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Norovirus causes wards to close at Norfolk hospitals

PUBLISHED: 16:45 11 January 2012 | UPDATED: 17:56 11 January 2012

Regular handwashing is vital to avoid the spread of norovirus.

Regular handwashing is vital to avoid the spread of norovirus.

Archant

THREE wards at the James Paget University Hospital have been forced to close after an outbreak of Norovirus.

How to stop it spreading

The virus is easily spread by contact with an infected person, especially through their hands. You can also catch it through contaminated food or drink or by touching contaminated surfaces or objects.

You should, wash your hands frequently, do not share towels and flannels and disinfect any surfaces that an infected person has touched.

Patients going into A&E are experiencing longer waiting times for assessment and admissions into hospital are also being delayed.

The hospital is urging anyone who needs medical treatment for minor injury and illness not to automatically go to A&E but consider other healthcare options.

Three wards are currently closed as a result of Norovirus and the number of cases going into the hospital has increased in recent days.

A spokesman for the JPH said: “The seasonal increase in Norovirus and the closure of wards has added to the pressures we are currently facing.”

Some patients visiting the hospital for elective surgery have had to have their treatment postponed.

Visitors are asked to wash their hands with soap and water when entering and leaving a ward, to visit only one ward, not to sit on the beds and not to eat or drink while visiting a ward.

Anyone with symptoms of sickness and diarrhoea are asked not to visit the hospital until their illness has passed.

Director of Nursing at the James Paget hospital, Carole Crocker, said: “It is regrettable that some routine elective surgery has again been affected and we sincerely apologise for the inconvenience this might cause for some patients, especially those who have had a previous cancellation.

“A high level of illness within the local community has led to increased demand on the hospital and some patients have conditions which require them to stay in hospital for longer. This has led to a fall in the number of discharges from the Trust and placed extra demand on our resources. We do not take the decision to cancel surgery lightly, but the level of demand has unfortunately led us to take this step.”

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital has four wards closed to new admissions due to norovirus, while the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn has one ward closed and one bay shut on another ward.

The West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds had several wards shut earlier this month, but now has just one bay in one ward affected by norovirus.

If you have to visit and you have vomiting and diarrhoea, contact the Infection Control Team on 01493 452836 and they will take appropriate measures.

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9 comments

  • The facts speak for themselves. Although its fare to say Norovirus is a regular vistor this time of year to many establishments, and as the pictures shows, washed hands are effective. People that means more than once a day and with soap!

    Report this comment

    Paul Morley

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

  • **It doesn't look too good for them**. Well , it doesn't look too good for your powers of perception if you cannot see that norovirus is not a JPH problem but a nation wide problem which affects all hospitals , nor does its occurrence imply any criticism of hospital standards. More to do with unwashed visitors than any deficiency in the staff.

    Report this comment

    LARSON.E. WHIPSNADE

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

  • i work at the hospital and my hands are sore from the contant washing and using hand gel it is goin round my sons school at the moment it is so easy to spread especialy in places lke hospitals and schools no matter how much you clean and you get visitors come in with it.the good thing about the jph is they deal with things quickly they have employed more staff to clean and staff to help patients at meal times

    Report this comment

    tilly

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

  • Its funny how the opening statement is that the JPH has 3 wards closed due to Novovirus but its only towards the end of the article that its mentioned that the holy ground of the N&N actually has FOUR wards closed due to the same reason.... How strange.......

    Report this comment

    Babelfish

    Friday, January 13, 2012

  • Maybe its just a bad time but I see this as the third negative article for JPH in less than one month. It doesn't look too good for them.

    Report this comment

    telawrence

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

  • telawrence :*** "If it comes every year, why aren't they prepared knowing it will come? "***. Well as you are setting yourself as an infectious disease control expert , pray give us the benefit of your vast knowledge and tell us how you would be better " prepared ".

    Report this comment

    LARSON.E. WHIPSNADE

    Friday, January 13, 2012

  • Yes we now the Virus isn't the fault of JPH, and to be fair with investigations and firing of staff this really hasn't been a good start to the Been Year for JPH.

    Report this comment

    margery

    Friday, January 13, 2012

  • "it doesn't look good for them" --- its not a dodgy kebab shop, it can't just be shut down, the local people need the hospital, there is no alternative, all other hospitals are full to the brim, as is the JPUH

    Report this comment

    trelo

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

  • If it comes every year, why aren't they prepared knowing it will come?

    Report this comment

    telawrence

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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