BARNSLEY Hospital is urging people to make an appointment before visiting to prevent crowding in waiting rooms.

The audiology department released a statement after members of the public visited to collect hearing aid batteries, which was something that was allowed before the lockdown period.

The department has been booking appointments for more routine patients since June 29 but is limited to the number of people it can have in the waiting room that it shares with the ear, nose and throat department.

Head of audiology Liza Smeeton said: “Even though they can ring, text or email and we will post the batteries out, people still keep coming to the department without an appointment.

“Audiology patients have to have an appointment like all other departments, and there are other ways of us helping them like via text and email and the postal system.

“We are already working in new ways with video and telephone consultations and we’ve also just achieved re-accreditation of the service under the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) – we were the first audiology site to have a virtual assessment due to Covid-19.”