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7 January 2015, 14:54
A major incident has been declared at Cambridge's Addenbrooke's Hospital, as well as Peterborough City Hospital.
It means all non-emergency operations are being cancelled.
Dr Keith McNeil, CUH ceo, says:
"Since New Year's Eve CUH has been under extreme pressure and for the past two days we have been in critical internal incident mode.
"As of 19:00 tonight we have declared a major incident. This is due to unprecedented levels of demand on our services with especially high numbers of frail elderly patients, combined with a record level of patients whose medical care is finished and whose discharge is delayed (DTOCs).
"Our priority is to care safely for the patients already in the hospital and arrange the safe discharge of those who are well enough to go home and to ensure that we can provide care for those who require urgent treatment.
"Giving the extreme circumstances, we are contacting the relatives of patients who are medically fit to go home, with ongoing care needs such as feeding or personal care and asking them, wherever possible, to take their relative home while adult social care put their care packages in place.
"As part of our plans to manage high demand on our services, we have cancelled all non- emergency surgery and procedures. Right across the country the situation is similar. Ambulance and community services are also under pressure and this has put additional pressure onto acute hospitals.
"We would therefore ask patients not to attend A&E unless they have an emergency or life threatening condition.
"I would like to thank all staff, whether based in the hospital or in the community, who are working very hard to ensure we can continue to provide care to our patients in these challenging circumstances."
The Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have also declared a major incident, as things are similar there too.