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Norovirus outbreak in Cornwall

Cases of the superbug Norovirus have been reported in Cornwall.

A public health warning has been issued and people with symptoms of diarrhoea or sickness are being told to stay away from hospitals. NHS Kernow say the precaution should help prevent the superbug creating problems for patients coping with other illnesses.

MP calls for support for Royal Cornwall Hospital

Andrew George MP Credit: PA/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Andrew George, MP has called on Health Ministers to ensure that the Royal Cornwall HospitalsTrust is getting the support it deserves.

Mr George highlighted the problems of excessive staffpressure, which was undermining morale, as well as bed and funding pressures.

During this week’s Select Committee Evidence Session, Mr George warned NHS Chief, Sir David Nicholson, that the RCHT was experiencing some of the same ingredients which led to a major failure in patient care at the Mid Staffordshire Hospital.

Mr George said: “I have every confidence in RCHT’s Chief Executive and have great admiration for the commitment, dedication and stoicism of the Trust’s hardworking staff.

“However, the Trust is soldiering on with a large legacy debt around its neck and the lowest (tariff) payments for its work in the country. Bed capacity is often stretched and staff patient ratios undermine morale and risk compromising professional standards.

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Additional beds opened to cope with demand

We have opened additional beds in our hospitals. Urgent cancer surgery is going ahead and all other cases are being reviewed on a day by day basis. Patients whose operations are postponed are being contacted individually.Major incident status allows us to heighten our response. We maintain regular contact with our health and social care colleagues throughout the day agreeing a combined response to minimise the impact of the current pressures.

– Chief operating officer at RCHT, Jo Gibbs

Wards closed at Royal Cornwall Hospital

There are currently 2 wards closed and 3 isolated bays closed at the Royal Cornwall Hospital Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Archive/Press Association Images

There are currently 2 wards closed and 3 isolated bays closed at the Royal Cornwall Hospital due to Norovirus. Around 20 routine operations have been postponed on weekdays. The majority of Day Cases are going ahead and surgery at St Michael’s and West Cornwall hospitals is unaffected.

Visitors are asked to ring the ward they intend to visit for advice before setting out.

Find out more about Norovirus.

Top priority to minimise risk of Norovirus spreading

Due to the combination of high levels of emergency admissions, cases of Norovirus and delays in discharging some patients, RCHT is using its major incident plan to work with health and social care colleagues to manage the current demand on hospital and community services.One of the top priorities is to minimise the risk of the spread of Nororvirus in our hospitals.

– Chief operating officer at RCHT, Jo Gibbs

'Major Incident Plan' at Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust

Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust has launched a major incident plan to deal with high levels of emergency admissions, and a norovirus outbreak.

Two wards have been closed at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Treliske, and as many as twenty routine operations a day are being postponed.

The trust is advising non-emergency patients to ring before coming to its hospitals.

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Norovirus cases treble in the South West

The number of people in the South West who have gone to their doctor complaining of stomach bugs has trebled in the past few months.

Norovirus - which is also known as the winter vomiting bug - is easily spread and outbreaks are difficult to control.

Symptoms include sudden onset of nausea followed by projectile vomiting and diarrhoea. Some people also get a high temperature, headaches and aching limbs.

People in hospital are particularly at risk. Many hospitals including the Devon and Exeter Hospital have restricting visiting hours with a number of wards also closed.

School and hospital wards closed by sickness bug

A winter vomiting bug has forced one school and three hospital wards in Plymouth to close. Knowle Primary School in West Park, has been shut after 50 of its pupils were struck by the bug.

Three wards at Derriford Hospital have also been affected. Norovirus, better known as the winter vomiting bug, is the most common stomach bug in the UK, affecting people of all ages.