Kettering Hospital Prepares For Second Surge After Snow

11 February 2013, 12:20 | Updated: 11 February 2013, 12:28

Kettering General Hospital are still asking patients in the area to find alternative places for treatment after a recent surge in emergency admissions.

But a spokesman says last week's surge in A&E attendances at Kettering General Hospital declined over the weekend enabling the hospital to recover from a period of extreme pressure on its bed capacity.

The hospital's bed situation remains tight today (Monday Feb 11) and the public are asked to continue to use A&E services wisely.

Last week a 20% surge in A&E attendances led to the hospital's bed capacity being significantly overloaded.

As a result the hospital urged local people not to go to the hospital last weekend unless their condition was an accident, emergency or life threatening.

An appeal on Heart and a general media appeal led to a 20% reduction in A&E attendances, mostly minor injury patients, over the weekend and it was combined with significant additional efforts by hospital staff and local GPs to ease the pressure.

Kettering General Hospital's Medical Director Dr Andrew Chilton told Heart: "We would like to thank all of the patients who sought alternative healthcare over the weekend for their support. It has enabled to us to see a large number of very sick inpatients appropriately and safely and enabled us to concentrate on discharging patients quickly who are fit enough to go home.

As a result this morning's situation is improved but clearly it has snowed today and we have to be prepared for another potential surge in demand.  So we are asking people to continue to think twice about coming to hospital if there is any way their healthcare needs can be met elsewhere."

The hospital cancelled a number of outpatient clinics and routine operations on Friday and is now in the process of contacting those patients to rebook their appointments.

Outpatient Appointments and routine operations are now back to normal at the hospital and patients should attend planned appointments.

Examples of appropriate use of A&E:

  • Cuts which won't stop bleeding/may have damaged tendons or may need stitches to heal properly 
  • Burns which are large, or deep, and need dressings
  • Limb injuries which are painful or swollen and could be caused by a broken bone
  • Serious medical problems such as chest pain, collapse, or heavy blood loss.

Examples of inappropriate uses of A&E:

  • Coughs and colds - most people would be best just to stay at home or see their local pharmacist
  • Old injuries or joint problems - are best seen by your GP, at least initially
  • Queries about medication - these are best dealt with by your GP
  • Toothache - you need to be seen by a dentist. Hospitals like Kettering General do not have trained dentists in A&E
  • Trying to use A&E to get a 'second opinion' rather than using the GP service