Home Business News Surge in coronavirus patients sees Somerset hospital shut

Surge in coronavirus patients sees Somerset hospital shut

25th May 20 12:16 pm

Weston General Hospital in Weston-super-Mare has stopped taking in new patients due to the “high number” of coronavirus patients, fearing a second wave has hit.

The hospital gave no details other than it was a precautionary move to protect staff and patients. It remains unclear as to why the hospital has had a large influx, but hospitals tend to have frequent changes in virus admissions.

The University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS trust said on Monday, “Weston General Hospital is temporarily stopping accepting new patients, including A&E, as of 8am today (25 May).

“Arrangements are in place for new patients to have continued access to treatment & care in other appropriate healthcare settings if needed.”

Suspicions have been raised over the recent VE Day street parties three weeks may well could have contributed to higher cases.

Doctors advise it typically takes around 20 days between a person becoming infected and then needing hospital treatment.

There is also speculation over the Prime Ministers easing of the lockdown on 11 May allowing unlimited exercise and sunbathing which has led to second wave of the virus in the South West.

Dr William Oldfield, medical director at the trust, said, “As with any hospital, the number of patients with Covid-19 will frequently change as people are admitted and discharged.

“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.”

Mark Canniford, Lib Dem mayor of Weston and member of North Somerset Council, has furiously criticised day trippers over the “total disregard” for the town’s residents.

Thousands of day trippers have headed to Somerset’s beaches and parks at Dunster and also Minehead, despite authorities urging people to stay away to prevent the risk of spreading coronavirus.

Speaking to The Independent today, Canniford does not think there was a link between the crowds on the beach and the closure of Weston General Hospital on Monday, “because it was too soon.”

He added, “I think it’s unlikely, but you can’t rule it out. We have been behind the curve on the virus so we could just be catching up.

“The people you see roaming about don’t tend to live here. People should not be roaming around.

“It’s not fair to the communities they are roaming to. People seem to think they don’t have symptoms so they’re ok but it’s not.”

Dr Oldfield added, “This is a clinically led decision and we are being supported by our system partners to ensure that new patients receive the care and treatment they need in the appropriate setting, and we are continuing to provide high-quality care to existing patients who are being treated in the hospital.

“We have a robust coronavirus testing programme in place for patients and staff to identify cases quickly, with appropriate measures taken by clinical teams as required.

“We will keep the situation under constant review.”

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