Extra measures have been implemented at Peterborough City Hospital to cope with increased demand over the winter.
More beds and wards have been made available to residents to help medical staff cope with the extra patients using the hospital during the colder weather.
While temperatures have been unseasonably mild, precautions have been put in place, and colder weather is forecast to hit the city later on this week - which is likely to further increase demand on services.
Along with the extra facilities, staff are working with charity organisations to help people get home from hospital as soon as they are ready, to free up more space for other patients.
Neil Doverty, Chief Operating Officer for Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said they had seen a big increase in the number of patients over the Christmas and New Year period.
He said: “Like other Trusts in the country, we have seen an increase in the number of patients treated in our Emergency Department over the last few weeks.
“As part of the Trust’s winter planning strategy, we have made a number of adjustments at Peterborough City Hospital.
“They include; creating space for an additional 12 beds; creating a new, dedicated 29 bed Medical short stay ward; changing the use of two wards to provide both specialist and general medical care; and working closely with our voluntary sector partners, including the British Red Cross, who provide hospital to home support for adult patients who are well enough to leave hospital.”
Patients are also being advised to think carefully about whether they need to attend hospital, or if they can be treated elsewhere.
Mr Doverty said people should consider other options before turning up at A & E.
He said: “We would like to ask people to choose well and consider whether they could seek help from their local pharmacy, GP, the Minor Injuries and Illness Unit at the City Care Centre or ringing NHS 111, before travelling to the hospital’s Emergency Department.
“This will enable us to focus on helping those patients who require urgent priority treatment.”