Wednesday, 2pm: People turning up at Peterborough City Hospital’s emergency department with non-urgent ailments today have been warned they face a lengthy wait for treatment.
Health bosses say the Bretton-based hospital has few available beds as a result of a high number of emergency admissions as well as the number of inpatients requiring acute care.
The shortage of beds has also meant the cancellation of some elective operations.
A spokeswoman said: “The Emergency Department is extremely busy and patients are being warned that those attending with ‘non-urgent’ conditions are in for a much longer wait than usual as patients are prioritised according to how ill they are.”
The trust is asking people who are unwell to use the Minor Injury and Illness Unit at The City Care Centre (open from 8am to 8pm), the Minor Injuries Unit at Stamford Hospital (open from 9am to 5pm). Or their GP or their local pharmacist as their first port of call for help and advice, rather than attend the Emergency Department.
Angus Maitland, chief operating officer at Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We have seen a heavy volume of patients requiring emergency admissions and it is clear these patients are going to require some time in hospital to get better. As a consequence we are struggling to make beds available.
“We are working effectively with our health partner agencies across the area to help discharge those patients who are fit enough to leave hospital and perhaps be cared for in a community setting. However this is taking some time.”
The situation means there is also a lack of beds for patients due to come in for planned operations, which has led to a number of elective operations being cancelled today.
But all clinically urgent and cancer surgeries are still taking place.
Mr Maitland added: “I would like to sincerely apologise to those patients who have had routine surgery cancelled, please be assured that the Trust will do our utmost to ensure these operations are rescheduled as soon as possible.”