Public urged to stay away from 'strained' A and E unless absolutely necessary
East Lancashire residents are being urged not to visit A and E unless they are in need of ‘urgent or emergency care’.
The stark plea came from East Lancashire' s health chief Nigel Hodgson who revealed that Burnley and Blackburn hospitals are being put under acute strain as demand on services is three times the normal level for this time of year.
Interim chief executive Martin Hodgson confirmed East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust was currently managing severe pressures and demand and taking action to mitigate against that and ensure patients who need care continue to receive it.
And he has urged residents who have not had Covid or flu vaccinations to get one as soon as possible to help alleviate the alarming situation.
He added: “The demand on services this morning was three times higher than usual for this time of year and the strain is being felt acutely by colleagues across the Trust, not just in our urgent or emergency pathways where it is so visible, but on teams and departments right across all hospital settings and our community services too.
“It clearly impacts on patients, who are experiencing some very long waits to be seen and admitted if they need to be.
“While we are continuing to provide care to patients that need it urgently we would urge people to consider the most appropriate option for the care they need and visit NHS 111 online as a first port of call.
"In addition, it is crucial people make every effort to protect themselves which includes getting vaccinated against Covid-19 and taking the opportunity to get a booster jab as soon as possible, taking up the flu jab if eligible, practising good hand hygiene, wearing face coverings and maintaining social distancing and stocking up on everyday essential medicines.
“Please help us to manage this unprecedented demand and don’t come to A&E unless you are in need of urgent or emergency care.”