Call for greater norovirus focus

24 Apr 2012

More than 1,000 hospital wards have been closed over the past three years in Scotland due to a sickness bug, official data has revealed.

The norovirus was responsible for the 1,088 ward closures between 2009 and the start of this year, with the statistic prompting Liberal Democrat health spokeswoman Alison McInnes to emphasise the strain put on the NHS by the bug.

Ms McInnes is calling for norovirus to be given the same level of attention as MRSA and Clostridium difficile as part of efforts to reduce the incidence of ward closures.

The North East MSP said: "The closure of wards is the right response to contain an outbreak of norovirus, but with non-urgent surgeries being cancelled because of closures the knock-on effects have a real impact on patients and the efficient running of our health service."

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde recorded 333 closures over the three years, followed by 231 in Lothian, 108 in Grampian, and 91 in Ayrshire and Arran.

Copyright Press Association 2012

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