Humberside

Hull Royal Infirmary: A&E patients told to 'come alone'

Hull Royal Infirmary
Image caption Hull Royal Infirmary has urged patients not to bring company to its A&E department

People needing emergency treatment have been told to "come alone" to a hospital.

Hull Royal Infirmary bosses have urged patients not to bring company to its A&E department, because it makes social distancing "extremely difficult".

Exceptions will be made for children and those with additional needs or requiring extra support, like a carer.

Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said some people attended with unnecessary conditions, like verrucas.

It said minor ailments should be treated by a GP, pharmacies, or walk-in centres - and people with small cuts or sprains could use urgent treatment centres.

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The trust said staff were attempting to protect the public from Covid-19, but more than 300 people a day were now attending A&E - many bringing friends or family.

At the height of lockdown, fewer than 200 people a day were attending.

"We've changed our department so we can isolate people with signs of Covid-19 but that means we have less space for those with less serious illnesses and injuries," chief operating officer Teresa Cope said.

"We understand people want someone with them when they are unwell or hurt but we cannot follow social distancing if too many people come into our department."

Image copyright Geograph/Philip Andrew Carol Taylor
Image caption Four in 10 people attending the A&E have minor injuries like cuts or sprains which can be treated at Urgent Treatment Centres

The trust said people who needed lifts should make arrangements to be collected from hospital when they had been seen.

"Although lockdown is easing for the public, [hospitals] remain on the front line," the trust said.

In April, the hospital urged people to stay away for the weekly clap for carers because it was "concerned" that increasing numbers were going there "just to clap" and putting themselves in danger.

And last week Hull Royal Infirmary was told it needs improvement following a Care Quality Commission inspection.

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