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.
The trust’s Joint Medical Director, Dr James Marsh said: “We are seeing unprecedented numbers of sick people and our hospitals are very busy indeed. There is a nasty respiratory infection which is particularly impacting the frail and elderly in our communities. 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.”
Chief Operating Officer, Caroline Landon added: “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 are receiving an exemplary level of support from our partners in the local health and care system.
“We have innovative care delivery models, like Epsom Health and Care that have multi- disciplinary teams from all healthcare partners working together as one team to deliver patient centred services. 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.
“As we are so 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.”