DOCTOR CALLING: By Dr Miles Langdon
The NHS in Lincolnshire is appealing to local people to only attend accident and emergency departments in the case of genuine accident or emergency.
A&Es across the county – in common with many hospitals across East Midlands and the country as a whole – have been particularly busy over last few days.
Lincolnshire acute and community 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 short-term staff sickness.
Dr Suneil Kapadia, medical director for ULHT said: “Accident and emergency departments are seeing unprecedented numbers of patients.
“While many people are very sick, people are visiting A&E who should have sought advice or treatment from elsewhere.
“Unnecessary attendances at A&E mean longer waits for patients and extra pressure on our staff throughout all our wards and departments.
“Our staff are working very hard to cope with the demand but we need local people to help. 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”.
Tracy Picher, chief nurse for Lincolnshire East CCG added: “Lincolnshire’s pharmacies are available for expert advice and treatment for a wide range of common ailments, there is no need for an appointment and they also offer over the counter medicines.
“Additionally, we have a number of Urgent Care Centres and Minor Injuries Units that offer a wide range of services that mean a journey to A&E can be avoided for many people.
“Although our GP practices are also busy they do have appointments available and patients are encouraged to contact their practice first.
“Viruses such as coughs, colds and sore throats can be treated effectively at home, by getting plenty of rest and drinking lots of fluids.”
More information on services is available by visiting www.choosebetterlincs.co.uk