Plea to "avoid A&E if you can" as pressures grow on Northamptonshire's hospitals

NHS staff battling to cope with more numbers of non-urgent cases through door

Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 4:57 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 4:58 pm

Hospital chiefs have warned people could be turned away from the county's Accident & Emergency departments if their condition is not life-threatening as pressure grows on NHS staff.

Northampton General Hospital and Kettering General Hospital are battling to deal with increasing numbers through the door – particularly young people with relatively minor complaints.

And they are begging people to think before rushing straight to A&E.

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Rising numbers of Covid-19 cases in the county is leading to more patients being treated in hospital with the virus.

Latest figures showed 38 Covid patients in beds on Tuesday (July 20), an increase from 26 in just four days since Friday.

NGH Chief Operating Officer Jo Fawcus admitted: “We are continuing to see hundreds attending the two A&E departments at Northampton and Kettering each day, a significant number of them with relatively minor problems.

“At the same time, we are seeing Covid-19 infections are again rising across the county – and the numbers of people, especially younger people needing to be hospitalised with it, which is a serious concern.

Staff at Northamptonshire's two hospitals are begging people to avoid A&E unless absolutely necessary

“If people attend A&E with very minor injuries or long-term complaints that should be dealt with through self-care, their local pharmacist, GP or NHS 111 then our team may turn people away and direct them back to community services.

“We need the support of our local community so that we can concentrate on those people who need our care the most.

"We have been overwhelmed by the support shown to our teams during the pandemic and would ask that our local community continue to show kindness and respect to them”.

Both hospitals are pleading with patients to think before they attend A&E and to only go when absolutely necessary.

Kettering General Hospital’s Clinical Director for Urgent Care, Dr Adrian Ierina, said: “Both hospitals are seeing a very high number of attendances at A&E and this is creating pressure across all departments.

“The NHS locally is very busy and we please ask people to think about the best place for their care instead of using our A&E services.

"Pharmacists, GP’s, the Corby and Brackley urgent care units, NHS 111 and the NHS app are all there to provide free help.”