Beds, Herts & Bucks

Bedford hospital sees 'most ever' emergency admissions

Bedford Hospital experienced a surge in emergency patients and had to give beds to the highest number ever over a 24-hour period, it said.

The numbers of people seeking emergency treatment soared throughout the week after Christmas Day.

The demand peaked in the 24 hours from midnight on Wednesday, with about 70 patients admitted to hospital beds, an average of one every 20 minutes.

Visiting has been restricted to try to prevent the spread of infection.

It applies to all wards, with Pilgrim ward currently closed to admissions due to a suspected viral gastroenteritis outbreak.

The hospital hopes to reduce the footfall of people on wards, particularly after almost 400 people sought emergency treatment, with 98 admitted to hospital beds, in the 48 hours to midnight on Thursday.

Chief operating officer Emma Goddard said: "The hospital is extremely busy, but staff are working incredibly hard to ensure that patients are seen promptly, treated quickly and that they receive the best possible care during their hospital stay.

"Although we are not seeing significant numbers of patients with minor illnesses or injuries who could or should have been treated elsewhere, we would remind people to access services in the community where appropriate."

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites