Portsmouth hospital is urging for people to take care and choose the right service this half term after high pressures at Portsmouth’s Emergency Department over the last few weeks.

The number of people attending the Emergency Department (ED) at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham is more than 10 per cent higher compared to the same period last year, ahead of what will be a difficult winter for the NHS.

The last week has seen a total of 2,488 people attend ED, 850 of whom were admitted to hospital.

Portsmouth Hospital University NHS Trust (PHU) is calling on the public to help ease the pressures by only attending its Emergency Department for life-threatening illnesses or injuries.

Liz Rix, Chief Nurse at PHU, said: “We need the local community to help us by only using the Emergency Department for life threatening conditions and injuries.

“We are seeing high numbers of people attending the ED in the lead up to what we know is going to be a challenging winter for our hospital. We need your help with two things, please keep the ED free for those who really need it and if you have a loved one with us in hospital, please help us to get them home as soon as possible.”

“Our teams continue to focus on ensuring there are beds available for our most seriously ill patients and support timely and safe discharge for patients who are ready to go home following treatment.

“We ask that families and loved ones support us with this and collect patients as soon as they are ready to be discharged. We thank the community at this time for their support.”

For conditions such as sprains, bites and minor burns, please visit your local Urgent Treatment Centres at St Mary’s Hospital in Portsmouth, Gosport and Petersfield.

If you need to know where to get help and support, please visit NHS 111 online.

For more information on the best place to go for medical treatment, visit: www.porthosp.nhs.uk/knowwheretogo

For more information on what you can do to help loved ones with leaving hospital, visit www.porthosp.nhs.uk/ready-to-go.htm