1. ITV Report

Region's hospitals warn of 'extreme pressure'

A number of the region’s hospitals are warning of extreme pressure following a call by NHS England to cope with winter pressures by calling off non-urgent surgery.

Northampton General Hospital has issued its highest alert, for its fourth day in a row, saying they are experiencing extreme pressure on their services. They are asking those with appointments to attend unless the hospital has been in touch to cancel.

Northampton General Hospital has issued its highest alert. Credit: ITV Anglia.

Peterborough Hospital has also declared a 'critical internal incident' for its second day in a row and is asking people to turn up to A&E only if absolutely necessary.

Meanwhile Bedford Hospital released an ‘urgent’ public notice encouraging relatives of patients to help by looking after elderly relatives.

Many of our patients are elderly and require support after discharge, and we ask that relatives support us and their loved ones by helping us discharge patients that are medically well to leave hospital; to return to the most appropriate environment such as their own home or a community care home.

– Bedford Hospital

Mid-Essex Hospital is asking people with non-serious or life threatening injuries to visit a GP, call 111, or go to a pharmacy and Milton Keynes Hospital has said it is making additional beds available to cope with demand.

The James Paget Hospital has announced it is cancelling all non-urgent elective operations, but will be continuing with emergency and cancer surgery.

The Patients Association has said NHS England's decision to ask hospitals to postpone non-urgent surgery will result in patients 'losing out'.

The move has also caused confusion among some patients leading a number of trusts to reach out to patients online to urge them to attend appointments unless they had been instructed otherwise.

Both Ipswich Hospital and the Norfolk and Norwich say they are under pressure, but have not declared any incidents.