People are being urged to avoid going to A&E and find alternative care as Kettering General Hospital struggles to find beds for its patients.
Both Kettering General Hospital (KGH) and Northampton General Hospital are currently under considerable emergency care pressures and looking after large numbers of patients.
KGH has been in an escalated position since Christmas and again this week has declared a ‘black alert’ status which means that its emergency care facilities and beds are under very significant pressure.
Acting chief executive Clare Culpin said: “I know that people have heard this before but I am appealing to local people to do everything they can to avoid the need to come to hospital.
“We have some excellent local pharmacists who can provide advice to people with conditions such as colds and flu and the Corby Urgent Care Centre is an alternative to A&E for more urgent conditions that need an intervention.
“GPs and specialist nurses can also provide people who are managing long term conditions with some good advice.”
The hospital is currently looking after more patients than it has beds for which means that it has had to open more ‘escalation’ beds around the hospital and externally.
Between December 19 and January 1, some 3,318 people attended A&E – 14 per day (6.2 per cent) more than the same time last year.
Admissions to hospital (1,384) are also up 10.5 per cent and ambulance arrivals (1,237) up 7.5 per cent over the same period.
On Tuesday (January 3) 287 patients arrived in A&&E – which is much higher than even this Winter’s average of 237 (December 19-January 1) per day.
Chief operating officer Rebecca Brown said: “We are seeing some very poorly patients who urgently need hospital beds.
“One of our messages would be to the families of patients who are currently with us would be to support us to facilitate an early discharge.
“If your relative needs residential or nursing home care – please help us by arranging this as swiftly as possible.
“Hospital is not the best place for an older person who no longer needs our specialist care.”