A maternity and neo-natal ward where two babies and a mother fell ill with a skin infection has been sealed off.

The ward at Luton and Dunstable hospital in Bedfordshire has been sealed off while they are treated for the staphylococcus aureus infection.

Dr Sarah Skinner, clinical director at the hospital, said: “We are confident that we have this under control with effective control measures that we have put in place.

“We are not expecting more babies with the infection. With babies, their immune system is not as good as with bigger children or adults so we look very carefully for signs of infection and that is what we have done on this occasion.”

Tests have also been carried out on other babies on the ward and the infection has been found on the skin of two other children. All five patients are expected to make a full recovery.

The two children suffering the infection itself have been treated with anti-biotics as they have not been infected with the anti-biotic resistant MRSA strain.