Hospital beds come under pressure

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Hospitals have been placed on “red alert” as managers struggle to find beds for new admissions.

People were yesterday urged not to attend the accident and emergency department at Hull Royal Infirmary unless it is a genuine emergency.

Alerts are issued once the hospitals’ bed capacity - there are 1,350 beds between HRI and Castle Hill Hospital in Cottingham - are 95 to 99 per cent full.

Numbers have been swollen by people with chronic conditions like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Dr Mo Aye, clinical director for medicine at the trust, said: “We are seeing large number of people attend at present who could potentially be treated more appropriately in the community or their own homes. Changes to temperature - cold to mild, mild to cold - often exacerbate chronic conditions, but that doesn’t mean people need to come to hospital necessarily.”

Last month there were eight red alerts. The A&E department run by Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust is set to be transformed over the next 18 months, with brand new facilities for walk-in patients, children, and patients requiring urgent and emergency care.