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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Three wards have been closed at Derriford hospital in Plymouth following an outbreak of the sickness and diarhea bug, norovirus. People are being asked not visit unless absolutely necessary. Visitors should stay away if they`ve had any of the symptons in the past 48 hours.
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.
Visitor restrictions are in place at the Royal Cornwall Hospital following an outbreak of a sickness bug.Friends and relatives planning to visit patients are asked to phone the hospital in Truro beforehand.
It's part of efforts to stem the spread of the highly-contagious norovirus. Surgery and outpatient clinics are going ahead as planned.