Staff at Harrogate District Hospital are urging people to only attend the Emergency Department (A&E) in the case of a genuine accident or emergency, following a surge in admissions.
Over the past fortnight the hospital has seen an increase in the number of acutely unwell patients, which means the Emergency Department has been extremely busy and admissions to hospital – where people have needed inpatient care – have increased.
While the Harrogate and District Foundation Trust (HDFT) said it is coping with the pressure, the surge has seen extra beds opened for patients and A&E waiting times have increased.
Dr Matt Shepherd, Lead Consultant for the Emergency Department, said: “Harrogate, like much of the country, has experienced a surge in patients coming to the Emergency Department.
"Many of the patients we are seeing are very poorly and are needing admission to hospital. Despite opening extra beds and increasing staffing this is leading to longer waits than we would like both in the Emergency Department and then for beds in the hospital.
“Unnecessary attendances at the Emergency Department mean longer waits for those patients who really do need care, as well as extra pressure on our staff throughout the Trust.
"Colleagues are working very hard to cope with the demand but we need local people to help by only coming to the department when really necessary.
“To help us deliver the best possible care to everyone, if you have an illness that is not severe, then consider visiting our website, calling NHS 111, contacting your own GP or seeing a local pharmacist for advice before choosing to come to the Emergency Department.
“We are one of the best performing Emergency Departments in the country but even we are struggling with demand at the moment.”