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Southend Hospital declares ‘significant internal incident’

05 May 2015

Health Care

Southend University Hospital has declared a significant internal incident following a busier than normal Bank Holiday weekend. As a result the Accident and Emergency Department is also facing increased pressures.

The 'significant internal incident' is being reviewed by the hospital at regular intervals.

The decision has been taken to cancel some elective operations, this does not cover emergency or cancer related surgery. Patients have been notified in person this afternoon and unless patients have been contacted they should continue to attend their appointments as arranged unless contacted by the hospital.

To assist the hospital in dealing with the situation, it would like to remind members of the public to only visit the accident and emergency department if they are seriously unwell or critically injured. 

Choking, chest pain, blacking out, blood loss and fractures are all considered emergencies, and those with symptoms like this should not hesitate to visit their local A&E department.

Sue Hardy, chief executive at Southend University Hospital, said: "The emergency department is extremely busy and patients are being warned that those attending with 'non-urgent' conditions will wait much longer than usual as patients are prioritised according to how unwell they are.

"We would like to remind anyone who is unsure of the best course of action to always ring NHS 111 for health advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week."

If you need more than telephone advice when your GP is closed, then you can avoid several hours' wait in the emergency department by telephoning NHS 111 for an appointment with your GP's out-of-hours service which runs from 6.30pm until 8.00am Monday to Friday and all day at weekends and Bank Holidays.

In many instances, pharmacies are a good choice.  Pharmacists can help give advice and over-the-counter remedies for diarrhoea, minor infections, headaches, coughs and colds, as well as selling bandages and supports for minor twists and sprains.