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North Devon Hospital On Red Alert Following Illness Outbreak

Three Wards Temporarily Closed Over Outbreak Of Vomiting And Diarrhoea


North Devon District Hospital was placed on red alert and temporarily closed three wards this week, following an outbreak of vomiting and diarrhoea.

The illness, some of which was caused by norovirus, resulted in three wards, and one bay in a fourth, being closed to new admissions.

This is the not the first time the hospital has been on red alert due to vomiting and diarrhoea outbreaks this year – February 16, 17, 25 and 26 saw similar incidents, with a 'significant incident' declared on the 16th in particular.

A red alert is the second-most serious in the NHS alert system, behind a black alert. Red and black alerts are introduced when there is a greater amount of pressure on a hospital.

Dr David Richards, director of infection prevention and control, said: "As usual, we are asking hospital visitors to help us by staying away if they have experienced diarrhoea or vomiting in the previous 48 hours, or been in contact with anyone who has had symptoms."

Expert Opinion
It is concerning to see reports emerging of illness outbreaks at the North Devon Hospital once again. The latest outbreak has forced the hospital to close three of its wards and implement precautionary measures in a fourth to prevent the spread of the illness.

"Our work acting for victims of illnesses, means we are aware of the huge consequences and impact such issues can have on their day-to-day life, as well as their long-term wellbeing. Illness can leave victims with symptoms from which they may never fully recover.

"Steps must be taken to determine why the hospital has been affected by illness outbreaks so regularly in recent months and what measures can be implemented to prevent similar issues from developing in the future.
Amandeep Dhillon, Partner

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