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Lincolnshire hospital boss backs new campaign to help support his teams during a difficult winter

Health bosses have launched a new campaign to help to support the NHS during a difficult winter, combined with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Andrew Morgan, the chief
executive of the United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, says his staff are caring for an increasing number of COVID patients along with those arriving with traditional winter conditions.

Lincolnshire health groups have now launched the Let’s Do This Together campaign which is encouraging people to do their bit for the NHS by following a healthy lifestyle; visiting a pharmacist before going to the GP; keeping appointments or asking for a video or telephone consultation; and calling NHS 111 before heading to A&E.

Boston's Pilgrim Hospital (15087858)
Boston's Pilgrim Hospital (15087858)

Mr Morgan said the county’s three hospitals are very busy at the moment and is backing the campaign.

He said: “It is important that the hospitals need to be there for the sickest and most injured people in our community.

“We are juggling the COVID workload and normal early winter pressures while trying to keep our routine non urgent and non COVID work going.

“The more people help us to help their NHS the easier it becomes for us to be able to balance those competing priorities.”

Mr Morgan said the trust is treating an increasing number of COVID inpatients, of all ages, and that levels are up to those seen in early April.

The hospitals also face logistical issues as COVID patients have to be treated in separate wards which places pressures on beds.

Along with that, the trust also has 220 staff members off sick or self isolating.

To mitigate this and retain safe staffing levels on wards, the trust is using its own bank staff but are also bringing in the more expensive agency staff.

Mr Morgan said: “Some people are anxious about COVID. Despite the fact that our staff have full PPE on, some people, if on agency, make the choice that is not part of the trust they want to work on, which puts pressure on.

“Our staff have done an amazing job as the public have recognised. They have really risen to the challenge.

“We had huge support during wave one, not just the clap for carers, but there was a whole outpouring of love for the NHS that we really appreciated and did wonders for people’s morale. By following the five things in this programme, youwill help us to keep services going.”

Dr Sunil Hindocha,chair of the county’s Primary Care Network Alliance said: “These behaviours really do make a big difference to NHS staff and services, particularly at the moment as we continue to keep doing all we can to keep people safe.”

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