Hartlepool hospital's Covid test call to visitors

Hospital bosses in Hartlepool are asking people to take a lateral flow test before visiting – as it steps up measures to curb rising COVID admissions.

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust will need visitors to the University Hospital of Hartlepool and Stockton’s University Hospital of North Tees to take a test and provide evidence of a negative result.

The move comes as the NHS across the country experience rising number of patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19.

A total of 10,462 people were in hospital in England with Covid-19 as of 8am on December 29, according to figures from NHS England – up 48% from a week earlier and is the highest number since March 1.

The University Hospital of Hartlepool.

Rebecca Denton-Smith, infection, prevention and control lead nurse, said: “We want to do everything we can to ensure patients can still be visited by their loved ones.

“To do that, in light of a rising number of COVID-19 cases and hospital admissions, we are asking for our community’s support.

“Anyone visiting hospital is asked to take a lateral flow test – providing evidence of a negative result when visiting the ward.”

She added: “This will help lower any chances of transmission and protect our patients and our staff.”

Visitors to any of the Trust’s buildings must also wear a mask unless they are exempt from doing so – and these are available at reception areas.

Anyone looking to make a visiting appointment, should ring the main switchboard number – (01642) 617617 – and ask for the ward area.

To book at lateral flow test, go to https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests