Pressure eases on James Paget Hospital in Gorleston

James Paget University Hospital, Gorleston, Norfolk.

James Paget University Hospital, Gorleston, Norfolk. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Pressure has eased at the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston today following a period of unprecedented demand.

The hospital dealt with a substantial increase in patient numbers arriving at accident and emergency over the weekend and into yesterday, leading to the declaration of a 'business continuity incident' - previously described by the trust as a 'major incident'.

The situation was particularly challenging on Sunday, when a total of 93 ambulances attended the hospital; the average number for a Sunday is around 50.

And yesterday people were asked to only attend A&E is their condition was limb- or life-threatening.

Today, the hospital's alert status has reduced to 'red', and other providers have pulled together to help support the hospital.

This includes East Coast Community Healthcare who have made a total of 29 beds available at Beccles Hospital, including 10 from the now-closed Northgate Hospital in Great Yarmouth.

James Paget Hospital chief executive Christine Allen said: 'The last few days have placed enormous strain on the hospital – and I know that many staff have gone to extraordinary lengths to ensure safe delivery of services to our patients.

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'But while our alert status is currently red, this can change quickly – and it is inevitable that we will face similar spikes in demand during the course of the winter.

'We will now be scrutinising the events of the past few days with our healthcare partners, to see if there are any improvements we can implement within the trust and across the system to ease pressure when the next surge in demand occurs.'

'In the meantime, we would still urge the public to remember that if it is not an emergency, other options are available instead of calling 999 or visiting A&E.'

Out-patient clinics and surgery at the hospital are returning to normal – and patients should attend appointments as scheduled unless they are contacted by the hospital.