A warning has gone out to people in Horsham and Crawley not to use the accident and emergency department at East Surrey Hospital unless they have a life-threatening illness or injury.
The warning follows a similar alert sounded yesterday by Worthing and Chichester Hospitals who said they were having to postpone some planned operations because of a high volume of patients.
Meanwhile, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs East Surrey Hospital in Redhill, is urging people to contact their GP or other medical services rather than going to A&E.
Officials say minor conditions and common illnesses should be managed at home.
Said a spokesman: “If members of the public don’t have a life threatening illness or injury an appointment should be made with their GP. If their GP practice is closed, they can call NHS 111 for free, 24 hours a day.”
The trust says, if necessary, people can go to walk-in centres in Crawley and Horsham where no appointments are required. The centres are managed by doctors and nurses who can deal with minor illnesses and injuries, such as cuts, burns, sprains and suspected breaks.
Crawley Urgent Treatment Centre is at Crawley Hospital in West Green Drive and is open 24 hours.
Horsham Minor Injuries Unit is at Horsham Hospital in Hurst Road and is open 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday.