A Lancashire hospital has issued a ‘stay away’ notice for its A&E department.
A surge in demand has been reported for Accident & Emergency services at Royal Lancaster Infirmary, prompting hospital bosses to issue an appeal to the public.
People are asked to only turn up at Lancaster’s A&E if it is absolutely necessary, and warned that they could face a long wait.
A spokesman at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are currently experiencing increased pressure in our A&E at the RLI, and we are calling on the public to again help us.
“We do occasionally experience sudden increases in attendance which can impact on the time for patients to be seen, treated and either discharged or admitted. At the moment, patients are likely to experience long waiting times, whilst those who need urgent treatment are seen first.
“Please help us make sure our staff are free to treat those most in need, such as those who have a serious illness or injury.
“If you do attend, please be patient with staff who are doing their best in difficult circumstances.
“Whilst we will see and treat all patients who attend, there are those who could be better treated elsewhere.
“We know it can be difficult when someone is unwell so if you aren’t sure whether or not to attend the A&E, please ring the NHS advice line on 111 who are trained to help.
“If you have a minor illness or injury that needs attention, you can visit your nearest pharmacist, Primary Care Assessment Centre, or speak to your GP.”
Staff at RLI have issued several ‘stay away’ notices in recent months as the A&E has experienced overwhelming demand.
An emergency is a serious or life-threatening injury and condition, such as a suspected heart attack, acute confused state and fits that are not stopping, loss of consciousness, breathing difficulties, chest pain, head injuries or severe bleeding that cannot be stopped.
If someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk, then 999 should be called.
Details of pharmacy opening times, as well asmedical advice, are available at www.nhs.uk/111.