Local people warned against coming to Homerton hospital for Covid-19 testing

The Homerton Hospital. Picture: Archant

The Homerton Hospital. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

Homerton Hospital is urging people to avoid its Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department when seeking out Covid-19 testing.

Homerton has had no new Covid-19 cases in recent weeks so it is concerned about the risk of cross infection if people with symptoms start showing up at the hospital for testing.

Dr Emma Rowland, lead clinician for the Emergency Department at Homerton said her team is “extremely busy” dealing with patients requiring urgent medical treatment, many having had operations and procedures cancelled during the coronavirus crisis.

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She told the Gazette: “Whilst we appreciate that local people are having difficulties in obtaining a test, we would urge them not to come to the hospital A&E department seeking a test.”

The hospital has also urged schools to stop referring patients and employees to the A&E.

Chief Nurse Catherine Pelley said people visiting A&E in need of Covid-19 testing could have a “detrimental impact” on their efforts to treat patients.

“We are working very closely with our public health colleagues in the community to ensure the public are aware of the situation relating to testing and treatment,” she said.

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Health workers also wanted to make sure patients know that, if they do attend the A&E for treatment, it is likely relatives will be asked to wait outside the department in order to reduce the potential risk of infection caused by crowding.

Dr Rowland said: “Our aim is to ensure that the right patient is seen in the right service in a timely fashion, whilst also maintaining infection control safety for patients, relatives and staff within the Emergency Department.”

Anyone with coronavirus symptoms can request a free test by calling 119.

If a person feels unwell and requires medical advice they are advised to call 111, their GP or in an emergency 999.