Sick bug closes ward

PUBLISHED: 01:01 31 January 2008 | UPDATED: 08:48 10 June 2010

THE sickness bug which has left millions reeling this winter has seen an Exmouth Hospital ward close as Devon healthcare services battle the illness. The recently-refurbished Doris Heard ward has suffered the same fate as several at the Royal Devon an

THE sickness bug - which has left millions reeling this winter - has seen an Exmouth Hospital ward close as Devon healthcare services battle the illness.The recently-refurbished Doris Heard ward has suffered the same fate as several at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, in being forced to close by the Norovirus outbreak.The virus, which causes diarrhoea and vomiting and has struck more than three million British residents this winter, has caused the cancellation of routine operations at the RD&E. Devon PCT has found a further 22 beds across the district's community hospitals to cover the outbreak of the contagious virus at Exeter. Extra beds at Honiton, Sidmouth and Seaton have been found, though a decision on further capacity at Exmouth's Claremont Grove hospital has not yet been made.Devon Primary Care Trust director of health and social care Sally Slade said: "We have been doing everything we can to help the RD&E cope with the pressures on its bed capacity, which have been compounded by the Norovirus. "Devon PCT has got extra nurses working at its hospitals, and staff are working really hard to prepare plans for patients in the RD&E, so that they can be transferred home with extra care, to a residential nursing home, one of our community hospitals, or a rehabilitation unit."The Doris Heard ward will remain closed until the current viral outbreak has cleared up. The ward closed at the end of last week. The Devon PCT said it was hoped the ward would re-open again within a matter of days. Hospital staff would undertake a thorough clean of the ward.

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