People are being asked to consider whether the minor injuries unit at Stamford Hospital could help before they go to the emergency department at Peterborough City Hospital.
Peterborough City Hospital has few available beds after an unexpected rise in emergency admissions in the past 24 hours. The emergency department is very busy and patients with conditions that are not urgent or life-threatening could face a longer wait than usual.
Medical director at Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals Trust John Randall said: “Given the increased demand for emergency treatment, we would remind people to consider whether they should seek help from other healthcare services first, such as their pharmacist, GP or the minor injuries unit at Stamford Hospital.
“In some cases our emergency department staff will refer non-urgent cases back to primary care services so that we can prioritise treating the sickest patients first.
“It is likely that such non-urgent cases will be seen faster in other healthcare settings today.”
The minor injuries unit is open from 9am to 5pm and is staffed by experienced emergency nurse practitioners who can advise on and treat a wide range of injuries and ailments.
Mr Randall said the situation meant a number of elective operations were cancelled yesterday (Tuesday) but all urgent and cancer surgeries still took place.
He added: “I would like to apologise to those patients who have had routine surgery cancelled and appreciate that this is inconvenient, as people usually plan their lives around such a major event.
“We will do our utmost to ensure these operations are rescheduled as soon as possible.”