Wards closed due to suspected Norovirus outbreak

Joseph Bulmer

Infection control procedures in place at North Devon District Hospital

FIVE wards have been closed at North Devon District Hospital due to a suspected Norovirus outbreak.

Restrictions are in place on the Fortescue, Capner, Glossop and Staples wards, as well as the Coronary Care Unit (CCU) and people are asked not to visit the hospital unless absolutely necessary.

Staff are working to reduce the spread of virus, which causes diarrhoea and vomiting, and is also known as the “winter-vomiting bug”.

A Northern Devon Healthcare Trust spokesperson said: “Our focus is to provide a safe service to all our patients and these measures will help to reduce the potential spread of infection between visitors and patients and between wards.

“If you feel your visit is essential you must phone the ward first or report to the front desk at the hospital on your arrival.

“If your visit could be delayed or is not essential, we would be grateful if you could postpone it.”

The Trust also said it was prioritising clinically urgent patients and had cancelled some surgery planned for today (Wednesday).

“If you are due to attend an appointment and you have had symptoms of diarrhoea or vomiting recently, please avoid coming into the hospital until at least 48 hours after the last symptoms have disappeared.

“If you need to cancel your appointment, please ring the hospital using the number on your appointment letter via the switchboard number (01271) 322577.

“Please do not come into our Accident and Emergency department unless it is a health emergency. Instead you should call NHS Direct on 0845 4647, go online at www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk or call your GP surgery for advice in the first instance.”