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Hospital closes A&E due to ‘high number of Covid-19 patients’


By Costanza Pearce
Reporter
26 May 2020

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A seaside hospital has ‘temporarily’ stopped accepting new patients, including to its A&E department, due to a ‘high number’ of patients with coronavirus in the hospital.

Weston General Hospital, in Weston-super-Mare, closed its doors to new patients yesterday morning as a ‘precautionary measure’, it announced via a statement on its website.

It said: ‘Weston General Hospital will temporarily stop accepting new patients, including into its A&E department, as of 8am today (Monday 25 May 2020).

‘This is a precautionary measure in order to maintain the safety of staff and patients in response to the high number of patients with coronavirus in the hospital.’

The measure is ‘clinically-led’ and ‘supported’ by health and care partners across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire including GP practices, it added.

It said: ‘Arrangements are in place for new patients to continue to have access to treatment and care in other appropriate healthcare settings in the area should they need it.’

Dr William Oldfield, medical director at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust, said that the situation will be kept ‘under constant review’.

He added: ‘We currently have a high number of patients with Covid-19 in Weston General Hospital.

‘Whilst the vast majority will have come into the hospital with Covid-19, as an extra precaution we have taken the proactive step to temporarily stop accepting new patients to maintain patient and staff safety.’

The hospital has a ‘robust’ Covid-19 testing programme in place for both staff and patients, Dr Oldfield added.

Weston General hospital added that it aims to re-open to A&E department ‘as soon as possible’ in a Tweet.

It comes as no new coronavirus cases were reported in London for an entire 24-hour period on Monday of last week – although the Government warned the new data ‘does not mean the epidemic is tailing off’.

And on Friday the Government announced in its daily Covid-19 briefing that the number of those currently in hospital with the virus has reduced by 14%.

As of 24 May, 36,914 people had died in the UK based on Government data, including 121 in the last 24 hours. Out of those, 76 had died in hospital.

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