Flu and norovirus: Eight wards closed across five North East hospitals due to seasonal illness
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The seasonal illnesses continue to impact sites across Northumberland and North Tyneside with both patients and staff affected
 

Eight wards across five hospitals are now closed as norovirus and flu continue to spread across Northumberland and North Tyneside.

Visitors have been barred from the affected wards at North Tyneside General, Wansbeck General, Hexham General, Blyth Community Hospital and Alnwick Infirmary, which had been previously unaffected.

The Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation trust has been battling cases of the winter vomiting bug at its sites for around three weeks, with flu also arriving in force after Christmas.

On Saturday, January 6, the trust confirmed 10 wards were currently sealed due to a mixture of flu and norovirus.


North Tyneside General Hospital

Trust bosses introduced visitor restrictions at nine hospitals across North Tyneside and Northumberland in a bid to stop the bug spreading further.

On Saturday visitor restrictions were lifted for one hour between 2pm and 3pm, on wards that have not been affected by norovirus and limited to two visitors per bed.

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The following wards are currently closed and were not open to visitors:

  • North Tyneside General Hospital: Wards 5, 12 and 15
  • Wansbeck General Hospital: Ward 5
  • Hexham General Hospital: Wards 2 and 4
  • Blyth Community Hospital Ward
  • Alnwick Infirmary: Ward 1
Wansbeck General Hospital

A trust spokesperson said: “We know not being able to visit a relative or loved one when they are sick is hard and are doing everything we can to allow as much access as is safe – we are hugely grateful for the support our staff have received from the public and ask that this understanding continues.

“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.”

They emphasised that the closures were not due to one large outbreak but that flu and norovirus were spreading in the community.

Hexham General Hospital (Image: ncj media)

It is expected that visitor restrictions will be partially lifted for unaffected ward on Friday.

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The hospitals affected by the visitor restrictions are:

  • Northumbria Special Emergency Care Hospital, Cramlington
  • Hexham General Hospital
  • North Tyneside General Hospital
  • Morpeth Cottage Hospital
  • Wansbeck General Hospital
  • Alnwick Infirmary
  • Berwick Infirmary
  • Blyth Community Hospital
  • Haltwhistle War Memorial Hospital