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Covid-19: Patients are told not to attend A&E for tests as national service falters

BMJ 2020; 370 doi: (Published 17 September 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;370:m3622

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  1. Emma Wilkinson
  1. Sheffield, UK

Several hospital emergency departments in England have given warnings to patients with symptoms of covid-19 seeking tests to stay away as the national test and trace system fails to meet an increase in demand.

Bolton NHS Foundation Trust reported a large increase in patients attending emergency departments after being unable to get a covid-19 test, with 100 waiting to be seen at one point.

Donna Hall, chair of the trust, told The BMJ, “People are panicked. They have been trying for days to get a test and they see the hospital as a place of safety. This is happening at the same time as we’re trying to get our electives up to 90%. It’s a perfect …

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