Addenbrooke’s Hospital declares state of emergency and warns only to attend A&E unless it is absolutely essential

PUBLISHED: 00:14 07 January 2015 | UPDATED: 00:33 07 January 2015

Addenbrooke's Hospital

Addenbrooke's Hospital


Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, declared a state of emergency last night by cancelling all non emergency surgery and urging patients not to attend A & E unless it was absolutely essential.

A major incident was declared at Addenbrooke's Hospital last night (Tuesday). A major incident was declared at Addenbrooke's Hospital last night (Tuesday).

Chief executive Dr Keith McNeil said that the hospital has been under “extreme pressure” since New Year’s Eve and “for the past two days we have been in critical internal incident mode”

He said that as of 7pm last night the hospital had declared “a major incident due to unprecedented levels of demand on our services.”

The hospital was dealing with especially high numbers of frail elderly patients combined with a record level of patients whose medical care is finished and whose discharge is delayed.

He said: “Our priority is to care safely for the patients already in the hospital and arrange the safe discharge of those who are well enough to go home and to ensure that we can provide care for those who require urgent treatment.

“Giving the extreme circumstances, we are contacting the relatives of patients who are medically fit to go home, with ongoing care needs such as feeding or personal care and asking them, wherever possible, to take their relative home while adult social care put their care packages in place.

“As part of our plans to manage high demand on our services, we have cancelled all non- emergency surgery and procedures. Right across the country the situation is similar. Ambulance and community services are also under pressure and this has put additional pressure onto acute hospitals.”

Dr McNeil added: “We would therefore ask patients not to attend A&E unless they have an emergency or life threatening condition.

“I would like to thank all staff, whether based in the hospital or in the community, who are working very hard to ensure we can continue to provide care to our patients in these challenging circumstances.


  • This is exactly the sort of reason that the Princess of Wales hospital in Ely should not have been closed. One big central hub at Addenbrookes is far from ideal. Many elderly and frail would be fine in more local "cottage" hospital facilities, freeing up spaces and resources for clinically difficult and complex cases at Addenbrookes.

    Report this comment


    Thursday, January 8, 2015

  • This is both sad and worrying. A member of my family has recently received remarkable attention and treatment (at Addenbrooke's and Papworth Hospitals) and I say, as I have always said, 'Well done and thank you, NHS.' I have to add, though, that, whilst I am not a Labour supporter, quite a few people on the Right of British politics do not support the NHS: they denigrate it instead. They prefer to patronise - as is their right - the insurance companies and the private hospitals and health care. Consequently, I don't really trust the Right with the NHS. Nobody could say that about Labour, who founded the NHS and are wholly committed to it.

    Report this comment

    Geoffrey Woollard

    Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

More news stories

A stolen Range Rover was used in an attempted ram raid at a Burwell service station in the early hours of today.

Fri, 09:39

The Co-op petrol station in Burwell has been closed until further notice after an attempted ram raid overnight.

Fri, 18:13

A new photo exhibition is coming to Ely Museum this Sunday (November 19) hunting the ‘Spirit of the Fens’.

Fri, 17:56

A hospice celebrating its first year since moving to new premises is asking people to consider holding a ‘no presents event’ at their own birthday parties to raise money for end of life care.

Most read stories

Digital Edition

Read the Ely Standard e-edition E-edition

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter