BREAKING: Visitors banned from norovirus-stricken Chesterfield Hospital

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PATIENTS at Chesterfield Royal Hospital have been banned from receiving visitors, as a prolonged outbreak of the norovirus vomiting bug continues to plague the hospital.

Bosses have put a bar on visitors coming into any wards, except to visit children, patients who are in their final days, those on intensive or high-dependency care, or maternity patients.

Eight wards at the hospital are currently affected by the extremely contagious bug, and many patients and staff have been struck down by the illness.

It is the second time the hospital has barred visitors from the ward, but the problem has come back since bosses lifted the temporary ban last month.

A spokesman said: “Following the closure in February, we have continued to appeal to the community not to visit if they have symptoms of norovirus.

“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.”

He added: “We appreciate how much relatives and friends want to see their loved ones whilst they are in hospital, but hope they understand why we have had to take this tough step.”

The ban will be lifted once hospital bosses are confident they have had the outbreak under control for a 72-hour stretch.

For more information visit www.chesterfieldroyal.nhs.uk,