AIREDALE Hospital bosses are urging people to only use A&E in emergency situations as numbers visiting the department rise.

Whilst the number of Covid-19 patients being treated at the Steeton hospital has fallen in the past month, the emergency department is seeing an increasing workload.

“Our staff are already working incredibly hard so we would implore the public to help us by abiding by the Covid Tier rules and staying safe,” said Rob Aitchison, chief operating officer at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust.

“We would also urge people to use NHS 111 first if they are considering a trip to the emergency department, to help us keep the department safe and socially distanced. This will also ensure the sickest people are treated in the emergency department and those who still need urgent treatment receive it in the most appropriate place.”

Mr Aitchison added that an increase in Covid-19 patients is anticipated this month. He said: “Our current focus is on ensuring the hospital has capacity for the most unwell, therefore if people do not require acute treatment they may be transferred to another care area or home with community support to continue their care.”