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System Wide Critical Incident Declared

South Entrance

Please help us to help those with the most urgent health needs, by choosing the care most appropriate for your needs. Please only call 999 or go to A&E in life threatening emergencies.

We are seeing high levels of admissions and attendances at Accident and Emergency at both Northampton General Hospital and Kettering General Hospital. Many of our patients are attending due to respiratory conditions which is to be expected at this time of year. As a consequence we are seeing a large rise in demand for our services at the moment. Attendances at A&E are high as are emergency admissions. We also have a number of patients who are well enough to leave hospital but who remain in hospital for a variety of reasons.

The NHS in Northamptonshire has been managing on-going pressures since the start of January and today (25 January 2024) we have reached a point where we have taken the decision to declare a critical incident.

Dr Imogen Staveley, Interim Chief Medical Officer at NHS Northamptonshire ICB said “This is an exceptional situation and we are doing everything in partnership across the NHS and Social Care to resolve it. I would ask patients to assist the NHS by choosing which service to access when they are unwell, only call 999 in a true emergency and to access alternative services where possible. We assure the public that all emergency services remain open and available whilst we discharge patients from hospital to the most appropriate setting for their ongoing care.”

What does declaring a Critical Incident mean?

This allows us to take additional steps to maintain safe services for our patients and help us cope with the growing pressures including opening additional beds and enlisting the support of our partners to help us cope with the current pressures.

Our teams continue to work exceptionally hard, so please be kind to everyone who is working as hard as they can to support you.

We would like to reassure patients and the public that despite the challenges faced, essential services remain fully open for anyone who needs them so if you require urgent medical help, please continue to come forward. People should also continue to attend planned appointments unless they are contacted.

We would ask the public to think carefully before attending Accident and Emergency and only do so in a real emergency. Alternative services are in-place in the community for minor health conditions and we would encourage use of these wherever possible.

General Practice remains open in the usual way but is likely to be extremely busy.

We will do everything possible to avoid an impact on outpatient appointments and planned operations. Please attend the hospital as usual unless notified otherwise.

What can you do to help?

There are several things our community can do to help:

  • Use NHS services wisely – 999 and A&E should only be used for life-threatening emergencies
  • If you need urgent health care but your condition is not life-threatening please seek support from alternative services such as NHS 111, Corby Urgent Care Centre or your local pharmacy
  • Please collect relatives who are ready for discharge promptly from local hospitals
  • Seek medical assistance early from your local pharmacy, the urgent care centre or 111.nhs.uk to avoid conditions becoming worse and needing urgent medical help

Where to go if you need help

NHS 111

Anyone who needs urgent care should use 111.nhs.uk to be assessed and directed to the right care for them. If needed a healthcare professional will call you back and this option can save you time in waiting areas. If you do not have internet access or you are contacting 111 about a patient aged 5 or under, please call 111 instead. Corby Urgent Care Centre Corby Urgent Care Centre is open every day between 8am and 8pm and can help with minor injuries/ illnesses such as lacerations, sprains, strains, minor burns or scalds.

Local pharmacy

Your local pharmacy can help with minor illnesses like coughs, colds and red eye. They are open late and no appointment is needed.

General Practice

GP practices continue to be open, including the out of hours service but are also likely to be extremely busy. Please continue to contact your GP practice if you need GP services and the out of hours service can be reached via 111.nhs.uk. Remember you can also book appointments and order repeat prescriptions online or by using the NHS app.

Not sure where to go?

Patients who need medical help or advice but are unsure where to go, should contact NHS 111 online unless it unless it is a life-threatening emergency when you should still call 999.

What next?

Please be assured we are doing everything we can manage the situation as quickly as possible, but we will only be in a position to do this when we are confident we can do this safely. So we need your help by please following the advice we are sharing.

We understand this is a difficult position for our local NHS, care and public services to be in and we thank our fantastic community and staff for their patience and support over what is a very challenging time for all of us.

Posted on Thursday 25th January 2024
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