The high winter demand for urgent care at St Richard’s Hospital continues.
Accident and Emergency departments at both the Chichester and Worthing hospitals remain busy and some elective surgery continues to be postponed.
Dr George Findlay, medical director at Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust - which runs both hospitals - said: “Worthing and St Richard’s Hospitals remain busy and the high demand for urgent care we have been experiencing since Christmas continues.
“I am extraordinarily proud of how our outstanding teams have been going above and beyond to care for so many more sick people for weeks now.
“For example, on Tuesday last week, emergency admissions into Worthing Hospital were 32 per cent higher than this time last year, and the number of people our A&E team saw was up by 21 per cent.
“As a result, and in order to prioritise the care of those most in need, it has been necessary to postpone some planned care and we would like to apologise to all those affected and thank them for their understanding.”
The trust first issued an A&E warning for both hospitals immediately after the Christmas weekend, and then again after the turn of the year.
It comes amid what many are calling an ‘NHS crisis’, with hospitals up and now the country extremely busy since Christmas.
It had led to an angry row between Teresa May and GPs, after the Prime Minister warned GP surgeries they face funding cuts if they don’t meet the Government’s pledge for them to open seven days a week, from 8am to 8pm.
Western Sussex continues to call on people to only use A&E if it is absolutely necessary.
Dr Findlay added: “I would also like to thank everyone who has been assisting us, by only using A&E when absolutely necessary, or helping their loved ones leave hospital in a timely way to release beds for others in need.
“While we remain busy it is important to stress that if you need urgent care, our highly skilled staff are here for you, but please use alternatives such NHS 111 or pharmacies first for common ailments and minor illnesses. Thank you.”