Hull’s most senior nurse is appealing to the public to stay at home to mark the #ClapForCarers event tomorrow night.
People have been coming to Hull Royal Infirmary on Thursday nights to take part in the national round of applause for NHS staff, carers and key workers.
However, concern is growing that people are putting themselves and others at risk by making a non-essential journey to take part and are then failing to observe the two-metre distancing rule.
Now, Beverley Geary, Chief Nurse at Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, is appealing to the public and the media not to come to the hospital tomorrow night.
She said: “Our staff are deeply moved by this amazing show of support by the public and we want to say how grateful we are to everyone taking part.
“But we’ve become increasingly concerned that people are coming to hospital just to clap and are putting themselves and others in danger by standing too close to each other. We’ve seen the numbers increase, week by week.
“We would like to thank you for your fantastic support but stress you can help the NHS best and save lives by staying at home this week.”
The trust dealt with the first confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the UK when its Infectious Diseases team, based at Ward 7, Castle Hill Hospital, received the first two patients at the end of January.
Thanks to the national observation of the lockdown, Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill Hospital have coped well with the admission of hundreds of patients suspected with or diagnosed with COVID-19.
Sadly, 88 people with the virus have died since March 19. However, more than 200, including 21 who have undergone treatment in the trust’s five Intensive Care Units, have recovered well enough to go home.
There are still around 130 patients with COVID-19 or suspected of having the virus in the hospitals.
Mrs Geary said: “If people start making non-essential journeys once again before the lockdown is lifted, there is a very real danger that we will start to see a sudden spike in cases once again which could overwhelm the NHS.
“Please stay at home on Thursday night to protect your NHS, save lives and support our staff in the best possible way.”