An "unprecedented" demand for emergency care at Peterborough City Hospital is leading to a long wait for a bed.
The hospital has declared a 'Critical Internal Incident' today (Monday, January 2) due to pressures on its Emergency Department, with extra staff called in to help.
A post on the Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust's website states:
"Following an extremely busy festive period, the trust running Peterborough City Hospital has today declared a Critical Internal Incident due to an unprecedented demand for emergency care.
"Despite the best efforts of the Emergency Department teams, patients requiring admission to a ward are facing significant delays due to a lack of available beds."
Emergency Department consultant Dr Andrew Cope said: “I would like to thank patients and their relatives for their co-operation and understanding, particularly those who have experienced a long delay in waiting for a bed. We are doing all we can to ensure patients do not have to wait any longer than is necessary, but this is being hampered by the larger than usual volume of people needing hospital care at present.
“We have called in additional staff to assess patients coming to us in an emergency and to support our ward teams in discharging those patients who are now well enough to go home. However, we are bracing ourselves for a challenging first week of the new year as we know it will take a few days before we can re-establish a smoother flow of patients in and out of hospital.
“Regionally, other hospitals are also under significant pressure so we would ask that people only attend their local Emergency Department for critical situations, such as choking, chest pain, loss of consciousness, severe blood loss, broken bones or trauma, difficulty breathing, deep wounds or suspected stroke.
“For non-urgent issues such as x-rays, wounds, bites and sprains we would ask people to attend the Minor Illness and Injuries Unit. In addition, they can seek help and advice from NHS 111, their local pharmacy or GP.”
There are various alternative NHS services which may be able to treat your condition more appropriately:
PHARMACY: Your pharmacy can provide confidential, expert advice and treatment for a range of common illnesses and complaints without having to wait for a GP appointment.
NHS111: This service has been introduced to make easier for you to access local NHS healthcare services in England. NHS 111 and easy way to get the right help, whatever the time. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free.
WALK IN CENTRES: Walk-In Centres can be treated for minor injuries and ailments.
The public can find out more on how to keep well and where to get expert advice at www.nhs.uk/staywell.