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Listen: Hospital boss alarmed at quiet A&E as people avoid ‘out of fear’ of coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 11:45 08 April 2020 | UPDATED: 11:55 08 April 2020

Nick Hulme, chief executive of the East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Ipswich and Colchester hospitals Pictures: ARCHANT

Nick Hulme, chief executive of the East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Ipswich and Colchester hospitals Pictures: ARCHANT

Rachel Edge

Today’s EADT daily podcast features a special guest – the boss of Ipswich and Colchester hospitals – talking to host Emily Townsend about what preparations are under way ahead of the coronavirus peak.

Revealing he is alarmed at a 60% fall in A&E admissions – with attendance even lower than on Christmas Day – Nick Hulme is concerned people are staying away out of fear they will catch coronavirus.

MORE: All the latest coronavirus news in your area

His message to patients is to come to A&E if you are seriously unwell – warning that if a surge in admissions to A&E comes at the same time as the coronavirus peak, it will be a “double whammy”.

He also admits there is a “limited supply” of personal protective equipment for staff but it is sufficient to keep them protected.

Listen to the full episode to hear what both hospitals are doing to prepare for when the peak hits Suffolk and Essex.

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