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Norovirus outbreak sparks mental health beds crisis
DESPERATELY ill mental health patients are unable to be admitted to hospital due to a bed crisis in Quinton and wider Birmingham.
Due to an outbreak of norovirus in the city’s Juniper Centre, patients are being denied the round the clock attention they need. Glynis Markham, director for strategic delivery, for Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, confirmed the crisis.
Mrs Markham said: “Two wards – Rosemary and Sage – at the Juniper Centre are temporarily closed to admissions and transfers, in order to contain the infection, following an outbreak of diarrhoea and vomiting caused by norovirus.
“All infection control measures are in place - including environmental cleaning, advice to visitors and strict hand washing to minimise risk of infection - and the situation is under daily review by matrons, managers and the infection control team.”
She added: “The temporary closure of these wards at the Juniper Centre has meant a short delay in admissions. Plans are in place to reopen as soon as this episode of infection has cleared and post-infection cleaning has been undertaken.
“Other inpatient services in the trust have not been affected and are taking admissions as usual.”
A carer of a seriously ill mental health patient, who does not want to named, said: “We have been waiting for over a week for a bed to become available in a psychiatric ward but there just are not any and our situation is getting more desperate by the day.
“We are not the only people in this position and it seems unbelievable in a city of this size that there is not one bed available.”