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Visitor ban lifted at Cumbrian hospital

The Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle. Credit: ITV Border

A temporary suspension for routine visitors to the Cumberland Infirmary has been lifted.

It applies to all parts of the hospital, with the exception of Beech A&B and Maple D wards.

The visitor ban was put in place last week after a Norovirus outbreak, and the NHS Trust in charge of the hospital says it's helped them to get the situation under control.

The Trust brought in these measures to ensure the safety of our patients and staff. The levels of norovirus have dropped significantly throughout the hospital due to restrictions and I would like to thank our patients and visitors for their co-operation.

We know that many visitors feel they must take every opportunity to visit sick friends or relatives, and understand how difficult this must have been. We didn’t take this decision lightly but the more people who pass through our hospitals, the greater risk of the virus spreading, affecting more vulnerable patients and hospital staff.

I would like to remind people if you have had norovirus yourself, please stay away until you have been symptom-free for at least two days.

– Clive Graham, director of infection prevention & control

NHS Trust defends position after maternity letter

The NHS Trust has responded. Credit: PA

The NHS Trust in charge of the West Cumberland Hospital and Cumberland Infirmary has defended its position, after the publication of a letter accusing it of spreading "false" information.

Andrene Hamilton, an Obstetrics & Gynaecology consultant at West Cumberland Hospital, sent the letter to the Prime Minister Theresa May.

The letter calls proposals to downgrade maternity services at the West Cumberland Hospital "dangerous", and says all maternity consultants at the hospital are against the proposals.

However, the North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust has now defended its position.

We are fully engaged with our obstetrics & gynaecology consultants as well as our wider consultant body. The view of the majority of our obstetrics & gynaecology consultants and the wider clinical leadership team is that if we cannot maintain consultant-led units at both hospital sites, we must explore alternative ways to provide a safe and sustainable service for mothers and babies in West, North & East Cumbria. This view has been expressed consistently for many months.

We have been open about the fact that we had some success last year in recruiting middle-grade doctors in Maternity services. However, we have also been clear that the concerns around staffing mainly relate to our paediatric services. In the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) report about our Children’s services published in November 2016, they absolutely recognised the long-standing challenges we have in recruiting substantive medical staff in this area and the fact that we are taking action to tackle this issue.

During the consultation thousands of people have been engaged with and thousands of questionnaire responses and written responses were submitted. They are all currently being independently analysed and the analysis report will be one of the papers that NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group considers when reaching decisions on the services described in the consultation document including maternity services.

– Dr Rod Harpin, medical director of North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust

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Visiting suspension still in place at Cumberland Infirmary

Credit: ITV Border

Visiting at the Cumberland Infirmary is still suspended as health bosses confirm the norovirus outbreak is still ongoing.

North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust says a significant number of patients at the hospital are suffering from the virus.

It says the spread of the winter vomiting bug is partly due to visitors with symptoms coming into the hospital to see their friend or relative.

All potential visitors are being asked to stop visiting until further notice - with the exception of maternity, paediatrics, intensive care unit and end of life patients.

Visiting suspended at Cumberland Infirmary due to norovirus outbreak

Credit: ITV Border

All visiting at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle has been suspended due to an outbreak of norovirus.

North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust says a significant number of patients at the hospital are suffering from the virus.

It says the spread of the winter vomiting bug is partly due to visitors with symptoms coming into the hospital to see their friend or relative.

All potential visitors are being asked to stop visiting until further notice - with the exception of maternity, paediatrics, intensive care unit and end of life patients.

We currently have a significant number of beds affected by norovirus at the Cumberland Infirmary, so we are appealing to the public for their help in minimising the impact of this outbreak.

“We know that many visitors feel they must take every opportunity to visit sick friends or relatives, but at this time we would ask everyone to please refrain from visiting until further notice. We appreciate this is difficult for patients and their loved ones but the more people who pass through our hospitals, the greater risk of the virus spreading and affecting more vulnerable patients and hospital staff."

– Anna Stabler, deputy director of nursing & midwifery at the Trust

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