A hospital has been closed to new patients following a rise in the number of cases of the C difficile bug.

Seven patients at the 30-bed Lockhart Hospital in Lanark have tested positive for the infection since June.

NHS Lanarkshire said hygiene procedures had been increased and “rapid action” had been taken.

Dr Chris Mackintosh, associate medical director of primary care at NHS Lanarkshire, said: “Our monitoring procedures have allowed us to identify these cases early and take rapid action to reinforce our infection control systems within the hospital.

“This has included enhanced cleaning, hand hygiene and prescribing measures.

“We have also sought guidance from Health Protection Scotland to ensure we are taking all appropriate measures.

“Infection control is a top priority for NHS Lanarkshire and we have a wide range of initiatives in place to reduce rates of infection.”

The NHS board is to review the situation next week.