Following assessment, Raigmore Hospital in Inverness has been reopened to visitors.
Visitors were asked to stay away from last Friday to try and prevent further outbreaks of norovirus within the hospital but, following discussion this afternoon, it was agreed to open the hospital up to visitors.
Dr Chin Lim, consultant microbiologist for NHS Highland, explained that even though three wards remain closed due to norovirus and therefore closed to visitors, the rest of the wards are open.
He said: “I would like to thank everyone for their cooperation and understanding over the past few days when we restricted all visiting. This was to try, as much as we possibly could, to reduce any further outbreaks of norovirus in the hospital.
“While I am pleased that we have been able to reopen to visiting we know norovirus is still in the community so would ask that visitors are limited to two per patient and that if you, or anyone you live with, has had symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting you refrain from coming into the hospital until you are clear for 72 hours.”
Wards 7C (20 patients affected), 2C (22 patients affected) and 2A (eight patients affected) remain closed and visitors are being asked to not visit these wards unless by prior arrangement with the nurse in charge. Testing has confirmed norovirus on these three wards.
There is no specific treatment for a norovirus infection and it is not usually necessary to visit a doctor. The best course of action is to stay at home and to drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
Iona McGauran, lead nurse for Raigmore Hospital, said: “I would also like to thank the public for their support over the weekend when we suspended visiting. It was not a decision we took lightly and their understanding is appreciated.
“Visiting remains restricted to our affected wards which helps hospital staff protect the health, privacy and dignity of our patients.
“Hospital staff will of course be very happy to talk to visitors on the phone so they can get updates on how their relatives are.”