Trust working to reopen Weston hospital’s A&E after coronavirus outbreak

Weston Hospital is closed to new patients following a coronavirus outbreak. Picture: Mark

Weston Hospital is closed to new patients following a coronavirus outbreak. Picture: Mark Atherton - Credit: Archant

Health leaders are working to reopen Weston General Hospital’s A&E department as soon as possible, after it was closed to new patients following an outbreak of coronavirus.

The hospital temporarily stopped accepting new patients, including into its A&E department, from 8am on Monday after a high number of patients and staff tested positive for Covid-19.

University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust (UHBW), which runs the site, said it was a clinically-led decision to ‘maintain the safety of staff and patients’.

More: Coronavirus outbreak sees Weston hospital close to new patients.

Dr William Oldfield, medical director at UHBW, said: “The safety and wellbeing of our patients and staff continues to be our top priority.

“There are currently a high number of patients with coronavirus in the hospital. We have tested all inpatients and will undertake retesting in line with national guidance, and we have appropriate segregation in place for patient care.

“Testing for symptomatic staff and household contacts has been offered across the trust since the beginning of April.

“In addition, there is an emerging picture of asymptomatic staff testing positive for the virus. Any members of staff who have tested positive have self-isolated in line with national guidance. We are also in the process of testing all staff in clinical areas at the hospital who may have had some patient contact.

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“Appropriate levels of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are available and this is being used in line with Public Health England guidance, and there have been significant efforts to minimise unnecessary staff movements across the hospital.”

The trust has been working with its partners across the health and care system to ensure that new patients continue to receive the care and treatment they need at appropriate settings in the area.

Dr Oldfield added: “Well-established arrangements are in place for any emergency referrals to Weston to go to other healthcare providers, new patients continue to have access to treatment and care in other appropriate healthcare settings in the area should they need it, and we are contacting patients who have planned appointments to discuss alternative arrangements.

“We are continuing to take the necessary steps with the aim of re-opening the A&E department and accepting new patients as soon as possible.”