Hospital closes wards to vistors over winter bug

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EIGHT wards at Chesterfield Royal Hospital are closed to visitors in an ‘unprecedented’ move to stamp out a virus outbreak.

Hospital directors yesterday made the decision as patients and staff were succumbing to norovirus, with the hospital in ‘considerable danger of not being able to function’.

Adult in-patient wards were closed to visitors with certain exceptions. A statement on the hospital website said: “With deep regret the board of directors has taken the unprecedented step of closing the hospital to all visitors to adult in-patient wards with immediate effect.

“This is to try to resolve the outbreak of norovirus currently affecting eight of our wards – with many patients and staff succumbing to the illness.”

Norovirus is a winter vomiting bug that causes violent sickness and diarrhoea.

It can have severe consequences for patients already fighting illness or recovering from surgery.

The hospital said visitors had attended hospital when they were ill despite pleas for people not to attend if they had symptoms.

Four wards are closed completely to new admissions and four more with bays and rooms unavailable for use.

The statement added: “We are in considerable danger of not being able to function.

“We want to ensure that 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.”

The hospital said relatives were welcome to contact the wards for updates and it would post updates online or in local media as the situation changes.