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Don't visit Royal Surrey A&E unless 'absolutely necessary'

3 minute read
Don't visit Royal Surrey A&E unless 'absolutely necessary'

Published at 12:58pm 8th March 2018. (Updated at 2:41pm 8th March 2018)

The Royal Surrey Hospital is urging people not to visit its emergency departments unless 'absolutely necessary'.

Due to continued high levels of flu and other acute illnesses, the trust says it is very busy in all areas - in particular A&E and in-patient wards.

The hospital says it has been seeing up to 50 more patients each day this week, than usual.

Deputy Chief Executive and Medical Director, Dr Christopher Tibbs, said: "We don't often do this but the last two days have been incredibly busy.

"We're encouraging people who don't need to go to the hospital to look for help elsewhere.

"They can call NHS 111, they can visit their local walk-in centre. If it's a minor thing, you can ask your pharmacist for advice or a general practitioner.

"When you have a cold-snap, like last week, people can't get to the hospital so they come this week instead. It's also well recognised that there's an increased prevalence of coughs and colds, leading onto nasty pneumonia following on from this type of weather."

It comes as waiting time performance in A&E departments in England is at its worst since the measure was introduced 14 years ago.

Only 85 per cent of patients were seen within 4 hours last month - the target is 95 per cent.

Rose Gallagher from the Royal College of Nursing says the whole system is too full: "When you're running a full NHS with very little bed capacity and then combine that with norovirus and influenza, it creates a perfect storm where patients aren't able to get into A&E departments and through to the wards."

Dr Tibbs added: "We want to see the people who are really ill and need hospital care.

"But if it is something that can wait, or something that is relatively minor or can be seen and you can get advice from elsewhere, that will probably be better for you because we won't be able to see you as quickly as we'd like to." 



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