Grantham patients urged to consider alternatives to A&E as NHS under ‘unprecedented’ pressure

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People are being urged to consider alternatives to going to A&E because emergency departments in the county are under severe pressure.

Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group and the United Lincolnshire Health Trust (ULHT) say that due to the long Christmas weekend and cold weather, all parts of the NHS in Lincolnshire are experiencing high demand for their services.

A spokesman said: “Our accident and emergency departments are seeing unprecedented numbers of patients and it is imperative that only those acute emergency patients attend A&E. With this increased pressure we are asking patients to think carefully and consider all options before going to an accident and emergency department.”

Patients are urged to consider alternatives including their GP, local pharmacy, calling the NHS 111 service or attending an urgent care unit/minor injuries unit.

The spokesman added: “With all the seasonal bugs around now, we have seen an increase in the numbers of our staff reporting short term sickness. With this in mind, ULHT is asking clinical staff on annual leave to help out by working additional hours if they can. 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.”

The past weekend has seen East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EMAS) deal with 5,448 more calls than during the same period last year (an eight per cent increase). The NHS 111 service also saw an increase of 20,000 more calls than during the same period last year. Lincolnshire A&Es have seen a 30 per cent increase in the number of attendances over the last few days.