Wythenshawe Hospital has stopped taking paediatric emergencies in order to cope with the increased demand created by adult coronavirus patients.
The hospital announced that, with effect from yesterday at 2pm, all emergencies involving children would divert to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Paediatric Emergency Department.
Current inpatients within the children’s Starlight Unit at Wythenshawe will be transferred to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital or discharged by 8am this morning.
An urgent notice written by Matthew Powls, Director of Operations of Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and Managed Clinical Services, said the move was a “necessary step to ensure the Wythenshawe hospital capacity continues to meet additional demands for adult Covid-19 patients”.
He added: “Parents, guardians and carers must take children to the Paediatric Emergency Department, Oxford Road, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9WL. It is extremely important that children are not taken to the Wythenshawe Emergency Department.
“All emergency referrals for children aged 0-16 normally made to Wythenshawe, including GP and ambulance transfers, must be made to Royal Manchester Paediatric Emergency Department, Oxford Road, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9WL.”
He added: “We will communicate as soon as the situation changes including when the Starlight Unit and Wythenshawe paediatric A&E services are reopened.”
The Starlight ward has capacity for 24 children with a mixture of beds and single cubicles. Other facilities include a high dependency unit for up to two patients, a school room, adolescent room, sensory room, parents’ room, play room, an outside play area and garden.