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.
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.
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.