NON-urgent operations will be cancelled at Salisbury District Hospital as bosses review procedures in light of NHS advice.

It comes after the NHS England's National Emergency Pressures Panel (NEPP) recommended that hospitals postpone non-urgent surgery until next month.

The measures have been advised to try and free up capacity for the sickest patients after hospitals reported they were struggling to cope with the surge in patients being seen in Christmas.

A spokesman for Salisbury District Hospital said: “The Trust has worked closely with its partners to put in place plans to help deal with additional demands on health services during the winter period. The hospital is currently busy and we would like to remind people to think carefully and make the right decision about how they use local health services and get the advice that they need.

“As part of its plans, the Trust is also reviewing non-urgent operations and will be cancelling some procedures. However, patients should still attend as scheduled unless contacted directly by the hospital.”

NHS officials have also told hospitals to delay routine outpatient appointments to concentrate on emergency care, with Salisbury hospital advising many to visit pharmacies or call NHS 111 unless it is an emergency.

“A&E departments and the ambulance service are for life threatening emergencies only such as loss of consciousness, suspected heart attacks, breathing difficulties or severe bleeding that cannot be stopped,” the spokesman added.

In a post on the NEPP website, chairman Professor Sir Bruce Keogh said: “The NHS needs to take further action to increase capacity and minimise disruptive last-minute cancellations. That is why we are making these further recommendations today (Tuesday).”