ALL three of Oxfordshire’s main hospitals were declared full at the weekend.

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust urged people to stay away from the John Radcliffe, Horton and Churchill hospitals if possible. On Saturday all 1,200 beds in the hospitals were taken.

Trust spokesman Alison Barnes said: “The public are urged to choose the right treatment to help manage increased demand for hospital beds following the Christmas period. The John Radcliffe, Horton and Churchill hospitals have seen a rise in acutely ill patients due to winter health problems such as respiratory illnesses, flu and pneumonia.

“Staff are working hard to ensure emergency patients who need an acute bed are still admitted promptly.”

She suggested patients visit their GPs or local pharmacies instead, or contact the NHS advice line on 111.

It was the second time over the winter that the hospitals have struggled to meet demand, with the Oxford Mail revealing in December that 90 extra beds had been made available to keep up with demand.