'Ding dong as hospital bans carollers,' said The Daily Telegraphas it revealed that the Torbay Gospelaires had been banned from entering Torbay hospital wards.

'Ding dong as hospital bans carollers,' said The Daily Telegraphas it revealed that the Torbay Gospelaires had been banned from entering Torbay hospital wards.

According to The Daily Telegraph, hospital managers had 'decreed' that the band could only perform in public areas outside wards because of infections.

The Daily Starsaid that 'hospital bosses' had 'slapped a ban' on the band performing at the hospital.

It reported band member Dennis Jeffs as saying: 'I think it's disgusting. We have been doing this for years and never had any problems'.

The Expressaccused 'killjoy health chiefs' of silencing wards, saying that South Devon Healthcare trust chief executive Tony Parr had drawn up a 'visitors' charter' banning groups during the festive season.

In a letter to the Gospelaires, Mr Parr is reported to have said: 'Infections in hospital are of major concern to the public and to staff.

'There is clear evidence that the risk of infection, which is usually at its greatest over the winter period, can be reduced by restricting visiting times. We have concluded that it is no longer possible to accept offers of Christmas visits by groups.'

The Expressreported that the Salvation Army had been banned from performing.

A spokeswoman for the trust explained that hand gels did not 'adequately protect' patients from the winter vomiting bug norovirus, so bands would not be allowed on to wards.

Conductor Colin Reynolds, 75, said it was 'yet another example of pushing the traditional element out of Christmas'.

Bah humbug everyone, and enjoy!