Operations cancelled at James Paget Hospital

MOST routine operations have been cancelled at the James Paget University Hospital as it fights to cope with a winter surge in emergency admissions.

The Gorleston hospital is on black alert- its most severe status level- following the increase in seasonal illness.

A spokesman for the hospital said that though this year was expected to see high numbers of inpatients “it’s been even higher than we’ve anticipated.”

Cases of flu have remained stable over the period. However, emergency admissions, including serious illnesses and accidents, have taken a sharp rise recently, leading to the initial move from black to red alert last Thursday.

All 398 beds plus an additional emergency stock of ‘escalation beds’ are now being used, with emergency operations taking priority and routine elective operations being cancelled for current time.

The spokesman said: “The alert is due to the full range of pressures that all hospitals come under at this time of year as we deal with an increase in health problems associated with the colder weather.”

“In order to alleviate some of the pressures on our services, we would urge anyone who needs medical treatment for minor injuries and illness not to automatically go to A&E but consider all the other options.”

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The hospital last went into black alert midway through last month as staff and wards were overwhelmed by high patient numbers.

Also experiencing a busy Christmas period were the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn, who are both on red alert.