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  1. ITV Report

Patients at a stretched hospital A&E told to go home unless they have a 'life-threatening illness'

Patients at stretched A&E at a north London hospital were told to go home and return in the morning unless they had a "life-threatening illness".

People who had waited for hours in North Middlesex Hospital, Edmonton were told to come back the next day unless they had a life-threatening illness.

Patients at a stretched hospital A&E told to go home. Credit: PA

Hundreds of patients had arrived at the emergency department on Friday before the message was broadcast at about 11pm.

An announcement is reported to have said: “We would ask anyone who doesn’t have a life-threatening illness to go home and come back in the morning.”

A spokesman from the hospital trust said it was an “exceptionally busy Friday” with the hospital seeing 450 cases.

That included a number of major cases of resuscitation and blue-light ambulance cases.

We were under pressure and we were seeing waits of up to seven hours.

We did inform people to come back the next day if their cases weren't urgent.

– Trust spokesman

The hospital has faced extra pressure since the closure of the A&E ward at nearby Chase Farm Hospital.

A spokesman said more beds came available yesterday.