AN URGENT appeal has been issued by Hampshire health chiefs after more than 8,500 people attended an Emergency Department (ED) in the last week alone. 

On just one day more than 1,460 people attended a local ED - one every single minute.

The continued high rates of Covid-19 and staff sickness has add significant pressure to health and care teams across Hampshire and Isle of Wight.

Now, people are being urged to ensure EDs are kept for emergencies only, especially with Easter on the horizon. 

READ MORE: Concerns over pressures on hospital staff after visits suspended in Southampton

Dr Derek Sandeman, Chief Medical Officer of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care System (ICS), said: "With continued high rates of staff sickness, Covid19 and the forecast rise in temperatures over the Easter weekend, we face an uphill battle as we prepare for further increases in pressure and the number of people needing treatment.

"We are continuing to ask for people’s support in how they access care locally and appeal to everyone to do their bit.

"Our Emergency Departments are for people experiencing serious, life-threatening injuries or illnesses.

"If you need urgent care but it is not an emergency please contact 111 to be directed to the right service for your needs.

“Help our dedicated health and care teams keep our EDs free for those who need them most.”

Patients will continue to be discharged from hospital when they have received all of the acute care they need – even if they continue to test positive for Covid-19.

Relatives and carers are asked to ensure their loved ones can be discharged quickly to help free up beds for those who need them and to support loved ones with their ongoing care needs in the short term once they have been discharged from hospital.