A number of planned operations and outpatient clinics at KGH have been cancelled today (Tuesday) as the hospital struggles to cope with emergency pressures.
An average of 253 people have attended A&E each day since Christmas Eve, building pressure on wards and departments.
As a result the hospital has had to cancel operations to ensure there are enough beds for emergency patients.
KGH’s chief operating officer Rebecca Brown said: “We are under extreme pressure at the moment and are caring for a large number of older people who need urgent treatment.
“The average age of inpatients at the moment is 74, many with multiple medical conditions, and these poorly patients have to be our priority at present.
“Clearly we would like to devote as much time as possible to caring for these patients so that they get well quickly and do not need to stay in hospital for extended periods of time.
“Local people can help by not attending A&E for conditions which they could wait and see their GP for.
“Or maybe they could access other NHS services such as the Corby Urgent Care Centre, NHS 111 advice line or their local pharmacist.”
The hospital is contacting all of the affected patients and has sincerely apologised for the inconvenience.
Since December 24, KGH has admitted 767 ill patients to hospital beds - just three less than Northampton General Hospital, who have seen more than 100 more patients per day.
NGH’s chief operating officer and deputy chief executive Deborah Needham said: “Between Christmas Eve and today, we’ve seen on average a new patient every four minutes in our emergency department.
“Both acute hospitals are urging local people to do everything they can to support discharge.
“Anything people can do to help their relatives to return home - or into appropriate community care – as soon as possible is very helpful because any delays in discharge only add greater pressure on the hospitals’ front lines.”
Both hospitals thanked staff who are going above and beyond normal duties to deal with the current pressures and to keep all patients safe.
Examples of appropriate use of A&E:
-Serious medical problems such as chest pain, collapse, or heavy blood loss.
-Severe limb injuries which are very painful and could be caused by a broken bone
-Burns which are large, or deep, and need dressings
-Deep cuts which won’t stop bleeding/may have damaged tendons or may need stitches to heal properly
Examples of inappropriate uses of A&E:
-Coughs and colds
-Old injuries or joint problems
-Queries about medication
-Trying to use A&E to get a second opinion