London

NHS A&E closes after coronavirus outbreak

AN NHS hospital in the Prime Minister’s constituency has been forced to shut its doors to emergency admissions this morning due to a spike in coronavirus cases.

The Hillingdon Hospital in west London has been forced to close itself off to emergency admissions – while it has 70 staff self-isolating. The hospital, in Boris Johnsons constituency of Uxbridge and South Ruislip, was forced to make the decision after a spike in coronavirus cases.

A spokesman for Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “An outbreak of COVID-19 was declared on Friday, July 3, 2020.

“As of Tuesday, July 7, 70 members of staff are now isolating, a number of whom have tested positive for COVID-19.

“As a result, the trust has taken the precautionary decision to close Hillingdon Hospital to emergency ambulances and emergency admissions.

“The trust is managing the outbreak in line with Public Health England guidance.”

The London Ambulance Service is redirecting patients to nearby hospitals.

A London Ambulance Service spokesman said: “We are working with emergency departments in the northwest of London to manage the flow of patients and ensure they can continue to provide the best possible care for them.

“Any priority call patients where Hillingdon hospital would have been the nearest hospital are currently being taken to the next closest appropriate hospital.”

It is understood other departments of the hospital, including maternity, are still open.

Public Health England said they are supporting the hospital and monitoring the situation.

Professor Kevin Fenton, London’s regional director for Public Health England, said: “We are supporting Hillingdon Hospital after a number of staff who are now self-isolating tested positive for COVID-19.

“Together with the trusts management, the local authority public health team and the Joint Biosecurity Centre, PHEs role is to provide advice on actions that can limit the spread of infection including enhanced cleaning, reviewing infection control practices and reinforcing hand hygiene and social distancing.

“Overall, levels of coronavirus across London boroughs, including Hillingdon, remain low and steady.

“This incident is currently isolated to the hospital with no indication of wider community transmission, however, we remain vigilant and are carefully monitoring the situation.”

The Hillingdon community has had 1,097 coronavirus cases – a rate of 359.9 per 100,000 residents.

The hospital serves the Prime Minister’s Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency.

Mr Johnson sent a video message to staff at the hospital to mark International Nurses’ Day in May.

He thanked them for their care when he was “idiotic enough to get a shard of coffee pot in my foot”.

Earlier in the pandemic, several hospitals were forced to declare major incidents due to a spike in cases.

In March, Northwick Park Hospital in northwest London said it has reached “critical care capacity” and warned it did not have the required space for those needing critical care.

And the following month Watford General hospital declared a critical incident after a technical issue with oxygen equipment.

It comes as coronavirus lockdown restrictions were eased across England last weekend.

The shift saw the reopening of pubs, bars and restaurants for the first time since March, as long as social distancing was enforced.

Hairdressers were also allowed to reopen under the plans – which came into effect across England.

Only Leicester didnt adopt the measures, as the region is still under stricter restrictions due to a spike in cases.

The Prime Minister has warned the UK will likely see local and region lockdowns introduced over the next few months as the nation tries to halt any huge spike in infection rates.

SOURCE