People are being urged not to go to A&E at Kettering or Northampton general hospitals after a large rise in admissions during the past 48 hours.
Substantial pressure has again been seen on admissions at both Kettering and Northampton hospitals over the past week, particularly during the past two days.
Kettering hospital saw its highest level in the last 12 months with 255 attendances yesterday (Tuesday) and Northampton saw the highest number of attendances at A&E since November yesterday when 343 people sought treatment in the department.
Health bosses have said many of these attendances could have been avoided, and the increase in hospital admissions has led to bed capacity at both hospitals becoming significantly overloaded.
Both hospitals are now urging people not to go to their A&E department – particularly over the next 48 hours - unless their condition is an accident, emergency or life-threatening.
Deborah Alderson, Medicine Care Group director at Northampton, said: “Of course people who are seriously unwell will rightly go to A&E departments but a significant percentage of people who arrive at A&E could easily find safe and effective treatment from alternative sources of healthcare; ranging from their GP, Out of Hours GP service and minor injuries units to their local pharmacy.
“If patients are unsure of which service to access they can contact NHS direct on 0845 4647.”
Patients in the north of the county are being urged to go to Corby’s new Urgent Care Centre on the Willowbrook Health Complex if possible. The centre is open from 8am to 8pm every day of the year.
Sue Watkinson, Chief Operating Officer at Kettering hospital, said: “We can all help by using the safe and effective alternatives to A&E.
“As well as sprains, strains, minor burns and wounds, the Urgent Care Centre in Corby can also help with urgent medical conditions that can’t wait to see a GP – for example children with high temperatures; people with breathing problems; bladder and other painful infections; abdominal pain; severe headaches; worrying worsening of a long term condition.
“Minor injuries including simple fractures can be treated at the UCC and the clinicians working there have access to x-rays and blood tests from 8am to 8pm.”