Why 'grateful' Sunderland and South Shields public should NOT go to hospitals to Clap for Heroes

Health bosses have pleaded with the public not to visit hospital premises as part of the renamed Clap for Heroes tribute to key workers.

Tuesday, 12th January 2021, 5:52 pm

They have urged people to instead stay at home during the renewed Thursday evening applause, previously named Clap for our Carers, adding: “This is the key way you can support key workers and also help to minimise the spread of the virus.”

South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, which is treating similar numbers of coronavirus patients to last March’s first wave, is also concerned about potential added pressures on its services through supporters slipping in winter weather.

Medical director Shaz Wahid said: “We are very grateful for all the ongoing support we have received from the public.

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South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Trust medical director Shaz Wahid has urged people not to visit hospitals or other health sites to Clap for Heroes.

"The original clap for carers was a great weekly boost to our teams and brought the nation together in thanking our frontline workers for their amazing efforts during the pandemic.

"However, Covid-19 is spreading rapidly in our communities and we have a new strain which we know spreads faster than before.

"So we are asking the public to not come down to our hospitals sites and instead stay at home.

"This is the key way you can support key workers and also help to minimise the spread of the virus.

The call comes from South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Sunderland Royal Hospital and South Tyneside District Hospital in South Shields.

“Over the coming weeks and months we all just need to continue to do our bit and remember the basics.

"Wear a facemask, wash your hands regularly, maintain social distancing wherever possible and stay at home except for essentials, such as work or food shopping.

“Our local NHS remains under significant pressure and we are doing all that we can to keep services going and safely care for everyone who needs us.

"We massively appreciate everything local people continue to do to support us and help raise our spirits at this very difficult time.

"But please don’t come out and clap – stay at home and follow the rules.”

The trust is also urging families and friends of inpatients not to come down to meet patients anywhere on hospital sites, including outside.

People will not be allowed to enter hospital buildings to drop off things for loved ones unless there are exceptional circumstances and appropriate arrangements are made in advance with ward teams.

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