Mar 8 - Kettering General Hospital say they are under intense emergency care pressures and are urging local people to use NHS services appropriately and stay away from A&E wherever possible.

A significant number of patients have attended with minor conditions and as a result waited four to six hours – and then often been referred to their GP.

KGH bosses say the high pressure situation – which is also a theme across the rest of the UK – means that both hospital and community services are very full.

Kettering General Hospital’s Acting Chief Executive Rebecca Brown said: “We are under extreme pressure at the moment. We do have a high rate of patients who are appropriately being admitted to hospital and more than half of patients in hospital at the moment are over 75. These patients – often with multiple medical conditions – need to be our priority. Local people can help by not attending A&E for conditions which they could wait and see their GP for. Or maybe they could access other NHS services such as the Corby Urgent Care Centre, NHS 111 advice line or their local pharmacist.”

KGH Medical Director, Prof Andrew Chilton, added:  “We would urge local people to do everything they can to support discharges from hospital. Anything people can do to help their relatives to return home - or into appropriate community care – as soon as possible is very helpful because any delays in discharge only add greater pressure on the hospitals’ front lines.”