Mouse sighting sparks closure of M&S at Blackpool Victoria Hospital

The M&S inside Blackpool Victoria Hospital
The M&S inside Blackpool Victoria Hospital
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A mouse was seen at the branch of Marks and Spencer inside the main entrance at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, sparking its closure.

In a move to reassure patients, health bosses at the site said there had been no reports of rodents in any medical areas, while M&S said it had acted quickly out of caution.

“We take the hygiene standards of all our stores extremely seriously and acted immediately, working with specialist pest controllers, to investigate and resolve this isolated incident as soon as we became aware [of it],” a spokeswoman said.

She said the shop shut early on Saturday morning, and was ‘fully re-opened’ by noon the following day.

Marie Thompson, the hospital’s director of nursing and quality, said: “We can re-assure members of the public we have had no reports of any pest issues on any clinical areas of the Blackpool Victoria site, and we have robust procedures in place with our estates team for any such matters if they should arise.”

Rodents are attracted by bins, and mice only need a gap of around one centimetre to get inside a building. As well as posing a health risk, they can damage premises and equipment by gnawing through wood, plastic, and power cables, experts say.

Mice can carry fleas, mites, and ticks, as well as bacteria and viruses that can prove deadly, including Salmonella, E. coli, Cryptosporidium, and bacteria that can cause tuberculosis.

In 2016, the hospital released details of pest control call-outs, though most related to bugs such as ants, bees, and fleas. There was no mention of either rats or mice, papers showed.