STOKE Mandeville Hospital is experiencing an 'unusually high' number of admissions to its accident and emergency centre today, bosses revealed this evening, as they appealed to patients.

Officials have told patients to consider all other options before going to the hospital, such as pharmacists, NHS Direct and the out of hours GP service.

Sarah Hills, spokesman for Bucks Healthcare, told The Bucks Free Press this evening the authority does not know yet the cause for the rise in admissions but it is working on treating those coming in.

She said it was not possible at this stage to give more precise numbers of admissions either.

But the hospital is appealing for anyone experiencing diarrhoea and vomiting not to go there unless advised to do so by a doctor.

It said in a statement: “We also ask that visitors with diarrhoea and vomiting symptoms do not visit the hospital until they have been symptom free for 48 hours.

“It is important that you call 999 if you are seriously unwell or critically injured.

“We remain fully committed to treating patients who need our services and thank you for your assistance.”

NHS Direct can be called on 0845 4647.