A&E department’s struggling with unprecedented demand

Under pressure: Royal Blackburn Hospital.

Under pressure: Royal Blackburn Hospital.

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An “unprecedented” demand on A and E in East Lancashire has prompted health bosses to urge people not to visit hospital unless it’s a medical emergency.

Residents in Burnley have been advised to either visit their GP or phone an NHS helpline to help deal with an unprecedented demand for A and E services in the Royal Blackburn Hospital and Urgent Care in Burnley General Hospital.

It is really vital that we keep A and E free for those who really need it for medical emergencies

Gillian Simpson, Director of Operations at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust

Hospitals across Lancashire have been near full capacity recently and to make sure that the sickest people can still be seen as a priority, hospital bosses are reminding everyone that the A and E is for medical emergencies only.

Gillian Simpson, Director of Operations at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We have been seeing very high levels of demand and as a result our A and E department is very busy.

“It is really vital that we keep A and E free for those who really need it for medical emergencies. Wherever possible we urge people to see their pharmacist or their own GP.

“When we are very busy like this it means that waiting times are increased because the sickest patients are given priority.”

Other options for the public include:

• Minor Injury Units at Rossendale Primary Care Centre and Accrington Victoria Hospital – both open 8am to 8pm;

• Your local GP practice;

• Your local pharmacist;

• NHS 111 telephone advice line;

• NHS Choices website www.nhs.uk for self-care.