Overloaded hospital urges people to stay away

PUBLISHED: 18:12 03 January 2015 | UPDATED: 15:28 04 January 2015

Weston General Hospital - struggling to cope with demand.

Weston General Hospital - struggling to cope with demand.

Archant

AN 'UNPRECEDENTED' demand for medical help at Weston General Hospital means bosses are warning people to stay away unless 'emergency' treatment is needed.

The overloaded Grange Road site has opened extra beds and drafted in staff for additional shifts, but is still struggling to meet demand.

A spokesman has this afternoon (Saturday) told the Mercury that record demands on services over Christmas and New Year has left medics struggling to cope.

That means people are being urged to only attend the accident and emergency department if they are in genuine need of emergency treatment.

Otherwise, people are urged to dial NHS 111 for advice, seek advice from a pharmacist or wait until Monday to make an appointment with their GP instead.

The spokesman said: “Along with other nearby hospitals, the ambulance service and community health services across the area, there has been an unprecedented number of people seeking healthcare services over the Christmas and New Year period.

“During this time of escalation, we expect waiting times in the hospital emergency department to be longer than normal and we apologise in advance for any delays that patients may have or may experience.

“To deal with the high demand, the hospital has opened a number of additional beds across the hospital, with staff working many additional hours to staff these areas.

“We will always aim to provide the highest standard of care and we will strive to ensure that excellent patient care is maintained during this time of escalation.”

The situation is further complicated by the fact that three hospital wards remain closed due to an outbreak of the winter vomiting bug norovirus.

The spokesman said: “We reiterate to visitors to the hospital that if they have experienced symptoms of norovirus, such as vomiting and diarrhoea, to please not attend the hospital for 48 hours.”

Further information and updates can be found direct from the hospital’s website www.waht.nhs.uk or via its Twitter feed @westonnhs.

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