Somerset

Weston General Hospital diverts maternity patients to St Michael's in Bristol

Weston General
Image caption Weston General said people should only attend A&E if it is a medical emergency

Some mothers-to-be from Weston-super-Mare are being sent to Bristol while maternity wards in the town are used to cope with "unprecedented" A&E numbers.

A spokeswoman for Weston General said pregnant mothers were being assessed locally and "diverted to St Michael's where appropriate".

She urged people to only attend A&E if "it is absolutely necessary and a medical emergency".

Sixteen beds from the stroke and maternity units are currently in use.

The hospital said during the weekend some people turned up to A&E with minor illnesses which did not require urgent medical attention.

Dr Bee Martin, Medical Director of Weston Area Health NHS Trust, said: "We're seeing people turn up in ED with coughs and colds and symptoms of norovirus - all illnesses which can be treated with self-care or counter medication."

Three wards at Weston General remain closed to new admissions due to norovirus.

They are Uphill, Kewstoke and Berrow wards where visitors are being urged to stay away if they display symptoms of the virus - vomiting and nausea.

Over the weekend A&E departments in Southmead, Bristol Royal Infirmary and Weston General Hospitals were urging people not to turn up at casualty with "minor ailments".

The advice followed "unprecedented demand" for services across emergency departments in those hospitals.

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