Hospitals stay on ‘black alert’

Boston Pilgrim Hospital. ENGANL00120131112162248

Boston Pilgrim Hospital. ENGANL00120131112162248

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The county’s three acute hospitals, including Pilgrim at Boston, are still on “black alert” this week as patient numbers remain at peak levels.

NHS bosses are repeating their plea to patients to stay away from Accident and Emergency (A&E) unless they have serious or life-threatening conditions.

United Lincolnshire Health Trust’s director of operations, Michelle Rhodes, said: “The quality and safety of patient care is ULHT’s number one priority and we are working closely with our health partners in the community to help discharge medically fit patients as quickly as possible.

“This also involves using community bed capacity for patients who are aren’t ill enough to be in hospital but aren’t well enough to be discharged home.

“However we still have a high number of very sick patients on our wards with complex health needs. A&E remains open as usual but is exceptionally busy.

“We would ask people to only attend A&E with serious or life threatening illnesses and to seek alternative support for on-going problems or minor injuries. Those who attend with minor conditions will still be treated, but will have long waits. We urge everyone to think twice before they go to A&E – if it’s not serious or life threatening, you shouldn’t be there. Many illnesses can be better treated by visiting your local pharmacy, calling 111, visiting your local GP, or GP out of hours services, or attending a walk in centre or a minor injuries unit.”

Alternative services to A&E include:

Pharmacy

Your local pharmacist can provide confidential, expert advice and treatment for a range of common illnesses and complaints, without you having to go to your GP or other healthcare setting.

NHS 111

NHS 111 is a service which makes it easier for you to access NHS services. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year and is free when you telephone 111. You can call 111 when you need medical help fast but it is not a 999 emergency.

GP Out of Hours service

If you need a doctor out of normal hours, dial NHS 111 to contact the GP Out of Hours service.

Minor Injuries Unit

Johnson Community Hospital, Spalding Road, Pinchbeck (for satnav use PE11 3PB), telephone: 01775 652000.

Open: 8am-6pm, seven days a week. Until the end of January, to ease the pressure on A&E at county hospitals, Johnson Hospital is treating a wider range of minor health conditions including ear and throat infections, minor skin infections/rashes, minor eye conditions/infections, stomach upsets and coughs, colds and flu like symptoms.