1. ITV Report

Flu and norovirus latest: 9 wards closed to visitors

Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Flu and norovirus continue to impact sites across Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, with both patients and staff affected.

The following is the latest news on the outbreak and visitor restrictions. The outpatient services remain unaffected.

A spokesperson for the trust 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.

"In areas where visiting is open, please remain vigilant: wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water – not alcohol gel.

"Please do not visit if you have any respiratory or flu-like symptoms or any of norovirus or you will only endanger yourself, our staff and your loved ones."

Saturday 13th January:

Visitor restrictions are partially lifted for unaffected wards – visiting will be permitted for one hour from 14:00 to 15:00 and limited to two visitors per bed.

Please note: this is subject to change at any time.

On affected wards, full restrictions will remain in place at all times.

The following wards are closed and will not be open to visitors today:

  • North Tyneside General Hospital: Ward 5, 12, 15 and 22
  • Wansbeck General Hospital: Wards 1, 2, 4, 10 and 11b

The latest closures are frequently updated on the Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust website.

We realise that this will disappoint people who have loved ones on these wards. Please be rest assured that our doctors, nurses and the whole team around them are doing everything they possibly can to get them open.

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."

– Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

It is expected that visitor restrictions will be partially lifted for unaffected wards with full restrictions still in place on affected wards. An update can be expected at approximately 11:00 each day.

Children under 16

Due to the on-going flu and norovirus outbreaks currently affecting the trust it is strongly recommended that no children under the age of 16 come to any hospital site as a visitor.

They will not be allowed to visit maternity, pregnancy assessment or the birthing unit under any circumstances. Only immediate family will be permitted to visit the Special Care Baby Unit.

This is for both their own and patient’s safety, as they are among the most at risk of catching and/ or carrying both flu and norovirus.

Emergency Department, Ambulatory Care and Surgical Assessment Unit

Due to the risk of spreading illness to already vulnerable patients – as well as to NHS staff and the general public – only one relative/ escort will be permitted per patient within the emergency department, ambulatory care wards and the surgical assessment unit.