Emergency visits only at Royal Bolton
6:51am Saturday 19th January 2013 in News
VISITORS have been banned from the Royal Bolton Hospital in an attempt to stop the spread of the winter vomiting bug.
People will only be allowed to see sick relatives in “exceptional circumstances”.
The ban will continue over the weekend and the hospital will review the situation on Monday.
There are currently two wards, both complex care wards, closed to admissions because of norovirus cases at the hospital.
But health chiefs are concerned about the high number of norovirus cases in the community spreading to the hospital.
The current cold weather is likely to add pressures to the hospital, with more people expected to be admitted.
Heather Edwards, head of communications at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, said the ban was a “precaution”.
She added: “We would like to apologise to people.
We know this can be difficult for relatives and patients but we would like to assure them that it is in the interests of patients as we do not want Norovirus to spread.”
Any relatives who feel they have exceptional circumstances are asked to discuss it with the senior ward staff. In December, when there was a national norovirus outbreak, the Royal Bolton Hospital managed to avoid a large number of cases by restricting visiting to two per bed and banning children from visiting.
Norovirus is highly infectious and hard to contain once it enters locations where there are a number of people, such as schools, hospitals and care homes.
Graham Munslow, public health specialist, said cold weather would help the spread of the bug, adding: “Once temperatures have started to drop, the bug finds it easier to survive. We tend to see an increase in number of cases when we have a cold snap in winter time.”