contaminated food or water.

Typical symptoms of a norovirus infection include the sudden onset of projectile vomiting and watery diarrhoea. Some people also experience headaches, mild temperature and stomach cramps.

There is no treatment for norovirus but it is important people who have the winter vomiting bug keep hydrated to combat the loss of fluids. People with norovirus will recover in a day or two, but will remain infectious for up to three days after recovery.

There are simple steps people can take to reduce the risk of spreading norovirus:-

Thorough hand washing – wet, lather, scrub, rinse and dry

Don’t prepare food while infected

Immediately clean and disinfect surfaces after episodes of diarrhoea and vomiting

Wash clothes and bed linen that may be contaminated thoroughly

Drink plenty of fluids – stay away from caffeine and pay particular attention to the young and elderly for signs of dehydration

For more information please visit www.nhs.uk/norovirus

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Ambulance trust awarded integrated urgent care contract

Published on Jan 23, 2019

NHS Commissioners in Yorkshire and the Humber have (22 January 2019) announced that Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust has been awarded a contract to provide integrated urgent care services across the region for the next five years.

The contract, worth £17.6 million in 2019/20, has been developed in line with a new national service specification to provide the region’s population of 5.4 million with access, where appropriate, to clinical advice and treatment when they have an urgent healthcare need. The contract incorporates the NHS 111 call handling service with core clinical advice and will feature a range of developments, including being able to issue prescriptions and increasing the number of bookings into GP and urgent care appointments.

Agencies across the Yorkshire and Humber region have worked together to commission NHS 111 telephony, a call handling service and core Clinical Advice Service (CAS). The contract award follows a nine-month long procurement process undertaken on behalf of the region’s twenty-one Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) along with NHS England North Region – Yorkshire and the Humber.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service currently provides the NHS 111 service across Yorkshire and the Humber. The Trust is now working with commissioners to implement the new service, which will start on 1 April 2019.

Martin Pursey, Head of Contracting and Procurement at NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG, which is the lead commissioning organisation for the service, said: “I have confidence that by working together with the ambulance service, we will be in a strong position to meet the ongoing and developing requirements in respect of integrated urgent care across our region and through this, ensure that more people receive care and support out of hospital”.

Rod Barnes, Chief Executive of Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said: “Having provided the region’s high performing and well regarded NHS 111 service for the last six years, the opportunity for the Trust to transition to the new Integrated Urgent Care service is warmly welcomed.

“In line with our Trust’s strategic ambitions to ensure patients and communities experience fully joined-up care responsive to their needs and with excellent outcomes, we are excited to have the opportunity to develop our NHS 111 service to deliver integrated urgent car through collaboration with primary care colleagues, other providers and commissioners.”

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CCG welcomes funding boost for Scarborough Hospital

Published on Dec 20, 2018

NHS Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has welcomed a £40 million funding boost to upgrade Scarborough Hospital’s emergency department.

The money will be used to create a Combined Emergency Assessment Unit, which will help staff assess patients more quickly and make sure they get the right type of treatment sooner.

Part of a successful £88.5 million bid submitted through the Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership, it will take investment in buildings and infrastructure at Scarborough Hospital to more than £80 million since 2012.

NHS Scarborough and Ryedale CCG Chairman, Dr Phil Garnett, said: “This is fantastic news for hospital services in Scarborough and should be loudly welcomed by patients.

“The money will be used to create a first-class assessment centre at Scarborough Hospital and demonstrates the commitment of York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to maintaining and improving services for patients in the town and surrounding area.

“Importantly, we also believe it will make Scarborough Hospital a much more attractive place to work and will help tackle some of the retention and recruitment difficulties faced by the Trust in recent years.”

Mike Proctor, Chief Executive of York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is the news we’ve been waiting for and is fantastic for both patients and staff, signaling our commitment to investing in Scarborough Hospital.

“This much-needed development means we can improve and streamline how patients are assessed, admitted and treated, which should reduce the time that people wait in the department and ultimately improve patient safety.”

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Scarborough Acute Services Review

Published on Nov 20, 2018

York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Scarborough and Ryedale CCG and East Riding CCG, working under the auspices of the Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership, have agreed to undertake an independent review of the configuration of Scarborough acute services.

If you want to read more information on the review you can visit the Humber, Coast and Vale website, here.

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Assurances over Scarborough Hospital future

Published on Oct 15, 2018

You may have seen recent social media posts or heard rumours about the future of Scarborough Hospital.

York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Scarborough and Ryedale CCG and East Riding CCG, working under the auspices of the Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership, are undertaking an independent review of the configuration of Scarborough acute services.

This review is at a very early stage, and contrary to what has been reported in the media and on social media, we are not in formal consultation and there are no proposals for what any of our services might look like in the future.

The review is looking at the services that are currently provided and through detailed analysis will seek to understand the health needs of our population now, what they might look like in the future, and how these might be met.

We have been as open as possible and involved as many clinicians as we can in the early stage of this review. This work is likely to take many months and there will be opportunities for staff and the public to get involved.

The events that are taking place this week (Monday 15 October in Scarborough and Tuesday 16 October in Bridlington) are not to consult on proposals, as no proposals have been developed.

The meetings, aimed at people who are members of various local health networks and groups, are to seek input into the development of evaluation criteria on options for sustainable services in Scarborough.

Healthcare is changing, people are living longer and there is a growing need for different types of health and care services, which are often provided outside of hospitals. This should mean that, with increased out-of-hospital care, fewer people will require the types of services that acute hospitals currently provide. Whilst this is good news for patients, it puts pressure on hospitals such as Scarborough where we are already seeing challenges in recruiting enough specialist staff or seeing enough patients to make services sustainable. We need to think about how we can do things differently to provide the best services for local people, not just finding a ‘quick fix’ for the problems we face now, but finding longer term solutions that meet local needs.

We have committed to retaining an emergency department in Scarborough, and to do anything else would be unthinkable not least due to the impact on other hospitals and the local population. Our efforts are focussed on what we have to have at Scarborough and what innovative staffing models we can develop to safely deliver them if traditional staffing is not possible.

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