WELL-WISHERS taking part in the weekly ‘Clap For Carers’ event which honours NHS staff have been urged to remember social distancing guidelines - after an estimated 200 people descended on Barnsley Hospital.

The national spectacle - which has seen residents clap from their windows and doors at 8pm every Thursday - ended with criticism in Barnsley last night after crowds flocked to the hospital’s car park in what witnesses said were ‘festival-like’ scenes.

However, well-wishers - who have been thanked for their continued support by hospital bosses - have been told to stay away from the site unless they are already there and respect social distancing measures.

Bob Kirton, chief operating officer and deputy chief executive of Barnsley Hospital, said: “The weekly Clap For Carers means an immense amount to our staff working on the frontline to support patients in our hospital. 

“While we at Barnsley Hospital greatly appreciate the overwhelmingly positive support, we urge people to observe the essential social distancing measures in place and ensure this is practiced effectively on our hospital site.

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“The fact that people want to come to Barnsley Hospital to show their support by clapping our staff is incredible but we must ask that for the continued safety of our staff and our patients, unless you are already at the hospital, please don’t attend the site to participate.

“We would love to receive examples of people participating in Clap for Carers which we can directly share with our hard-working staff. Please send them to communications.barnsley@nhs.net or on our Facebook and Twitter feeds.  

“As a reminder, please only go outside to exercise one a day, for food, medicines and health reasons or for work, but only if you cannot work from home.  

“If you do go out, please stay two metres away from other people at all times. You can spread the virus even if you do not have symptoms.”