Two wards shut and 25 patients ill in sickness outbreak at King’s Lynn hospital

Latest health news from the Lynn News,, @lynnnewscitizen on Twitter
Latest health news from the Lynn News,, @lynnnewscitizen on Twitter

An investigation has been launched into the cause of a sickness outbreak at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital that has affected more than 20 patients and closed two wards.

Staff have been urged to remain vigilant and tight visiting restrictions are in place after the winter vomiting condition norovirus and the C difficile bug were discovered at the Gayton Road site.

However, the trust has insisted that the rest of the hospital is operating as normal.

Managers closed the Oxborough ward to new admissions and transfers on Thursday, while the West Raynham ward, which had been partially closed since Thursday night, was fully shut early yesterday.

Officials have confirmed that a total of 25 people across the two wards are currently showing symptoms of the infection.

However, a spokesman said the hospital’s infection control team, who are investigating the source of the outbreak, does not believe any of the affected patients are seriously ill.

In a bid to try to contain the outbreak, no more than two people are being allowed at an individual patient’s bedside at any time and under 12s have been barred from going onto the wards at all.

All visitors are also having to wash their hands when they enter and leave the wards.

Andrew Stenton, the hospital’s interim chief operating officer, said: “We do not like to impose restrictions on visitors but we hope they will understand that we need to prevent the spread of seasonal viruses and to keep other patients safe.

“The position is constantly under review and wards will be re-opened once they have cleared the quarantine period.”

The quarantine period can continue for at least 72 hours after the last confirmed case was recorded.

People who have been showing symptoms of norovirus, or any other form of vomiting or diarrhoea, are also being asked to stay away from the hospital site for at least 48 hours after their symptoms have cleared.