Newsflash: Melton patients urged not to overload Leicester hospitals as ‘system critical’ is declared

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Patients in Melton have been urged not to attend emergency departments at Leicester hospitals unless they desperately need treatment after health chiefs today declared a ‘system critical’.

Medical resources are under severe strain with very long waits for beds and delays over the handover of ambulances, the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust said.

Richard Mitchell, deputy chief executive and chief, said: “At 8am today we made the decision to declare a system critical incident.

“This follows an extended period of pressure both in Leicester’s hospitals and across Leicestershire and Rutland since the festive period.

“This is a step up in response as we have been on a critical incident since the New Year, however it has not improved our position.

“Our situation worsened over the last 48 hours with patients experiencing very long waits for ward beds and unfortunately too many patients experiencing ambulance handover delays which is not the experience we would wish for our patients.

“CDU (at the Glenfield) has been extremely busy and numbers of patients in our emergency department has been excessively high.

“We continue to remind patients to make wise choices when they need health care advice and treatment and to seek suitable advice as soon as they begin to feel unwell and to always use alternatives to the Emergency Department wherever possible.”

Mr Mitchell added: “Other parts of the health and social care system are stepping up to support us and our staff are, as ever, doing a tremendous job in very difficult circumstances.”