People urged to stay away from ‘extremely busy’ York A&E unless lives are at stake

The Emergency Department at York Hospital. Photograph:
4 Jan 2021 @ 6.23 pm
| Health

The pressures facing the NHS in York were starkly illustrated today (Monday).

This afternoon the York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust – which runs York Hospital – urged people to think twice before heading to the accident and emergency department.

It shared this message on social media: “It’s been extremely busy in our A&E departments and remains so.

“Please check with 111 unless you have a life-threatening emergency.”

This comes as the UK’s chief medical officers have recommended that the Covid-19 alert level should be moved to five – the highest setting – in response to the immense pressures on the NHS.

“There are currently very high rates of community transmission, with substantial numbers of Covid patients in hospitals and in intensive care,” they said in a statement.

This afternoon York’s public health director Sharon Stoltz revealed there are currently 70 Covid patients in York Hospital.

She said the hospital is “coping but under pressure”, local democracy reporter Chloe Laversuch reports.

The hospital is almost at the peak of Covid patients seen in spring 2020.