Baby unit still shut

A NEONATAL unit was still closed to newborn babies today at Ipswich Hospital after a baby contracted a virus in the ward.That means mothers who could give birth to premature babies could face a long journey of 100 miles or more.

A NEONATAL unit was still closed to newborn babies today at Ipswich Hospital after a baby contracted a virus in the ward.

That means mothers who could give birth to premature babies could face a long journey of 100 miles or more.

The Special Care Baby Unit closed its doors to new arrivals on Friday after a baby was discovered to be infected with the rotavirus, which causes sicknesses and diarrhoea and is currently spreading throughout children in Suffolk.

One expectant mother had to travel more than 100 miles to give birth because there was no neonatal unit closer than Portsmouth available. But no other mothers-to-be have had to be transferred yet.


You may also want to watch:


Hospital staff are closely monitoring the situation on the unit today, caring for the infected baby in isolation and checking for signs of the virus, which is similar to norovirus which affects adults, in the 18 other babies on the unit.

Staff were expected to meet today to discuss the current situation and the next steps the hospital could take to tackle the infection and get the unit open again as soon as possible.

Most Read

Jan Rowsell, hospital spokeswoman, said: “It is still closed to new arrivals and we are monitoring the situation.”

The parents of all the 19 babies on the unit have been informed and the hospital is asking that no siblings or adults that are unwell visit the unit until the virus has been eliminated.

It is not thought that the baby's condition is life-threatening although it is serious.

Although the specialist unit is located in the maternity block the hospital's maternity department has not been affected by the virus.

Have your children been affected by rotavirus? Have you had to travel a long way for treatment because nearby units were closed? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter