Long A&E waiting times at Barking, Havering and Redbridge Trust hospitals

Local health bosses are asking patients to re-consider visiting accident and emergency (A&E) this week.

Patients are currently experiencing long waits at Queen’s Hospital and King George hospital’s emergency departments.

A spokesman for Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust, said: “A&Es are always very busy at this time of year, and unless people have a life-threatening illness or injury, they will be seen much more quickly and appropriately elsewhere.

“Even if your GP surgery is closed, NHS Direct and out-of-hours GP services are available 24-hours a day. Walk-In Centres and Minor Injuries Clinics – such as those at Harold Wood, Loxford or Barking - can also treat a wide variety of problems without an appointment.”

The spokesman said that the increase in people visiting A&E at this time of year is due to a combination of factors including increases in flu and norovirus, people picking up infections when they are back at work or school, and GPs services being closed over Christmas.

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The Harold Wood polyclinic, which was closed today because of a leak, should be open again tomorrow.

Have you been effected by the queues? Call our newsdesk on 020 8477 3796 or email ian.weinfass@archant.co.uk.

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