bosses at a hospital in Yorkshire have become the latest to issue an appeal for patients to stay away from A&E due to soaring demand.
Managers at Hull Royal Infirmary say high numbers of people have attended casualty in the last 48 hours, with a significant number needing admission.
They are urging those with less serious problems to go to minor injury or walk-in centres “wherever possible”.
Opening hours at the Brans- holme minor injury unit in the city have been extended with immediate effect to provide a seven-day service from 9am-8pm.
There are mounting concerns about the capacity of A&E units across the country to cope this winter amid evidence that waits for treatment are growing, partly due to more sick elderly people needing care. Several hospitals in the region have already urged less sick patients to stay away in recent weeks.
Hull Royal Infirmary Operations director Jonathan Wood said: “Work is ongoing within our hospitals and our services at the moment to create additional capacity, but this will not happen in time to assist with the current pressures we’re experiencing.
“To ensure we can concentrate on the very sickest and most vulnerable patients, we would ask for everyone’s co-operation at this time and urge them to explore local alternatives for healthcare advice and treatment.”
Staff at Grimsby’s Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital are battling to contain an outbreak of diarrhoea and vomiting on two wards which have been closed to new patients. Visitors with the bug are being urged not to see relatives until at least 48 hours after symptoms end.