Visiting ban at hospital due to norovirus

The Centenary Building at Lancaster Royal Infirmary
The Centenary Building at Lancaster Royal Infirmary

Every ward at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary has been closed to visitors following a significant outbreak of the norovirus winter vomiting bug.

UHMBT said around 140 patients and 20 staff have been affected by symptoms.

Despite every effort by the Trust, the highly contagious winter bug has continued to spread, now affecting seven wards.

In order to ensure that the hospital can return to normal as soon as possible, the decision has been made to close all wards to visitors for at least 48 hours.

The Trust understands that there may be extenuating circumstances where members of the public need to visit loved ones, such as if they seriously ill.

If this is the case, the public are asked to call ahead to the ward to arrange visiting.

If it isn’t deemed as extenuating circumstances, they may be asked not to visit.

For maternity, neonatal and paediatric services, only the parents or one guardian of a sick child are asked to attend the wards or neonatal unit.

Where at all possible, no siblings are to come to the wards to protect themselves from infection as well as

mothers, babies and already sick children.

However, the Trust appreciates that this may not be possible for some families and would ask in these circumstances,

visitors called the wards ahead of their visit.

For those members of the public that do visit the hospital, they must not have been sick or had diarrhoea in the last 72 hours or been in close contact with someone who has.

They are also asked to ensure they wash their hands with soap and water before entering the hospital.

Alcohol gel is not effective against norovirus.

It is important to note that if it is an emergency or life threatening situation, people should attend the Emergency Department as normal. However, members of the public are urged not to come to the Emergency Department if they have diarrhoea and vomiting symptoms, unless they need emergency medical treatment.

Instead, they should telephone their GP or NHS Direct on 0845 4647.

Outpatient clinics are continuing as normal but people suffering with symptoms who are due to attend the hospital for an appointment should telephone the department first for advice.