Bosses at Northampton General Hospitals have said they are currently under considerable emergency pressure and have apologised to those who had their operations cancelled today.
A large number of patients requiring emergency care have built up pressure on wards and A&E departments over the Christmas and New Year period - which means both hospitals are concentrating their efforts on emergency care.
As a result, NGH has had to cancel many planned operations and routine outpatient clinics today (Tuesday, January 2) to ensure there are enough beds for emergency patients.
The hospital is contacting all of the affected patients and sincerely apologised for the inconvenience.
Dr Sonia Swart, chief executive of NGH said: “Our senior staff have been spending time with patients and their families to give them assurances that although they may be waiting longer than we would like, we have very good systems and procedures in place to ensure out patients are safe and that we’re prioritising our most unwell patients.
"We’re also asking our patients and their families to talk to their care team so they understand why they are waiting and what the treatment plan is.
“Our local community can help us at this challenging time by coming to collect their friends or relatives as soon as possible once they are ready to leave, so we can make sure our most unwell patients coming into hospital from A&E can be admitted quickly and safely.”
Since December 24, Northampton General Hospital has had an average of 360 people attending A&E each day and admitted 770 ill patients to hospital beds over this period.
Examples of appropriate use of A&E:
- Serious medical problems such as chest pain, collapse, or heavy blood loss.
- Severe limb injuries which are very painful and could be caused by a broken bone
- Burns which are large, or deep, and need dressings
- Deep cuts which won't stop bleeding/may have damaged tendons or may need stitches to heal properly
Examples of inappropriate uses of A&E:
- Coughs and colds - most people would be best just to stay at home or see their local pharmacist
- Old injuries or joint problems - are best seen by your GP, at least initially
- Queries about medication - these are best dealt with by your GP
- Toothache - you need to be seen by a dentist. Hospitals like Kettering General do not have trained dentists in A&E
- Trying to use A&E to get a 'second opinion' rather than using the GP service