Admissions to Kettering General Hospital up by a fifth during Christmas period

Kettering Hospital says it is facing 'unprecedented' demand for its services this winter
Kettering Hospital says it is facing 'unprecedented' demand for its services this winter

Kettering General Hospital has faced a 20 per cent rise in the number of people being admitted to accident and emergency since Christmas.

A total of 2,300 people – almost 500 people a day – have been admitted to the A&E departments at Kettering and Northampton general hospitals since December 25.

And health bosses are again urging people to use the services appropriately, a day after the region’s ambulance service revealed how its resources were also faced with a rise in demand at this time of year.

At Kettering there have been 1,018 A&E attendances since Christmas Day, with 434 patients urgently needing hospital beds.

County GP Dr Matthew Davies, speaking on behalf of the NHS in Northamptonshire, said: “The emergency pressures that began to build up earlier in December have continued to rise and are putting very significant pressure on local hospitals, as they have done on hospitals across the country.

“Hospitals are working very hard to see these patients – many of whom are quite acutely ill and who definitely need the acute care they are receiving.

“The New Year celebrations can put an even greater strain on emergency services and so we asking people to carefully consider appropriate use messages.

“People should only go to hospital in a real emergency so that we can concentrate our resources on treating the large numbers of patients who are acutely ill.”

East Midlands Ambulance Service, Northamptonshire Police, Nene and Corby Clinical Commissioning Groups, and the hospitals are all encouraging the public to make sensible choices over the New Year.

A Northamptonshire Police spokesman said: “Unfortunately, people who are drunk are significantly more likely to become either an offender or a victim of crime. We want people to be able to celebrate the New Year without their enjoyment being affected by those behaving in a violent way, to get home safely and not end up in a police cell or A&E.”

People are being urged only to attend hospital A&E departments if their condition cannot be seen by a GP or pharmacist and is clearly very serious. They should not attend or visiting hospitals with stomach bugs or colds or flu symptoms.

When in doubt about whether you need NHS support start by using health advice services such as the NHS 111 helpline and website.

Patients should also consider using Corby Urgent Care Centre instead of going to A&E. It is open from 8am to 8pm every day of the year.

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