Managers at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital have urged the public not to go to the accident and emergency department unless absolutely necessary amid exceptionally high demand.
The hospital is this evening, Tuesday, October 14, on black alert, the highest level of alert, and some operations have been cancelled.
People who have experienced diarrhoea or vomiting within the last 72 hours are also being asked to stay away from the site altogether.
Officials say the hospital is experiencing particularly high levels of demand, along with other hospitals across East Anglia.
A spokesman said a short time ago: “In order to alleviate some of the pressures on our services, we would urge anyone who needs medical treatment for minor injuries and illness not to automatically go to A&E but consider all the other options, including the NHS 111 telephone helpline or visiting your GP or local pharmacist.”
In a joint statement, the trust and the West Norfolk clinical commissioning group added: “The hospital has been very busy since the weekend and this has, unfortunately, led to some patients having to wait longer than we would like to be treated in the emergency department and admitted into beds.
“The CCG works closely with the trust and the Ambulance service to ensure that any patient who does have to wait in A&E is made as comfortable as possible and regularly monitored in a safe environment.
“We are working hard with our partner health and social care organisations to create more capacity in the hospital and out in the community that will allow patients to be treated quicker.”