RLI wards affected by norovirus reopen to visitors

The Centenary Building at Lancaster Royal Infirmary
The Centenary Building at Lancaster Royal Infirmary

Wards affected by an outbreak of norovirus at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary have reopened to visitors.

However, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) is still asking the public to be vigilant – especially in those bays that are still affected.

The Trust made the difficult decision to close four affected wards to visitors in order to try to resolve a significant outbreak of norovirus at the hospital.

Since then, the cooperation from the public and the efforts made by staff has meant the situation has significantly improved, to a point where the wards can be reopened to visitors.

However, visiting continues to be discouraged from those bays that still have symptomatic patients.

The affected bays are:

- Ward 21: Bay 7-12

- Ward 34: Bay 12-18

- Ward 35: Bay 12-18

If people are unsure as to which bay their relative or friend is on, they are asked to call the ward before visiting to check.

The Trust continues to ask people not to come to the hospital at all if they have been ill themselves – unless they need emergency treatment.

George Nasmyth, Medical Director, UHMBT, said: “To ensure we do not see another outbreak of norovirus in the hospital, we continue to ask that people stay away if they have been sick or had diarrhoea in the last 72 hours or been in close contact with someone who has, unless they require emergency treatment.

“For everyone that does enter the hospital, we would still like them to ensure they wash their hands with soap and water before entering. “Alcohol gel is not effective against norovirus.

“I’d also like to thank staff for their continued hard work in resolving the outbreak, and for the fantastic care they gave to the affected patients and their families and friends.”

The elderly and young can be more vulnerable to the infection and anyone with concerns should call NHS Direct on 0845 4647.