A hospital in Boris Johnson’s constituency has been forced to close its emergency department after a wave of staff fell ill with suspected cases of coronavirus.
The Hillingdon hospital in Uxbridge in West London has had to close its Intensive Care Unit after 70 staff went sent home suspected to have Covid-19.
Ambulances were told to avoid the hospital Tuesday night while healthcare workers prepared to shut the ICU. It is now allowing ‘walk-in’ casualty patients to be seen.
A Hillingdon Hospital spokesperson said: ‘A number of our staff have either tested positive for COVID-19 or are self-isolating as a precaution.
‘In line with arrangements we have in place to maintain safe and high quality care, the London Ambulance Service has been asked to take new patients to neighbouring hospitals to get the treatment they need.
Trust chief executive Sarah Tedford she was treating the outbreak with the ‘utmost seriousness’ and had ordered staff to stay home as a precaution, the Evening Standard said.
It is believed patients in an eight-bed ward may have infected staff. It is unclear whether they had tested positive for the virus before coming into contact with medical professionals.
This comes as the prime minister deflects calls to apologise to care home staff after accusing them of spreading Covid-19 through nursing homes.
‘On Monday, when asked why care home deaths had been so high the prime minister said, and I quote, ‘too many care homes didn’t really follow the procedures in the way that they could have’,
‘That has caused huge offence to frontline care workers. It has now been 48 hours. Will the prime minister apologise to care workers?’ Sir Keir asked.
Johnson replied: ‘The last thing I wanted to do is to blame care workers for what has happened or for any of them to think that I was blaming them because they’ve worked hard, incredibly hard, throughout this crisis, looking after some of the most vulnerable people in our country and doing an outstanding job.’