Hospital’s Norovirus crackdown continues

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CHESTERFIELD Royal Hospital has revealed its closure of all adult patient wards to visitors following another outbreak of the Norovirus bug is expected to remain in place for at least another two days.

The hospital, at Calow, was forced to close its wards to visitors for the second time in two months after the latest outbreak of the winter vomiting bug.

Hospital chiefs, at Calow, made the decision to close the adult patient wards to visitors, on Monday, March 12, after eight wards become affected by the highly contagious virus.

A hospital spokesman said visitors with Norovirus symptoms had continued to come into the hospital despite efforts to stop them.

The hospital stated that is with deep regret that the board of directors at Chesterfield Royal Hospital had taken the step of closing the hospital to visitors to adult in-patient wards with immediate effect.

It added that this is to try and resolve the outbreak of Norovirus currently affecting eight of our wards with many patients and staff succumbing to the illness.

The hospital statement continued to read as follows:

“Norovirus (or winter vomiting disease) is an unpleasant ‘bug’ that causes violent sickness and diarrhoea.

“It is not a hospital acquired infection, but is an infection that spreads rapidly in the community. The illness is self-limiting, but can have severe consequences for patients who are already fighting illness and recovering from surgery.

“Following the closure in February, we have continued to appeal to the community not to visit if they have symptoms.

“Despite this there have been several further occasions where visitors have come to hospital and experienced episodes of diarrhoea and sickness on our wards. This is not helping us to resolve this outbreak.

“We are in considerable danger of not being able to function – and we want to ensure we can continue to offer critically ill patients the hospital care they need – and have enough staff to provide services safely.

“For these reasons we have taken this difficult decision until this outbreak is under control. We appreciate how much relatives and friends want to see their loved ones whilst they are in hospital, but hope you understand why we have had to take this tough step.

“You are of course welcome to contact the wards for updates over the phone and we will ensure we keep our website, Facebook and Twitter pages updated as the situation changes – as well as keeping local radio, TV and newspapers informed.

“As soon as we are confident that we are symptom free for the requisite 72 hours we will re-open to visiting as usual.

“In the meantime, if you want to find out more about Norovirus, its symptoms, how to treat it – and how to help prevent it spreading - please go to www.chesterfieldroyal.nhs.uk or view our information video on www.YouTube.co.uk.”

For further up-dates call Chesterfield Royal Hospital on (01246) 277271 and follow the Derbyshire Times’ website www,derbyshiretimes.co.uk.