Harrogate District Hospital reassures patients over winter preparations as coronavirus cases rise

NHS staff at Harrogate District Hospital have moved to reassure patients that they are well prepared for peak pressure in winter amid fears of a second coronavirus spike.

By Jacob Webster
Thursday, 10th September 2020, 7:00 am

The hospital is spending more than half-a-million pounds on upgrades to its emergency department and more space for social distancing following concerns that patients are still avoiding treatment because of virus fears.

More money is also being spent on upgrading diagnostic equipment after services suspended during lockdown were restarted.

"We would like to reassure our service users that we are preparing for the winter months ahead and the added challenges they may bring," a spokesperson said.

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Harrogate District Hospital has reassured patients that it is well prepared for winter.

"We are working on providing extra community support during this time and the hospital is continuing to open up services to patients."

It comes as Harrogate has had the highest rise in coronavirus cases in North Yorkshire in the last two weeks, according to the county's director of public health.

Dr Lincoln Sargeant said of the 125 positive cases confirmed during that period, Harrogate had 32.

“However, the number of North Yorkshire residents admitted to hospital remains low and no deaths have been reported since 20 July," he added.

Staff at Harrogate District Hospital said "things may feel different" for patients during visits but added all safety precautions have been taken to prevent the spread of the virus.

They are also urging people to follow guidance on social distancing, hand-washing and wearing face masks.

A spokesperson added: "We continue to advise anyone with symptoms of coronavirus, as well as flu or diarrhoea and vomiting not to come in, in order to avoid the spread of infection.​"

By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter