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Southend University Hospital still ‘extremely busy’ but steps down to red alert

06 May 2015

Health Care

This morning Southend University Hospital has stepped down to red alert, however it remains extremely busy, so is still asking people to consider alternatives to attending A&E unless it is an emergency.

To assist in dealing with the situation, the hospital 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.

On top of a busy Bank Holiday, on Tuesday 5th May the A&E department saw very high attendances (310), 110 of which were ambulances.

Unfortunately a small number of elective operations, 18 in total, were cancelled yesterday, but all patients were told in person and these will be rescheduled.

No further operations have been cancelled today and emergency and cancer operations have not been affected.

Sue Hardy, the hospital's chief executive, thanked both staff for their continued hard work and members of the public for spreading and heeding the important message. She said: "We would like to thank our dedicated staff for their efforts in managing the pressures and continuing to provide high quality care.  Despite the increased levels of demand patient safety remains our priority.

"And we'd like to thank everyone who shared our messages on Twitter and Facebook to make people aware both of the hospital's status and A&E alternatives for those not in an emergency, such as NHS 111.

"We've also been working with our health partners, including Southend CCG and Rochford & Castle Point CCG, to raise the profile of alternatives to A&E for the public."

Alternatives to A&E

NHS 111

For anyone unsure of the best course of action, always ring NHS 111 for health advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

GP's out of hours service

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.


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.