THE trust that runs Basingstoke and Andover hospitals said it is facing “increased pressures” with its emergency department “busier than ever”.

Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT) is asking the community for its support to use the right service after more than 250 people visited A&E in Basingstoke alone yesterday (Monday, March 21).

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Dr Lara Alloway, chief medical officer at HHFT, said: “We are currently experiencing extremely high levels of demand across our hospitals, and our emergency departments (ED) continue to be busier than ever.”

She added: “Our staff are working incredibly hard to care for everyone who needs our help, but we are asking for the local community for their support.

“Please remember to use the right service to get the care and advice you need. If you have a medical problem and you are not sure what to do, you can contact NHS 111 online or by calling 111 for help. As ever, please call 999 in a serious medical or life-threatening emergency.”

Dr Alloway said a number of patients who came to hospital for other conditions were testing positive for Covid on arrival, adding: “Please continue to do everything you can to stay safe and protect yourself and others from passing on the virus – including wearing a mask, washing your hands regularly and avoiding large crowds.

“If you are attending one of our sites for a booked appointment or scheduled visit, please only do so if you do not have any symptoms of Covid-19. You will also be asked to follow steps in place across our hospitals including wearing a mask.

“Whilst we are all hoping for a very different summer, unfortunately Covid-19 has not gone away, and we need your help to keep it out of our hospitals.

“Thank you for your patience and support.”

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