Two North Devon hospitals closed to visitors as bug risk continues

NORTH Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple and South Molton Hospital have been closed to all but the most urgent visitors to combat the vomiting bug Norovirus. These are the tightest visitor restrictions ever imposed by Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Tru

NORTH Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple and South Molton Hospital have been closed to all but the most urgent visitors to combat the vomiting bug Norovirus.

These are the tightest visitor restrictions ever imposed by Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust.

The move comes as cases of the highly contagious Norovirus bug rise across the UK. In line with hospitals across the country, NDDH and South Molton hospitals are continuing to experience instances of diarrhoea and vomiting - and a number of these have been confirmed as Norovirus.

If someone needs to visit a patient urgently at NDDH or South Molton, the Trust is asking them to ring ahead to speak to the nurse in charge of the relevant ward - otherwise they are being asked to stay away.


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The situation in other community hospitals varies. Although the Trust is not stopping visiting to these at present, it is asking visitors to ring ahead to check the local situation before setting out.

Jac Kelly, chief executive, said: "We're taking decisive action to protect our patients. Unlike other areas, it's the first time we've needed to take such a step in North Devon - so far we've been less affected by Norovirus than many other hospitals. But in light of the increase in cases of this unpleasant bug across the country, and the scattering of cases in our local hospitals, the safest thing to do is to be extra cautious - and that's what we are doing.

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