Bedford Hospital is appealing for people NOT to come to A&E unless they need urgent care.
In a tweet earlier today, it said the hospital was “extremely busy” due to increasing Covid infection rates, staff shortages and general increased demand for urgent care.
And asked people to contact their GP or dial NHS 111 first if it’s a minor illness or injury.
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In a statement on the hospital’s website, it said its emergency departments (EDs) are still very busy and pleaded for people to think before coming to A&E as patients were experiencing long waits.
Cathy Jones, chief operating officer/deputy chief executive for Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are experiencing unprecedented demand for our urgent and emergency care services.
"We know there are a variety of reasons for this which include general increase in demand, rise in the number of Covid positive patients being admitted and also our staff shortages.
"All are having a significant impact on our ability to provide patient care in a timely manner. We completely understand that the long waits experienced in our EDs is incredibly frustrating for our patients but there is no excuse for abuse and we ask people to be kind and respectful to our staff who are working tirelessly around the clock to treat many patients in order of clinical need.
“If you have a minor illness/injury please do contact your GP or NHS 111 in the first instance to make sure you’re getting the right kind of care in the right environment.
"This really does make a difference in helping us to continue to provide safe and effective patient care 24/7. Thank you all for your patience, support and understanding.”