THE situation at Oxfordshire’s hospitals has eased slightly.

Over the weekend it emerged that all 1,200 beds at the John Radcliffe and Churchill in Oxford and the Horton in Banbury were taken.

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust has made another 111 extra beds available, but patients are still being asked to stay away if possible.

Spokesman Richard Maynard said: “Staff are continuing to work hard to ensure that emergency patients who need an acute hospital bed are still admitted promptly.

“The public can help by choosing the right treatment at the right time to help manage increased demand for hospital beds. To help manage the additional demand the NHS in Oxfordshire is urging people to use community-based services such as GPs and pharmacists if they have a less serious health issue and to seek medical advice sooner rather than later to help prevent admission to hospital.”

The lack of available beds had been put down to a spike in winter-related health problems like respiratory illnesses, flu and pneumonia.

Mr Maynard added no patients had been admitted with norovirus.

Anyone needing medical advice but unable to access their GP can contact the NHS advice line on 111.