Rise in cases of norovirus puts more pressure on hospitals

A spike in cases of norovirus has put further pressure on hospitals, the latest figures show.

NHS England said there had been a "sharp increase" in the number of bed closures due to norovirus or diarrhoea and vomiting from an average of 621 to 742 beds per day.

It said a "marked increase" in the number of reports of norovirus in recent weeks meant they are now above the five-year average for this week.

Bed occupancy levels are also high, at 94.8%.

An NHS England spokesman said: "While levels of flu have stabilised, there has been a spike in the number of norovirus cases which continues to put pressure on busy hospitals and other frontline services.

"And while the NHS is generally coping with ongoing winter demands, the public can continue to play their part by using NHS 111 and pharmacists for advice."