Public plea as Royal Lancaster Infirmary under pressure

Royal Lancaster Infirmary.
Royal Lancaster Infirmary.
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The trust is urging the public to only come to the A&E department in an emergency following a surge in demand.

The surge in demand is not unusual for this time of year with a lot of cases being minor illnesses.

A University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation trust spokesman said: “We are currently experiencing increased pressure on our A&E services 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 who have a serious illness or injury. If you do attend, please be patient with staff who are doing their best in difficult circumstances.

“While 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 about whether or not to attend the A&E, therefore if you are unsure, please ring the NHS advice line on 111 who are trained to help. If you have a minor illness or injury that needs attention, visit your nearest pharmacist, Primary Care Assessment Centre, or speak to your GP. Coughs, colds, sore throats and other minor ailments such as sprains do not necessarily require a trip to A&E.”

If someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk then 999 should be called. An emergency is a critical or life-threatening situation, 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.

Details of pharmacy opening times, as well as advice on caring for yourself and your family at home, are available here: http://www.nhs.uk/Pages/HomePage.aspx or www.nhs.uk/111.