A hospital in Somerset has been forced to stop taking new admissions due to overwhelming demand from coronavirus patients.
Weston General Hospital, in Weston-super-Mare, issued a stop on new patients, including in A&E, at 8am this morning.
Hospital bosses say it is a “clinically-led” measure and will be kept under review.
University Hospitals Bristol and Weston Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, said in a statement: “Weston General Hospital will temporarily stop accepting new patients, including into its A&E department, as of 8am today.
“This is a precautionary measure in order to maintain the safety of staff and patients in response to the high number of patients with coronavirus in the hospital.”
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”.
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.”
He added that “high quality care” is continung to be provided to existing patients and said a “robust coronavirus testing programme is in place” to identify outbreaks among patints and staff.