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Region's hospitals declare black alert

Credit: ITV West Country

Hospitals in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire have declared they are on black alert.

The Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, the Bristol Royal Infirmary, Southmead and Weston General Hospital are among those placed on the system-wide black escalation status on Monday.

It comes after a huge influx of people using the A&E system and health bosses are now urging people to only use A&E for life-threatening emergencies.

People are instead encouraged to visit walk in centres, pharmacists or call NHS helpline, 111.

Credit: ITV West Country

It's the second time in a month the hospitals have declared the status.

In recent days we have seen an increase in hospital admissions together with a higher number of very ill patients who need to stay in hospital for longer.

We are coping with demand and have put in place a range of measures to increase capacity and ensure that people are discharged once they no longer need specialist hospital services.

However we do anticipate that we will remain in escalation for a number of days and encourage people to help us manage pressure in the system by using services appropriately and avoiding A&E for non-emergency conditions.

– Dr Peter Goyder, Bristol CCG Clinical Lead for Urgent Care and local GP

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