Norovirus is still bugging us: Hospital boss frustrated by continuing outbreak which has shut down wards

Norovirus
Norovirus

A hospital director says the norovirus outbreak has put an ‘incredible pressure’ on its services.

Bucks Healthcare NHS Trust has been forced to close several wards at Stoke Mandeville Hospital since the vomiting and diarrhoea bug first broke out in November.

Chief nurse and director of patient care standards Lynne Swiatczak said: “It’s very difficult. The last few weeks in particular have been hard due to the number of wards we have closed to norovirus. We just can’t admit patients.”

The hospital has issued several stay away warnings, including one to visitors last week when eight wards were closed.

And the effect of having to move patients around is putting a strain on services.

The director added: “When you are in hospital you want to see your friends and family, it’s very difficult to tell them they can’t. It’s very difficult to move patients in and out of other areas.

“It’s putting incredible pressure on the organisation. We are using all of our available capacity.

“That unfortunately means we need more staff. It’s been a significant problem in the last few days.”

The director added they had to be careful with their own staff not catching the bug and that they have been forced into taking on temporary staff.

There still remain six wards closed at Stoke Mandeville Hospital but Mrs Swiatczak said she is hopeful they will have them back in operation soon.

She added: “The sooner we can minimise the outbreak the better.”

Medical advice for those with norovirus is to rest at home, avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids and eat foods such as rice, soup, pasta or bread, which are easy to digest.