Rotorua Hospital is full for the second time in a month.

The hospital was at gridlock on the weekend of May 26, and patients had to stay longer in the emergency department while waiting for a bed in a ward.

Beds have been tight at Rotorua in recent weeks and a combination of more people showing up in the ED, existing patients needing to stay longer and staff sickness meant fewer discharges than usual.

Acting chief operating officer Greg Vandergoot said GPs in Rotorua were also stretched, so some patients were going to the emergency department instead.

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He said people with minor issues or flu-type symptoms could seek medical advice through the 24/7 Healthline, on 0800 611 116.

Many of the hospital admissions are for winter illnesses, including bronchiolitis, asthma and people with flu-like symptoms. A number of car crashes in the past week had also been a factor in the bed shortage.

Vandergoot said the onset of flu season highlighted the importance of the basics, like covering your cough and washing your hands often, to stop the spread of germs.

He said a day or two in bed could help fight off the viruses causing colds and flu.

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