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Norovirus puts pressure on trusts

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Nurses and NHS trusts came under increasing pressure last week because of the ongoing norovirus outbreak and a shortage of acute beds.

Sickness levels among nurses are soaring at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, when 70 nursing staff rang in sick last week.

University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust said it had seen a 64% rise in inpatient numbers, after one patient complained he had waited 30 hours to be seen. The trust had to close four wards last week because of norovirus.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust declared a ‘red alert’ after emergency admissions
rose by 20%. It has been forced to open an additional 80 beds as a result.

A trust spokesperson said: ‘The length of wait in the admissions ward in this case is much longer than we would hope but was down to the pressure throughout the hospital at the time.’
NHS Employers has warned nurses to stay at home for 48 hours if they are suffering from the norovirus.

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