Local people are being urged to only come to the A&E departments at Epsom and St Helier hospitals in genuine emergencies, as the hospitals and their A&E departments are extremely busy.
Chief Operating Officer, Caroline Landon said: “We are seeing high numbers of sick people and our hospitals are very busy indeed. Therefore we would ask those with a condition that is not urgent or life threatening to contact their GP, local pharmacist or call NHS 111.
“We have an excellent track record in delivering the A&E standard and working closely with our partners in community and social care to ensure people receive the right health care in the right setting. We also have a number of measures in place to make sure that, even during unprecedented times of demand, we can provide compassionate care to our patients in a timely way. That includes having additional consultants at work (including at weekends) to provide senior medical reviews for our patients, as well as additional staff on every shift. These plans are truly making a difference, and I would like to thank everyone involved, especially our staff and our local partners, for helping to keep our hospitals running smoothly.
“We would also ask people not to come to hospital if they have experienced diarrhoea and vomiting within the last 48 hours. Stomach bugs can be highly contagious and can badly impact on patients in our care.”
As our hospitals remain very busy at the moment, patients coming to A&E who do not need emergency care are likely to be in for a long wait. We know that’s not ideal for our patients so we would encourage people to follow the advice below.