An outbreak of the nasty noro-virus has called into question the Importance of hygiene at hospitals by the BCC

The British Cleaning Council has urged healthcare managers to focus on hygiene after an outbreak of noro-virus hit hospitals across the UK, severely restricting patient care and hospital efficiency.

Startlingly hundreds of beds throughout the country were made unavailable as wards were closed and visitor numbers limited. Hospitals were forced to isolate patients infected by the virus.

Noro-virus, also known as the winter vomiting bug, is extremely contagious and can be lethal to the elderly, very young or very sick patients. The condition causes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea with the symptoms beginning about 12 to 48 hours after infection and usually lasting between 12 and 60 hours.

At high-risk public places such as hospitals, the spread of the infection is simple. One way to curb the transfer is to use proper hygiene procedures, including washing hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap from the soap dispensers and drying hands completely either with an automatic hand dryer or paper towels from a towel dispenser.

Mark Woodhead, Chairman of the British Cleaning Council, emphasised the importance of updating cleaning regimes and hand hygiene in combating the spread of infections.

He said: “When the risk of infection is high, it is vital that best practice is followed for hygiene, with rigorous cleaning regimes focusing on touch points and other areas at risk of contamination.

“In addition to this, if you are due to enter a hospital environment it is recommended that hands are washed regularly and thoroughly, while everyone should avoid visiting friends or relatives until they have fully recovered.”