A MAJOR internal incident has been declared at Southend Hospital after an overwhelming number of people arrived at A&E.

The Prittlewell Chase facility has seen an “unprecedented” number of extra patients turned up at this week and had to cancel all non-urgent elective operations today.

Medical professionals are appealing for people who don't need to visit casualty to use a more appropriate service, like the 111 helpline or the St Luke's Health Centre.

For the full story see Monday’s Echo.