Southampton's hospitals preparing for severe weather

Bosses at Southampton's teaching hospitals are preparing for the adverse weather conditions expected tonight and tomorrow morning.

Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust has been escalated to black alert, meaning the build-up of pressure on resources is severe.

The Emergency Department at Southampton General Hospital has today seen a gradual increase in people suffering from injuries caused by slips and trips, as well as elderly patients suffering from respiratory problems.

Steve McManus, chief operating officer at SUHT, said: "We are currently under pressure throughout the Trust and, as the weather worsens this evening and overnight, we are expecting a very busy period.

"We are currently planning our staffing around the forecasts to ensure we continue to operate as normal a service as possible."

The Trust is urging any patients who are due to attend appointments tomorrow but cannot travel to phone the number on their appointment letters to inform us.

We would remind all patients concerned about their health to consider the full range of support available, including visiting www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk, telephoning NHS Direct on 0845 4647, visiting a local pharmacy, contacting their GP practice and visiting a local walk-in centre.

Posted on Tuesday 5 January 2010