Patients urged to stop bringing large groups to Addenbrooke’s

Addenbrooke’s Hospital has issued a plea asking for patients to avoid bringing large groups to the hospital’s emergency department.

Urgent care programme lead, David Monk, said the presence of large groups makes it difficult to maintain social distancing in the department.

The number of patients attending ED has now returned to pre-COVID levels, meaning the service treats up to 300 people in any one day.

Some of these patients are accompanied by up to four relatives, putting staff in the difficult position of asking them to leave.

The hospital has put in place a number of initiatives to make the department safe and efficient, including a triage system which is able to direct some patients to the adjacent Urgent Treatment Centre or redirected to 111.

David Monk said he ‘cannot support’ large groups attending the emergency department while social distancing remains in place

Mr Monk said: “It is extremely important that anyone who needs emergency treatment comes to the emergency department, and feels safe doing so.

“However, we have over the last week, noticed an increasing number of relatives coming to ED with patients, many stating they are carers and when we look into it further they are not.

“We cannot support this and maintain social distancing. This Friday (14 Aug) we had to ask a number to leave to be able to let other patients into the department and maintain social distancing.

“We simply want patients to be aware of this, and help us help them. COVID-19 remains a real concern for us and our patients, many of whom are extremely vulnerable. The exceptions to no visitors to the ED are one parent accompanying a child or a full-time carer.”

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