North East Wales

Norovirus bug at Wrexham Maelor hospital delays admissions

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Media captionAbout nine patients are suffering from the bug

An outbreak of the Norovirus sickness bug at Wrexham Maelor Hospital has affected two wards.

Hospital managers say it also led to some delays in admissions amid reports of hold-ups in the accident and emergency department.

Admissions to the two wards have been suspended until patients' symptoms have gone.

About nine patients are suffering from the bug whose symptoms include diarrhoea or vomiting.

The Betsi Cadwaladr health board which manages the hospital advised anyone with the symptoms not to visit for 48 hours to avoid passing on the bug more commonly seen during the winter.

Llyr Gruffydd, Plaid Cymru AM for north Wales, said the delays in admissions had been compounded by the closure of hospital beds in community hospitals which put more pressure on the Maelor as the district hospital in the area.

"Reducing bed blocking so that ambulances aren't being used to treat A&E patients should be an immediate priority," he said.

A spokesperson for the Betsi Cadwaladr health board said: "Because of the nature of Norovirus, there is always a risk that a patient can come into hospital, unaware that they are carrying the infection until their symptoms start.

"As the infection is easily passed between people, the hospital then has to take stringent measures to minimise the risk of it spreading.

"This includes suspending new admissions into affected areas, and not transferring patients from affected areas, who might be carrying the infection, out to other hospitals."

It is these measures that are causing the present increased pressures on beds at Wrexham Maelor Hospital, the spokesperson said.

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