Staff at Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill Hospital have made a plea for "the gift of understanding" as they continue to receive shocking verbal abuse.

The staff, who have now been battling the pandemic for months, say it does not feel like the "season of goodwill" because many frontline workers and reception staff are still being threatened and sworn at.

Despite the issue being highlighted several times, the abuse is continuing in all departments.

In a plea on social media, Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said: "We’re about to enter the season of goodwill, but for some of our hospital staff who have been battling the pandemic for months, it doesn’t really feel like it.

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"It saddens us to say it, but many frontline workers and reception staff are still being threatened, sworn at and subjected to verbal abuse because they are asking people to follow the COVID rules. No one should be subjected to that.

"We know it’s a worrying time to be a patient or to have a loved one in hospital, but we’re trying our best to keep people safe and to keep those who can’t be with loved ones up-to-date."

It comes as routine visiting continues to be restricted in hospitals, and rules in place which mean visitors must wear a face covering and attend appointments alone where possible.

The trust added: "Unfortunately, routine visiting is restricted right now, and we’re also asking you to wear a face covering, wash your hands and in most cases, attend appointments alone.

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"The rules are there for everyone’s protection; more than 300 people have now died in our hospitals after testing positive for Covid-19 and we don’t want any more.

"The gift of patience and understanding is really appreciated. Please don't be offended or be verbally abusive towards staff if you're asked to cover your face, to wait outside, or to wash or sanitise your hands.

"The rules are there for everyone, to protect everyone. We know these are strange times we're living in and we know lots of people are anxious, but we'd really appreciate your patience and understanding as we work through this together."

Last month, Katy Rutter, sister in the Eye Hospital at Hull Royal Infirmary, described some of the abuse they receive.

“My staff have endured some terrible abuse from patients and relatives during the pandemic,” she said.

“One example was when a patient’s relative was asked to wait for their loved one outside.

“They became angry and said they hoped my staff member caught Covid and died, which is a horrific thing to say and totally unnecessary.

“Please don’t treat us this way when all we are trying to do is keep everyone safe.”