Epsom Hospital under pressure from sickness bug

Epsom Hospital
Image caption People with symptoms should rebook routine appointments and check before attending A&E

A hospital under pressure from a sickness bug has asked people with symptoms to rebook appointments and to contact their GP before attending A&E.

Latest figures from Epsom Hospital in Surrey have said 29 patients have the bug with 75 out of 243 beds affected.

People who do not have any symptoms have been asked to keep visiting to a minimum and to avoid taking children into the hospital.

Director of nursing Pippa Hart said the Norovirus bug was very infectious.

'Stay at home'

She said: "Because the virus is so contagious, patients in close proximity to someone with the illness are at a high risk of catching it.

"As we try to isolate those with symptoms, it makes admitting patients to our hospitals much more difficult, and can, ultimately, mean that we have beds empty which we can't use. This obviously puts significant strains on the hospital."

People with diarrhoea or vomiting should reschedule routine appointments, should not visit patients and should not attend A&E unless it is a genuine emergency, she said.

Those with urgent appointments, such as at cancer clinics, should contact the hospital for advice.

Anyone with Norovirus should stay at home for 48 hours after symptoms have stopped, she added.

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