HAMPSHIRE Hospitals remains ‘extremely busy' as it continues to care for nearly 200 Covid patients across the trust.

Earlier this week health chiefs across Hampshire and Isle of Wight urged people to think before they attend emergency departments, and now the trust, which runs Basingstoke, Andover and Winchester hospitals, has echoed the message.

On Wednesday the trust was caring for 187 patients and had nearly six per cent of its staff off sick.

READ MORE: Health chiefs issue further plea after thousands attend emergency departments

Alex Whitfield, chief executive at Hampshire Hospitals, said: “We’re continuing to see really significant levels of demand across our sites and we are expecting this to continue heading into the Easter bank holiday.

“Our teams are working exceptionally hard to care for everyone coming through the front doors of our hospitals and there are a number of ways in which the local community can support us, including using the right service to get the care and advice you need. Contacting NHS 111 should be the first step for anyone with a non-urgent medical requirement. As ever, please call 999 in a serious medical or life-threatening emergency.

“We are asking the public to help by collecting loved ones who are ready to leave hospital as soon as possible, so that we can begin to care for someone seriously unwell who needs a hospital bed.

SEE ALSO: NHS trust to discharge Covid-infected patients home after care given - even if they are still testing positive

“With Covid-19 cases remaining high in our hospitals and in the community, please continue to consider the ways in which you can protect yourself and others whilst enjoying the long weekend, including avoiding large crowds, wearing a mask in busy settings and washing your hands regularly. Please only attend one of our sites for a booked appointment or scheduled visit if you do not have symptoms of Covid-19.

“However you choose to enjoy the bank holiday weekend, please do so safely. Thank you, as ever, for your patience and support.”

Recent figures revealed that more than 8,500 people attended an emergency department (ED) in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight in the last week alone.

On just one day more than 1,460 people attended a local ED – one every single minute.

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