BASILDON hospital is on a black alert due to the strain on its A and E department.A spokesperson for the hospital said: “We are currently on black alert. Black alert is our hospital’s most severe internal status level and means we have more demand coming through A&E than beds available in the hospital.We work closely with health and social care partners across the region to ensure we continue to deliver a safe service to patients.All patients arriving at our A&E department are seen in order of clinical need. As the department is exceptionally busy, patients with non-urgent conditions may have to wait longer for treatment. We would ask patients to consider whether they can access the care they need from a pharmacist, GP or minor injuries unit before coming to A&E.Our dedicated staff are responding to the current high demand for services. Some staff take on different roles, and all non-urgent meetings and training are cancelled.