An outbreak of flu has been reported at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary (RLI) which is increasing pressure on the accident and emergency department.
The Lancaster Suite (formerly Ward 39) is currently closed to admissions.
Influenza can be highly infectious and can spread rapidly in closed environments such as hospitals, schools and care homes.
Angela Richards, Infection Prevention Matron, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT), said: “Members of the public are being reminded not to visit the RLI, if they have been unwell, or had contact with a person, with Flu like symptoms in recent days.
“We understand it can be difficult when a loved one is in hospital. However, due to the Flu outbreak we are asking relatives and friends of patients on the Lancaster Suite at the RLI to stop and think whether it is absolutely necessary to visit their loved ones at this time.
“If you do visit please ensure that you wash your hands when you enter and exit the ward, limit time on the ward, do not visit other patients or other areas of the hospital and avoid bringing children.
“This illness can be highly disruptive to patients, and on rare occasions it may lead to patients having surgery or other procedures cancelled. We would ask people to please follow our advice to minimise its effects on the hospital, themselves and their families.”
David Walker, Medical Director at Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) said; “With an increase in pressure please help us by keeping A&E free for serious illness or injury.”
An emergency is a serious or life-threatening injury and condition, such as a suspected heart attack, acute confused state and fits that are not stopping, loss of consciousness, breathing difficulties, chest pain, head injuries or severe bleeding that cannot be stopped. If someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk, then 999 should be called.
Foluke Ajayi, Chief Operating Officer at UHMBT added, “Whilst we will see and treat all patients who attend emergency departments, there are those who could be better treated elsewhere.
“We understand it can be difficult when someone is unwell so if you aren’t sure whether or not to attend the A&E, please ring the NHS advice line on 111 who are trained to help. If you have a minor illness or injury that needs attention, you can visit your nearest pharmacist, Primary Care Assessment Centre, or speak to your GP.”