Going to visit a hospital patient ‘armed’ with a bunch of flowers could be a thing of the past, following a new no-flower policy which is being introduced at Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe. A hospital spokesperson this week said, ‘In order to ensure a clean and safe environment, in the interest of patients and staff, it has been decided that flowers will no longer be accepted in the clinical areas in the hospital. This is a further measure to ensure the cleanliness of the hospital. National and international advice in the best interest of infection control is that flowers should not be allowed on hospital wards. This arrangement is already in place in the High Dependency Paediatric Rooms, Intensive Care Unit and Coronary Care Unit and areas where there are immunosuppressed patients; the very old and the very young’. Hospital Management wish to thank the public and staff for their co-operation in relation to this issue.