HILLINGDON Hospital has closed to emergency ambulances and admissions, as a precaution, after a number of staff tested positive for COVID-19.

Patients are being asked not to go there for A&E, but to use the NHS 111 phone or online service for advice on what to do. In emergencies, they should continue to use 999.

A hospital spokesman said: “We have well-established plans for this kind of measure, and anyone requiring emergency treatment will be able to get it at a nearby hospital. This will not affect any of our current in-patients.

“It does not apply to patients having planned treatments or appointments at the hospital or who are newly referred by their GPs for urgent treatment.”

Pregnant women who are more than 22 weeks will also continue to be taken to the maternity unit at Hillingdon if they need admission.

The spokesman added: “We aren’t yet able to say when [these measures] will be lifted, but it will be as soon as we are confident we can do so in a way that is safe for patients and staff.”