QA cuts norovirus cases by 95 per cent

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THE trust that runs Queen Alexandra Hospital has been praised for cutting outbreaks of norovirus by more than 95 per cent.

Research published in the journal BMJ Quality and Safety found Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust (PHT) cut cases from 21 in 2009/10, to just one case in 2013/14.

Dr Caroline Mitchell, associate director for infection and patient safety, at PHT, said: ‘By application of simple measures, we have significantly reduced the number of cases of norovirus and other gastrointestinal viruses which can cause serious and unpleasant symptoms in patients and massively disrupt the operational capacity of the hospital.

‘The combination of new technology and better training and organisation of our staff has contributed hugely to our successful results in this field.’

One of the reasons for the improvement is the development and use of Vitalpac, which monitors patients’ symptoms.

Dr Peter Greengross, medical director of The Learning Clinic, which developed the system, said: ‘We believe norovirus outbreaks cost the NHS £41.5m a year. If every hospital achieved the same result as Portsmouth the savings could be £38m a year.’