Raigmore Hospital in Inverness has been re-opened to visitors following the recent outbreak of norovirus.
Visitors had been barred last week as part of efforts to tackle it.
After reviewing the situation this morning, it was agreed to re-open the hospital to visitors.
Consultant microbiologist Dr Adam Brown explained that while four wards remain closed due to norovirus – and, therefore, closed to visitors – the rest of the wards are now open.
“I would like to thank everyone for their cooperation and understanding over the past few days when we restricted all visiting,” he said. “This was to try, as much as we possibly could, to reduce any more norovirus coming into the hospital.
“While I am pleased that we have been able to reopen to visiting, we know norovirus is still rife 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 48 hours.”
Wards 7C, 5C, 3A and 2C 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 four wards.
There is no specific treatment for a norovirus infection and it is not usually necessary to visit a doctor. NHS Highland says the best course of action is to stay at home and to drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
Dr Brown said: “By restricting visiting to the affected areas it 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.”
The simple rules are:
Do not visit a hospital if you or someone you live with has symptoms.
If you have a hospital appointment, contact the hospital and, where appropriate, the appointment can be rescheduled.
Wait until you have been clear of symptoms for 48 hours, as you may still be contagious, even if you feel well.
Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, especially after using the toilet and before eating.
If you visit someone in hospital, do not sit on their bed. Keep the number of visitors to a minimum at any one time. And never touch dressings, drips, or other equipment around the bed.