KGH has warned people not to use A&E unless it is an absolute emergency over the bank holiday after medics had their busiest day of the year.
On Monday (August 21), 296 people attended A&E at KGH – 18 per cent more than normal with more than 100 people admitted to hospital beds.
It also had a very busy day yesterday with 274 patients attending compared to an expected number of about 240.
Kettering General Hospital’s chief operating officer, Rebecca Brown, said: “We are dealing with large numbers of people who do need hospital care and are working very hard to meet their needs.
“What we really don’t want to see over the bank holiday is local people using the A&E department as an alternative to waiting to see their GP for minor injuries and illnesses or health problems that can wait to be seen.
“This would put additional pressure on our teams who are already working very hard to cope with a surge in more serious patients.”
The position is very similar at Northampton General Hospital where, over the past week, more than 350 patients a day have been attending the emergency department.
Carl Holland, NGH’s deputy chief operating officer, said: “We are seeing a high number of people who are very unwell, some of whom have waited longer than they should to seek medical advice and consequently have required emergency admission, whereas if they had seen their GP sooner, a hospital admission may have been avoided.
“Patients attending inappropriately are being referred back to their GP if they are well enough, or asked to seek advice from their local pharmacy in order that we can focus on our patients who need emergency care and treatment.”
Both hospitals also said it would urge local people who have relatives due to be discharged from KGH or NGH to do everything they can to support this as this will help maintain hospital flow and free beds for serious medical emergencies.
People who require health services over the bank holiday weekend have a number of options including: NHS 111 service, Corby Urgent Care Centre, pharmacy, self-care and repeat prescriptions.
Dr Matthew Davies, medical director at NHS Nene CCG, said: “If you do become unwell over the bank holiday weekend, there are lots of ways that you can get the care you need.
“No-one wants to spend their bank holiday sitting in A&E if you don’t need to – there are quicker and easier ways to get treatment.
“Going to the right place for your condition ensures that you receive the help you require as quickly as possible, and it also helps to free up A&E for people with life threatening injuries and illnesses.”
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