Hospitals feeling pressure of winter

THE region's hospitals are coming under pressure from an influx of patients with winter vomiting - with one forced to close two wards to new admissions and another opening more beds.

Anthony Bond

THE region's hospitals are coming under pressure from an influx of patients with winter vomiting - with one forced to close two wards to new admissions and another opening more beds.

The James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston, near Lowestoft, has confirmed cases of the highly contagious norovirus on two wards.

The hospital is now urging visitors to stay away if they have symptoms of diarrhoea or vomiting in order to protect patients.


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Meanwhile Ipswich Hospital has confirmed it is “exceptionally busy” and that they have had to open more beds to cope with demand.

Wendy Slaney, medical director at James Paget, said: “We have confirmed cases of norovirus on two wards.

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“These wards are closed to new admissions and restrictions are in place for visitors to these wards. This is a routine precautionary measure to enable us to protect our patients by restricting the chances of people spreading this infection.

“We ask patients and all our visitors to be extra vigilant. Please do not visit the hospital if you have recently had symptoms of diarrhoea and/or vomiting or have been in close contact with someone who has over the past two days.

“We are also asking all visitors to wash their hands with soap and hot water when visiting a ward affected with norovirus. Alcohol gel is effective against bacteria but not all viruses so hand washing as well as using the gel is really important.”

Ipswich Hospital yesterdaysaid it had to open extra beds to cope with demand, with many people suffering from respiratory problems.

Jan Rowsell, hospital spokeswoman, said: “We are exceptionally busy. We have opened additional beds to cope but we are managing thanks to our fantastic staff.”

A West Suffolk Hospital spokeswoman said it still had beds available and was not experiencing any problems.

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