Queen Elizabeth Hospital is full to the limit. All 488 beds are taken with chiefs close to declaring a black alert – the highest emergency warning.
Under black alerts, hospitals shut their doors to admissions, casualty is blocked and the 15 minute ambulance hand-over times are not met.
A black alert was declared on Tuesday at QEH and yesterday the hospital was on an internal black alert that was not affecting ambulance services.
Staff blame an influx of patients due to the cold weather, an elderly population and being unable to discharge medically fit people in need of other care.
Yesterday the hospital had 54 people who cannot leave until an individual care package has been put together.
Assistant director of communications Vee Scott is urging people not go to hospital unless it is emergency.
She said: “We have been experiencing extreme pressure, as is the region in general, but we are not on external black alert.
“When under extreme pressure we always keep a watching brief internally. We are very close but not quite up to the black alert definition.”