Officials at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital have this afternoon pleaded for patients not to go its accident and emergency unit unless absolutely necessary, because of high demand.
Karen Croker, the hospital’s chief operating officer, said a short time ago: “Over the last couple of days, the hospital has once again seen significant numbers of acutely ill patients arriving at A&E.
“We are appealing for the public’s help in dealing with this spike in demand and would ask them to only attend A&E if absolutely necessary.
“All 57 escalation beds within the West Norfolk healthcare system are currently in use.
“Our A&E department continues to treat large numbers of frail, elderly and acutely ill people, who require admittance to hospital.
“This demand for beds combined with the high number of medically fit patients we are also treating, has created a substantial amount of pressure.
“Patient safety remains our top priority and our staff are working tirelessly to ensure the continued smooth operation of our hospital.
“We continue to work with our partners across the health and social care system to ensure we remain able to proactively manage this spike in demand for our services and discharge all medically fit patients to relieve the pressure on our bed base.
“We would appeal to the public to help our staff during this busy time to consider their options before setting out for A&E.
“We would never deter anyone from seeking medical treatment but would encourage people first to dial NHS 111 for advice or consider other options for minor ailments. Advice can also be found on the internet by visiting www.nhs.uk/staywell or the Choose Me Not A&E website, www.choosemenotaande.co.uk
“We also ask that people who have experienced diarrhoea or vomiting in the past 48 hours refrain from visiting the hospital unless it is a medical emergency to help prevent Norovirus entering the hospital.”