Dorothy Hosein, Chief Executive, said:
“Overnight we have received a high volume of patients at A & E both via ambulance and via self presentation.
“Many of the patients we are seeing are frail, elderly and acutely ill, necessitating them being admitted to hospital. This combined with the high number of medically fit patients we have occupying beds has led us to declare an Internal Critical Incident.
“As always our priority remains patient safety and extra medical and nursing support has been called in to assist with the opening of our escalation capacity and ensure the continued smooth operation of our hospital.
“We continue to work with our partners across the health and social care system to ensure we remain able to proactively manage this spike in demand for our services and discharge all medically fit patients to relieve the pressure on our bed base.
“Clearly, we would never deter anyone from seeking medical treatment if they feel unwell, however, at this busy time we ask that people consider other options for minor ailments and dial NHS 111 for advice before setting out to A&E.