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Stephen Mulhern and Emma Willis 9am - 12pm
21 November 2014, 18:38
A major incident at a crisis-hit Essex hospital will continue into next week, bosses have said.
Colchester Hospital declared a "major incident" last week, asking patients to stay away from its A&E department unless they have a serious or life-threatening condition and postponing operations.
This was on the back of a surprise inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) on Wednesday where the health regulator raised "safeguarding concerns".
On Friday the hospital issued a statement saying pressure on its service had "eased" and it was cancelling fewer operations.
It added: "This was partly because many people have heeded the advice to use A&E appropriately for which we are grateful."
The number of non-emergency and non-cancer operations the hospital has postponed has reduced.
A spokesman said: "As of today 38 have been postponed, with only one in the last three days.
"We are postponing these reluctantly and apologise to all those patients who are affected - they will be given a new date within 28 days.
"Day case procedures, which represent the vast majority of elective surgery, have not been affected.
"The internal major incident continues and we plan to review the situation with our partner organisations on Monday.
"Our thanks go to our staff for helping the situation ease, to our patients for their understanding and to our partner organisations for their continuing support."
The CQC said it will publish its latest report on the hospital "in due course", and added that it will carry out further inspections at the trust.
It carried out the surprise inspection after it received "information of concern".