A&E closed after man exposed to ‘potentially harmful chemicals’ turned up

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Princess Royal Hospital at Telford, Shropshire, cannot open its A&E department. Patients must instead use Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, which is around 20 miles away, while the A&E department is cleaned. The risk of contamination to other patients and staff has been assessed as “very low”, but patients have been moved from the emergency department and are being assessed.

Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust has not confirmed what chemical the patient was exposed to, Birmingham Live reports.

But the trust did post on Facebook: “This morning a patient presented at the Emergency Department (ED) of the Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) having been exposed off-site at his local work-place to potentially harmful chemicals. The risk of onward contamination to other patients or staff at the hospital has been assessed as very low but, as a precautionary measure, the ED has been closed whilst decontamination cleaning is undertaken.

“The other patients from the ED have been moved elsewhere and are being assessed. Again, this is as a precaution, as there is currently no indication that anyone else has been affected. Diverts to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and other hospitals are in place for incoming patients to PRH and we are working very closely with all relevant partners and agencies.

“Whilst ED, and other services at PRH, are closed patients are asked not to come to the hospital and await further updates. We are working hard to ensure that the ED and other departments at PRH can re-open as soon as is practicably possible and we will issue an update on the situation as soon as new information is available.”

The NHS is already under significant pressure as winter approaches, with resources stretched due to the pandemic.

Ambulances have been waiting up to “12 hours” outside hospitals with severely ill patients as wards struggle with a “bed crisis,” one paramedic said last week.

Patients with sepsis, smoke inhalation and other grave conditions and symptoms are reportedly being treated inside ambulances due to lack of space in the hospitals.

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