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Hospital closes A&E and stops accepting patients after new virus outbreak

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Weston General Hospital stopped accepting new patients at 8am today due to a ‘high number’ of people being treated for Covid-19 (Picture: Google)

A hospital in Somerset has stopped accepting new patients today and closed its A&E department after seeing an influx of people with coronavirus.

Weston General Hospital, in Weston-super-Mare, put a halt on new admissions from 8am as a precaution ‘to maintain patient and staff safety’.

In a statement, hospital bosses said the decision was made as there are currently a ‘high number of patients with coronavirus in the hospital’.

University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust said the situation will be kept under review.

The trust said there are arrangements in place for new patients to access treatment and care ‘in other appropriate healthcare settings in the area should they need it’.

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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.

‘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.’

New patients will be directed to a number of alternative services including GP practices, the hospital said.

This is a breaking story we will be updating.

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