• Trust already under covid-19 demand strain declares critical incident
  • West Herts Trust has reported 29 confirmed coronavirus deaths as of Friday
  • 692 confirmed cases of covid-19 across the county

A hospital trust has told the public not to attend one of its emergency department because of a “technical issue” with its oxygen equipment.

West Herts Hospitals has asked that no-one should visit Watford General’s A&E, even in an emergency, until further notice.

The trust declared a critical incident on Saturday morning requesting people should go to the next nearest hospital with an emergency department instead.

As of today the trust had 31 confirmed covid-19-related deaths. 

West Herts stated that anyone with non-urgent issues should visit the NHS 111 website instead. It has stated elsewhere that no visitors were allowed at any of its hospital sites, with exceptions only in maternity and paediatrics.

A trust spokesman said: “As a result of a technical issue with our individual hospital’s oxygen equipment, which does not pose any risk to our patients, West Herts Hospitals Trust declared a critical incident on Saturday April 4 and has asked that people do not attend Watford General Hospital.

“A small number of patients are being transferred to other hospitals in the area, with each patient being fully assessed in line with existing safety guidelines before they are moved.”

The Department for Health and Social Care reported on Saturday the most deaths in a single day for the UK since the covid-19 outbreak began. 708 people who tested positive for coronavirus died in last 24 hours taking the total to 4,313.