Lincolnshire hospital bosses are appealing again to people to think twice before visiting A&E.
Emergency departments at Lincoln, Boston and Grantham have been very busy over Christmas and the new year period seeing a rise in very sick people needing urgent care treatment.
United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust is now saying people can help by using the alternative urgent care services when available.
Lincolnshire hospitals are busier than usual – even for winter which is traditionally the busiest time of the year. This is for a number of reasons but mainly due to the long Christmas weekend, cold weather, and worsening of people’s chronic conditions.
Dr Suneil Kapadia, medical director for ULHT said: “Lincolnshire’s health services are under pressure in the winter but this is especially true of our A&E departments. I want all patients who go to A&E with serious illnesses or injuries to be seen and treated as quickly as possible. Patient safety is never compromised and patients who are very sick are always prioritised. Those who attend with minor conditions will still be treated, but potentially will have long waits when the department is busy.
“A&E doctors and GPs receive very different training so hospital doctors aren’t always best to help treat minor, chronic or long-term conditions - GPs are. I urge everyone to think twice before they go to A&E – if it’s not serious or life threatening, you shouldn’t be there.”
More information on non-emergency healthcare services is available at www.choosebetterlincs.co.uk or www.nhs.uk for a list of pharmacies who can also advise medication for minor ailments.