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Health Officials urge people with norovirus to stay at home

Norovirus still affecting our hospitals Credit: ITV News

Health officials across the west country are asking people to stay away from hospitals if they have the norovirus.

Four wards remain closed at the Royal United Hospital in Bath following an outbreak of the winter vomiting bug.

There's also restricted access to some wards at Yeovil and Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton.

As everyone knows, the NHS is under great pressure this winter, especially the hospitals. If you experience the symptoms of Norovirus please stay at home and do not go to your GP or hospital for at least 48 hours after the symptoms stop. There is nothing your GP can do while you have the symptoms - just keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

– Trudi Grant, Director of Public Health for Somerset,

We all need to help our hospitals at this time. Norovirus is already affecting them and impacting on health care. Please stay at home while you recover from this unpleasant but short-lived illness and help stop the spread.

– Cllr Christine Lawrence, Somerset County Council

Hospitals still failing to meet A&E waiting targets

Most hospitals in the region are failing to meet A&E targets Credit: ITV News

Hospitals in the West are continuing to fall short of Government targets for dealing with emergency patients within four hours. The latest figures - for the week ending 15 February show only Yeovil District Hospital meeting the 95% target.

  • Gloucestershire Hospitals Trust (Glos Royal & Chelt Gen) - 73.9%
  • North Bristol Trust (Southmead Hosp) - 77.1%
  • Weston Area Health Trust (Weston General) - 81.6%
  • Royal United Hospitals Trust - 82.6%
  • Great Western Hospitals Trust - 88.0%
  • University Hospitals Bristol Trust (BRI) - 88.6%
  • Taunton & Somerset Trust (Musgrove Park) - 94.8%
  • Yeovil District Hospital Trust - 95.1%

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Norovirus closes wards at Bath's Royal United Hospital

Visiting is only allowed in exceptional circumstances. Credit: ITV News

The Royal United Hospital in Bath continues to battle an outbreak of norovirus.

Five wards are now closed to new admissions, although the hospital hopes one of them will have reopened by the weekend.

The highly contagious vomiting and diarrhoea bug is affecting patients and staff, and visiting is restricted apart from in exceptional circumstances.

Norovirus keeping visitors away from RUH Bath

A contagious sickness bug is keeping visitors away from RUH Bath. Credit: ITV News

Visitors are restricted at Bath's Royal United Hospital due to an outbreak of norovirus.

The highly infectious diarrhoea and vomiting bug usually lasts for 48 hours, and people who have had symptoms in that time are being asked to stay away from the hospital.

The affected wards are Pulteney Ward, Robin Smith Ward, William Budd Ward, Haygarth Ward and Forrester Brown Ward.

Gloucester hospital restricting visitors due to suspected norovirus

Gloucestershire Royal Hospital has closed several wards. Credit: ITV News

Gloucestershire Royal Hospital has closed several wards today following an outbreak of a diarrhoea and vomiting illness.

Director of Nursing Maggie Arnold said this was a precautionary measure to control the spread of infection, and that the hospital is hoping to reintroduce visiting in a few days. Maternity wards are still open to visitors, but children's wards are only for parents and carers. Relatives who wish to visit on compassionate grounds are asked to speak to ward staff before entering.

I hope that families and friends will understand that we need to protect our vulnerable patients and that is why we are asking them not to visit for this short period. We would strongly urge people to take notice and act on the Combat Norovirus campaign messages which have got a high profile presence on posters, large banners and signs at both main hospitals.

– Maggie Arnold, Director of Nursing, Gloucestershire Royal Hospital

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Bristol's Southmead Hospital "requires improvement"

The Care Quality Commission report is out this week

Bristol's new Southmead Hospital has been criticised in a report for having inadequate A&E services.

The Care Quality Commission said overall the multi-million pound hospital required improvement.

However, inspectors also found that the care was good.

People are getting great outcomes from the care they're receiving but it's a very busy hospital, too many operations are being cancelled, people are waiting too long and so there are some fundamentals that need improving.

– MARY CRIDGE, Care Quality Commission

New report expected to criticise Southmead Hospital

Bristol's state-of-the-art new hospital expected to come under fire in report. Credit: North Bristol NHS Trust

A new £430 million hospital is expected to come in for heavy criticism in a report being published later this week. The results of a major inspection at Bristol's new Southmead Hospital are expected to be highly critical in some areas.

The health watchdog Care Quality Commission (CQC) went into the Brunel building just before Christmas to carry out the review. It is believed the inspectors will highlight a number of teething problems the hospital has faced following its opening in May last year.

ITV News West Country has reported a number of issues at the hospital since the opening, including claims that poor care hastened the death of an elderly woman and a patient who complained of being left hungry.

People urged to consider alternatives to A&E

People are being asked to ensure they really need to be in A&E, and to consider alternatives such as urgent care centres.

Over the winter many emergency departments have struggled with to cope with the sheer volume of patients.

One centre in Bristol says coming to them can be the best option if you're injured or ill but it's not an emergency.

New intensive care unit opens at the BRI today

A state-of-the-art intensive care unit opens at the Bristol Royal Infirmary today. The new unit will be used to care for critically ill patients and has been equipped with the latest technology. Patient care will be completely electronic, removing the need for paper records. It is part of a £143 million redevelopment program.

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