THE trust which runs hospitals in Andover, Basingstoke and Winchester has declared a critical incident after beds at two of its hospital are full.

Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT) declared the incident on Tuesday, January 30 due to sustained pressures at Basingstoke and Winchester hospitals.

The trust has said that the decision has not been taken lightly but said that beds at both hospitals are full with attendance at emergency departments "extremely high".

As a result there is currently no capacity to admit further patients needing care at either of the hospitals.

A statement on the HHFT website reads: "Attending our emergency departments for non-life-threatening conditions will mean an extremely long wait. If you need medical assistance, please speak to NHS 111, your GP, pharmacy, or urgent treatment centre.

READ MORE: Call made for nuclear devices to stop being made in Aldermaston

"Please help us protect care for those who need it most: Only attend the emergency department for a life-threatening illness or injury. If a friend or loved one is ready for discharge, please help by collecting them at the earliest opportunity. As part of the critical incident response we will be looking for support across the health system to discharge patients who no longer require acute care, and limit the number that need to come to the acute hospital.

"We are doing all we can to increase capacity for urgent emergency care in our hospitals, unfortunately this means some elective care may have to be cancelled. This is frustrating; however, we appreciate the patience and support of anyone affected."