PERFORMANCE: University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust today closed the medical assessment unit of its Furness General Hospital to admissions and visitors, in a bid to curb an “escalating outbreak of suspected norovirus”.

“Despite every effort by the trust, the highly contagious bug has continued to spread and the MAU is now significantly affected,” the foundation trust said in a statement. “In order to ensure that the hospital can return to normal as soon as possible, the decision has been made to close the MAU to admissions and visitors until the situation improves.”

Morecambe Bay closed two wards affected by the outbreak on Friday (19 April).

The statement said one of those wards had now been reopened, but the trust was still discouraging visiting at the other – Ward 7 – “unless absolutely necessary”.

The statement continued: “The trust understands that there may be extenuating circumstances where members of the public need to visit loved ones, such as if they seriously ill. If this is the case, the public are asked to call ahead to the ward to arrange visiting. If it isn’t deemed as extenuating circumstances, they may be asked not to visit.

“Other wards have smaller outbreaks and visitors are asked to look out for the signage outside the affected wards for further guidance.”