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29.05.20 Update on temporary changes at Weston General Hospital

Last updated: 29/05/2020

Results from the follow-up COVID-19 testing of inpatients at Weston General Hospital have been returned, with no new cases identified.

This is an early indication that the actions being taken at the hospital to ensure patients and staff remain safe, and to get the hospital ready to reopen as soon as possible are working.

The majority of our 1,700 staff working at the hospital have also been tested. Results from this would indicate that approximately 6% of the staff group as a whole are asymptomatic and infected. We will now interrogate this data further.

Any members of staff who have tested positive have self-isolated in line with national guidance, and we aim to complete testing of the remaining staff by the end of tomorrow.

Weston General Hospital temporarily stopped accepting new patients, including into its A&E department, from 8am on Monday (25 May 2020). This was a clinically-led decision as a precautionary measure to maintain the safety of staff and patients because of a high number of patients with coronavirus in the hospital.

Dr William Oldfield, medical director at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The signs are encouraging. The results from our inpatient testing have identified no new cases of COVID-19, which suggests the actions we have taken to control the situation are working.

“We will re-test all our inpatients again next week, and if the results continue to show no new cases, this would indicate no in-hospital transmission of the infection.

“We will also repeat testing of all staff at the hospital again next week. The results from this will indicate whether the staff working in the hospital are remaining free of infection.

“We are continuing to safely discharge patients as appropriate when they no longer need our care, and as patients are discharged areas are being deep cleaned to get the hospital ready to reopen.

“We greatly appreciate the support and efforts of all our staff, who are working incredibly hard in difficult circumstances. Their commitment and dedication to our patients and each other is a credit to them all.”

Arrangements remain in place for new patients to continue to have access to treatment and care in other appropriate healthcare settings in the area should they need it.