What happened as Bassetlaw Hospital A&E closed due to contamination incident this week

An emergency department in a Worksop hospital had to be closed earlier this week due to suspected contamination.
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The A&E department in Bassetlaw Hospital in Worksop was temporarily placed on divert on the evening of Tuesday, August 15, while decontamination procedures were carried out.

A trusted source, who was present at the scene, told your Guardian the decision was allegedly made after some biscuits brought in by a patient were feared to have been laced with a “dangerous substance”.

They said: “The paramedics attending the patient had found him presenting symptoms including foaming at the mouth, and had bagged the biscuits to be analysed.

Bassetlaw Hospital.Bassetlaw Hospital.
Bassetlaw Hospital.

“But the A&E staff opened the bag and handled the biscuits, exposing however many people to whatever could be there, potentially, sparking the need for urgent safety measures to be taken.”

Our source claimed the biscuits were ultimately deemed to be found safe after testing, and that the patient’s symptoms had been caused by other means.

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Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust confirmed the department closed while a ‘decontamination process’ was activated.

The trust also reassured the public that A&E has since reopened and no additional harm occurred as a result of the incident.

A spokesperson at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals said: “On Tuesday evening, Bassetlaw Hospital's Emergency Department was temporarily placed on divert for a period of around two hours due to the activation of our decontamination process.

“Neither patients nor staff were harmed during this time and we continued to appropriately assess, prioritise and triage incoming patients.”