Stay away from A&E department

DO NOT go to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary’s A&E department unless it’s an emergency - that is the message from the local hospitals trust.

The department is extremely busy at the moment due to the large number people who have fallen on ice so the trust is asking non emergency patients to stay away.

The mother of one young woman who needed treatment after falling on the ice told The Visitor that an extra room had to be opened up to hold casualties and that the corridors outside the x-ray department were full of patients on beds and wheelchairs waiting for treatment.

She had to wait more than four hours for treatment.

Peter Dyer, Medical Director, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT), said: “The extreme icy conditions we have been experiencing over the past 12-24 hours have led to a significant number of patients attending our Emergency Departments at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary and Furness General.

“To help us make sure we treat those in need of help as quickly as possible, we are politely asking that members of the public do not attend either of our emergency departments unless it is absolutely necessary.

“If members of the public do attend the departments, they will be seen in order of clinical need meaning that the most poorly patients will be seen first. Unfortunately, those patients who are not suffering from life-threatening or serious conditions may find themselves having to wait longer than usual to be seen. Our staff are working hard to keep these delays to a minimum and we thank you for your patience.

“As these icy conditions are expected to remain hazardous for at least the next 24 hours, please take care when walking on pavements. Older people are particularly vulnerable to slips and falls and it is strongly encouraged that they stay indoors until conditions improve.

“If you feel unwell or suffer a slip, trip or a fall, there are a range of services which you can use for non-emergencies, such as your GP, local pharmacy, NHS Direct and NHS Choices.”

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