Hospital wards remain closed to visitors

Alnwick Infirmary

A number of wards in Northumberland and North Tyneside are closed and will not be open to visitors today as flu and norovirus continue to impact sites across the area.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s latest update says that visitor restrictions are partially lifted for unaffected wards, meaning it is permitted for one hour from 2pm to 3pm and limited to two visitors per bed.

However, on affected wards, full restrictions will remain in place at all times. The following wards are closed and will not be open to visitors today: North Tyneside General Hospital – Wards 5, 12 and 15; Wansbeck General Hospital – Wards 2 and 5; Hexham General Hospital: Wards 2, 3 and 4; Blyth Community Hospital Ward; Alnwick Infirmary – Ward 1.

The statement adds: ‘We realise that this will disappoint people who have loved ones on these wards. Please be rest assured that our doctors, nurses and the whole team around them are doing everything they possibly can to get them open.

‘Please also be aware that in order to help control the spread of the viruses, it may be necessary, in some circumstances, to transfer patients to different sites within our trust to ensure they continue to receive the highest quality of care.

‘Due to the ongoing flu and norovirus outbreaks currently affecting the trust, we are strongly recommending that no children under the age of 16 come to any hospital site as a visitor to our inpatient wards/ facilities.

‘They will not be allowed to visit maternity, pregnancy assessment or the birthing unit under any circumstances. Only immediate family will be permitted to visit the Special Care Baby Unit.

‘This is for both their own and our patient’s safety as they are among the most at risk of catching and/ or carrying both flu and norovirus.

‘Due to the risk of spreading illness to already vulnerable patients – as well as to our staff and the general public – only one relative/ escort will be permitted per patient within the emergency department, ambulatory care wards and the surgical assessment unit.’

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