People are being urged to stay away from A&E at Northampton General Hospital (NGH) after admissions reached a four-month high this week.
A total of 343 patients attended NGH on Tuesday, the highest figure since November, while the attendance of 255 on the same day at neighbouring Kettering General Hospital was a 12-month high.
Both Northampton and Kettering hospitals have reported “substantial pressure” on admissions.
However, health bosses have said many of these attendances could have been avoided and the increase in hospital admissions has led to bed capacity at both hospitals becoming significantly overloaded.
Both hospitals are now urging people not to go to their A&E department, particularly over the next 48 hours, unless their condition is an accident, emergency or life-threatening.
Deborah Alderson, medicine care group director at Northampton, said: “Of course people who are seriously unwell will rightly go to A&E departments, but a significant percentage of people who arrive at A&E could easily find safe and effective treatment from alternative sources of healthcare, including their GP, Out of Hours GP service, minor injuries units and local pharmacy.”
Patients can find out the most appropriate service to access by calling NHS direct on 0845 4647.