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Southend University Hospital seeing high volumes of patients

05 January 2016

Health Care

Southend University Hospital is currently seeing a very high number of patients visiting the emergency department and a higher than usual number of acutely ill patients requiring a hospital bed.

The trust has made the decision to cancel some elective operations and outpatient clinics; this does not affect emergency or cancer related surgery. Patients will be notified in person should their surgery or appointment be postponed and should continue to attend their appointments as arranged unless contacted by the hospital.

However, as is the picture across the region, we remain under pressure due to high levels of emergency attendances since Boxing Day and on New Year's Day we received 112 ambulance attendances, the highest ever.

To assist the hospital in dealing with the situation, the trust 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 hospital is currently extremely busy dealing both with the high number of patients coming through our doors and the number of very ill patients who need to be admitted to hospital.

"The emergency department is very busy and we have to warn patients 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, or to speak with your GP or pharmacist."