A hospital in Aberdeen is urging the public only to attend its emergency department if the situation is “life-threatening”.
It comes as Aberdeen Royal Infirmary’s emergency department is facing “extreme pressures” due to a higher number of “acutely ill” patients arriving at hospital and “increased staffing pressures”.
The public is being asked to “play their part” in assisting staff and critically ill patients by only attending emergency departments if their condition is life-threatening.
Executive nurse director June Brown said: “Unfortunately, due to a higher number of acutely ill patients arriving at our hospitals and increased staffing pressures, our emergency departments are currently facing extreme pressure.
“We need the public to help us by only attending at emergency departments if the situation is life-threatening – for example a suspected heart attack or stroke – in which case they should call 999 immediately.”
Instead, members of the public are being asked to contact NHS 24 on 111 which can direct patients to the right service.
Ms Brown added: “Everyone else can support our medics, and help us treat those needing life-saving care as quickly as possible, by calling NHS 24 on 111.
“We would reassure the public that cases are being triaged as normal, with those facing life-threatening situations – such as heart attacks or strokes – continuing to be seen rapidly for life-saving treatment, as an absolute priority.”
Portfolio lead for unscheduled care and medicine, Sandra MacLeod said: “Anyone who is not facing a life-threatening situation may well be redirected to another NHS service or face extremely long waits.
“Our staff continue to work incredibly hard, under these continued pressures, and we would once again like to publicly say ‘thank you’ to them. They continue to be nothing short of heroic each and every day.
“We’d also thank the public for their continued support and patience at this extremely difficult time – we really do need you to play your part in supporting us now more than ever.”