Norovirus bug stopping admissions to Horsham Hospital inpatient ward

The Horizon Unit at Horsham Hospital is not accepting new patients following an outbreak of the winter vomiting bug.

The inpatient adult ward, which is used for short-term rehabilitation and palliative care, is also not transferring existing patients to other care settings, such as care homes or other hospitals.

Sussex Community NHS Trust, which manages the hospital, has been operating its regular protocol for containing the incident since Thursday February 5.

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Friends and relatives are still able to visit their loved ones staying at the hospital and on Horizon Unit is affected.

A trust spokesman said: “We have confirmed norovirus at the Horizon unit at Horsham Hospital, and have put in place a number of standard measures designed to limit the spread of the infection.

“Norovirus is the most common stomach bug in the UK. It is highly contagious, can affect people of all ages and causes vomiting and diarrhoea.

“To help protect people from the virus we do not accept new patients into our beds or discharge patients from the ward to other health or care settings. We also ask friends and relatives not to visit at such a time, and we thank them for their support.

“Friends and relatives are welcome to phone the unit to ask about the health of their loved one. Where our restriction on visits might present added problems – for example if a patient is nearing the end of their life – we ask people to talk to our staff so we can put appropriate arrangements in place.

“The fact that we do not accept new patients into our beds in such a situation obviously has an impact on the wider health and care system. So we are working hard to be free of the virus as soon as possible, and are taking extra steps as well in our community teams to provide additional care options.

“Please note that these measures apply to the Horizon unit only, and not to other services at Horsham Hospital.

“However, please think twice about visiting any healthcare location if you have an illness such as norovirus.

Please call the service in question if you have any queries about whether you should attend for an appointment or if you plan to visit a relative or friend.”

Have you or a loved one been affected by this? Contact the newsdesk on [email protected] or call us on 01403 751230.