Dozens of patients diagnosed with flu in Wigan

Steps are being taken to identify patients with flu and stop it spreading at Wigan Infirmary
Steps are being taken to identify patients with flu and stop it spreading at Wigan Infirmary
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Flu is “prevalent” in Wigan’s hospitals, with dozens of people confirmed as having the illness in recent weeks.

A total of 78 patients at Wigan Infirmary were suspected of having flu and swabbed between January 1 and 17.

Tests showed 38 people were positive, with 11 having the more severe type A flu and 27 having type B.

Hospital bosses have taken action to contain the illness, with patients put in side rooms and the option of mixed-sex bays if the side rooms are full.

Specimens are now being processed through a laboratory in Bolton, which has reduced the length of time it takes to get a result, sometimes to less than 12 hours.

Flu information packs have been provided to each ward or department, additional flu vaccination drop-in sessions are planned, and there are mechanisms in place to contact other people who may be at risk and give antivirals if needed.

Wrightington, Wigan And Leigh (WWL) NHS Foundation Trust said 73 per cent of its staff had received the flu vaccination so far.

A report for Tuesday’s meeting of the trust board said: “Flu is prevalent at WWL (concentrated at the infirmary) in line with the national picture.

Considerable resource is being diverted to quickly identifying, swabbing and isolating those suspected and IPC and bed managers are working together to maximise patient flow, step down patients when and where possible and contain flu.”

The report continued: “It is too early to say if the number of new cases has peaked.”