WIGAN Infirmary bosses have pleaded with the public to stay away from A&E with anything but accident injuries and life-threatening illnesses.
It came after a sudden upsurge in patients has put the casualty department under “extreme pressure” for several consecutive days.
Those who do attend with a lesser condition can expect a very a long wait for treatement.
The high demands in A&E are putting extreme pressure on other services and medics have been forced to cancel some planned operations to ensure all the emergency patients can be dealt with.
All of the hospital’s beds are currently full and bosses say they are working closely with partners across health and social care within the borough to try to address the situation.
Fiona Noden, director of operations, said: “The A&E department at Wigan Infirmary has been extremely busy over the weekend and this is continuing today.
“This is impacting on the other services we provide and I am appealing to the public for their understanding as we are doing everything we can to alleviate the situation. Everyone will benefit if we can give urgent and emergency care to the people most in need.
“We are therefore appealing to the public to think twice and make sure they choose the right service for minor illnesses, ailments and injuries. The public should only attend A&E if they have a serious health condition or in a genuine emergency.
“I would like to pay tribute to all our staff who are working in such a challenging and demanding environment.
“Despite working under significant pressure they are at all times putting the needs of our patients first.”
Ms Noden said that the hospital trust wants to ensure all patients receive the right care, at the right time and in the right location.
And A&E is not the right choice for minor conditions. She added: “Please consider all of the healthcare options available to you before coming to A&E. Make an appointment with your GP, attend the Walk-in Centre at Leigh, or speak to your local pharmacist. If you need non-emergency medical help outside of your GP opening hours, please contact the Out-of-Hours service on 01942 829911.”