Hospitals hit by ice and sickness virus

Pictured on Birley Lane, Sheffield.
Pictured on Birley Lane, Sheffield.
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THE Northern General Hospital in Sheffield has seen a huge increase in admissions because of the icy weather - while medics are also dealing with the pressure of an outbreak of the norovirus vomiting bug.

Doctors have asked people to come to A&E only in a genuine emergency, after 700 patients visited the unit on Monday and Tuesday alone.

A&E staff have seen a 43 per cent increase in emergency admissions for orthopaedic patients, as people were admitted for breaks and sprains due to icy roads and pavements.

And 10 wards are closed to new admissions because of norovirus - seven at the Northern General and three at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital.

Richard Parker, deputy chief operating officer at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, said: “The cold weather and an increase in diarrhoea and sickness and flu bugs has meant we have been busier than usual.

“Our staff are working extremely hard and coping with the extra demand but the situation is compounded because we have had to close wards to new patients because of the sickness and diarrhoea bug.

“We have seen a rise in the number of patients with injuries after suffering a slip or fall on icy pavements and we are also admitting more patients with respiratory problems exacerbated by the cold.”

He asked people not to visit if they have had symptoms of vomiting or diarrhoea within 72 hours.