East Surrey Hospital was closed to visitors for the third time this winter to control the spread of the vomiting and diarrhoea bug, norovirus.
Yesterday (Thursday December 27), the Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, which manages the hospital, asked visitors to stay away.
Paul Simpson, deputy chief executive of the Trust, said: “This is a decision that is not taken lightly, but is necessary to help control the spread of norovirus – the winter vomiting and diarrhoea bug.
“After opening visiting again on Christmas Eve, we have patients in five wards affected by norovirus.
“While norovirus is so widespread in the community we have to stop visiting altogether.
“There are phones on every ward so that relatives and friends can speak to, or leave a message for, patients while visiting is not allowed.
“We know that it can be upsetting for patients and their loved ones when visiting is not allowed, but we hope everyone appreciates it is the only way to control the spread of this particularly contagious strain of norovirus, and I thank everyone for their co-operation.”
Mr Simpson reminded peole the hospital’s Emergency Department was only for serious and life-threatening illnesses and injuries and that patients with minor injuries should attend the Urgent Treatment Centre at Crawley Hospital.
If in doubt, call NHS Direct on 08454647.