More than 2,000 patients were seen at Northampton General Hospital's A&E department in January, new figures have revealed.
Hospital bosses say about 25 percent of those treated were then admitted to hospital...but many of those admissions could have been avoided had they been to see their GP earlier, they say.
Carl Holland, deputy chief operating officer, said: "We are seeing more people than ever before coming to the emergency department. Many are older people, often with respiratory illness and other medical conditions and it is these patients who require admission.
"However, it is possible that a hospital admission could have been avoided if they had been to see their GP sooner and received treatment at an earlier stage of their illness."
The hospital has discovered that many people are putting off going to see their GP because they believe surgeries are busy, and instead are waiting to see if their symptoms improve. What often happens is they then become so unwell that they require emergency hospital admission.
"We appreciate the fact that many people are doing their best to manage their illnesses at home.’ said Mr Holland.
"However, it is really important that people with existing respiratory illnesses or multiple conditions do seek advice and treatment from their GP when they become unwell. That way they can be treated without delay and, hopefully, avoid a hospital admission."