Officials are urging members of the public to consider treatment away from A&E after reporting record numbers at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital over the festive period.
This year, between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, the hospital’s A&E department saw 1,300 attendances – a 5.6 per cent increase on the same period last year during which 1,231 people went to the department.
On Monday, January 2, the emergency department dealt with 246 patients, making the bank holiday its busiest ever day.
Acting deputy chief executive Charles Bruce said: “Maintaining patient care is our top priority, we know the period between Christmas and New Year is always one of our busiest times and as such we always work with our partners to ensure we continue to operate effectively under this increased pressure.
“This year we saw an average of 185 attendances per day over the festive period, compared with an average of 176 patients per day seen over the same time last year.
“This is not unusual for this time of year and we continued to operate effectively throughout which is a credit to all our staff who worked so hard while other were enjoying time with their families.”
And overnight on Wednesday, the emergency department continued to see high volumes of patients, via ambulance and of their own accord.
“Many of the patients we are seeing are frail, elderly and acutely ill, necessitating them being admitted to hospital.
“Clearly we would never deter anyone from seeking medical treatment if they feel unwell, however, at this busy time we ask that people consider other options for minor ailments dial NHS 111 for advice before setting out to A&E,” Mr Bruce added.
For more information and advice, visit www.nhs.uk/staywell or the Choose Me Not A&E website: www.choosemenotaande.co.uk.