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Health: Norovirus

Volume 698: debated on Tuesday 5 February 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What assessment they have made of the effects on NHS hospitals of Norovirus; and what arrangements are in place to deal with any worsening of its impact. [HL1400]

The National Health Service has preparation, monitoring and intervention processes in place to successfully manage the extra pressures in the system winter always creates, including Norovirus. The NHS has systems in place to identify pressures locally as they arise and respond appropriately. However, these are local arrangements and there is no national data collection measuring Norovirus prevalence or its day-to-day impact on hospital capacity. The Health Protection Agency assessment is that while Norovirus levels rose earlier than usual in the season, overall the pattern of increase in infections is consistent with that of previous years. All strategic health authorities are continuing active local management of their organisations facing the most pressure.