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James Paget Hospital declares ‘major incident’ due to ‘unprecedented’ number of patients

PUBLISHED: 20:14 04 January 2016 | UPDATED: 20:14 04 January 2016

James Paget University Hospital, Gorleston, Norfolk.

James Paget University Hospital, Gorleston, Norfolk.

Archant

Patients are being urged to stay away from the James Paget Hospital at Gorleston unless their condition is “life-or-limb-threatening” as there are no free beds.

The declaration of a major incident for the first time in the hospital’s history is due to a massive increase in number of patients arriving at A&E, which have been steadily rising over the weekend.

Yesterday saw 93 ambulances attend the hospital; the average number for a Sunday is around 50.

Hospital chief executive Christine Allen said: “Declaring a major incident is not a situation which is taken lightly – and this is the first occasion in my time at the hospital that we have had to take this step due to unprecedented demand.

“The situation is this - all beds at the hospital are full and all additional bed space available when extra capacity is needed is now in use.

“Because of this, and to ensure the safety of our patients, we are working closely with the ambulance service to see how we can reduce pressure on our A and E department.

“It is important that local people are aware of the current situation at the JPUH. My message to them is: do not attend our A and E department unless your condition is life-or-limb-threatening.”

The hospital’s management is working with healthcare partners including the Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group and East Coast Community Healthcare to ease pressure.

Staff are reviewing all patients on wards so that those patients who do not need hospital care can either go home or be moved to other units.

The hospital is also reviewing non-urgent surgery for the next few days and patients will be contacted if their surgery is cancelled.

Any patients cancelled will have their procedures re-scheduled, the hospital said.

It is the first of the region’s hospitals to declare a major incident this winter.

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