Health boss clarifies reason for Alexandra Hospital closure after memo about 'bed bug infestation' - The Bromsgrove Standard

Health boss clarifies reason for Alexandra Hospital closure after memo about 'bed bug infestation'

Bromsgrove Editorial 2nd May, 2023 Updated: 2nd May, 2023   0

HEALTHCARE bosses have moved to clarify the situation surrounding the closure of the Alexandra Hospital to visitors.

We reported over the weekend about the restrictions being put in place for extra cleaning.

The Standard was contacted by people who said they had been told there was a bed bug infestation at the Alex.

And we saw a memo sent to staff which said ‘immediate action was being taken after an outbreak of bed bugs’.

The document went on to say that although they did not pose serious health risks, they caused alarm among staff and patience and their bites could be ‘itchy and uncomfortable’.

It concluded by outlining the action being taken – the movement of staff, patients and equipment was to be limited around the site and all bed linen was to be ‘treated as infected and be double bagged’.

It added patients’ clothes should also be double-bagged and families advised to wash it on the highest temperature available and also, where possible, it should be tumble-dried and ironed.

But Matthew Hopkins, Chief Executive of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, told The Standard this afternoon: ““Those insects have now been identified as Booklice, which are common household insects. They do not bite, spread disease or damage property.

“However, we were concerned about the distress that the presence of insects might cause for our patients and our staff so we took a series of immediate actions including a thorough clean of the affected areas, with additional support from specialist external contractors and advice from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).

“Before receiving confirmation that they were Booklice, we were also aware of the possibility that the insects may have been bed bugs, which do bite and whose bites can cause itching and discomfort.

“That additional concern prompted us to put in place extra precautions to protect patients and staff, including restricting the movement of staff around the site and restricting visiting to the Alexandra to compassionate visiting only.”

He added visiting restrictions would be lifted from tomorrow (Wednesday, May 3).

“I would like to thank our patients and their families for their understanding and co-operation as well as thanking all our teams who have supported our response to this incident.”

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