'Exceptional situation' as two Northamptonshire hospitals declare critical incidents

Northampton General Hospital.
Northampton General Hospital. Credit: PA

Two hospitals in the same county have declared critical incidents following a surge in emergency admissions.

Both Northampton and Kettering General Hospitals have seen a big rise in people attending A&E since early January.

The hospitals said that many patients had been complaining of respiratory conditions, which is normal for this time of year but is putting a big demand on services.

A critical incident is the highest level of alert and means that additional steps are taken to ensure patient safety - such as opening extra beds and drafting in support from other units.

Kettering General Hospital is also facing huge demand on its services. Credit: ITV News Anglia

"This is an exceptional situation and we are doing everything in partnership across the NHS and social care to resolve it," Dr Imogen Staveley, interim chief medical officer at NHS Northamptonshire Integrated Care Board (ICB) said.

"We assure the public that all emergency services remain open and available whilst we discharge patients from hospital to the most appropriate setting for their ongoing care."

The ICB added that a number of patients were well enough to leave but had remained in hospital for "a variety of reasons".

In a bid to help ease the pressure, both hospitals have pleaded with people to only attend A&E "in life threatening emergencies."

However, outpatient appointments or planned operations are not affected at this stage, and patients should attend the hospital as usual unless told otherwise.

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