Stretched NHS staff warn "A&E is incredibly busy today" at Northampton General Hospital

Plea to call 111 or click for help before travelling to hospital

Tuesday, 17th August 2021, 12:56 pm

Stretched NHS staff at Northampton General Hospital are begging people to stay away from its emergency department unless absolutely necessary.

Non-emergency cases are likely to be turned away and re-directed to online or phone triage services provided by the NHS.

Bosses at NGH issued a plea on Tuesday morning (August 17) saying: "Our emergency department is incredibly busy today.

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"Please help our staff by only attending when it is an emergency – if it’s not you will be redirected to another service.

"Please go online to 111.nhs.uk or call 111, or visit a local pharmacy first to be directed to the best place for your needs."

More patients visited A&E at Northampton General Hospital last month, with demand rising above the levels seen over the same period last year.

NHS England figures show 11,935 patients visited A&E at Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust last month.

Northampton General Hospital saw nearly 12,000 A&E patients during July

That was a rise of one percent on the 11,788 visits recorded in June and 41 percent more than the 8,457 patients seen in July 2020.

Kettering General Hospital CEO Deborah Needham revealed recently: "Across both hospitals, we are seeing patients coming in to A&E departments who have got really minor illnesses that could be seen by pharmacists or treated at home ... like hayfever.

"While that may seem serious and severe to the individual experiencing the effects of that, it doesn't warrant a trip to your GP unless you can't breathe — or a trip to A&E.

"So my message to the general public is to please keep hospitals free of patients that don't need to be there. Please use alternatives like contacting 111 via the internet or phone 111 and they will direct you to the right place."