Update: ULHT later confirmed extra staff have been drafted in to cover the full service this weekend, however severe delays are expected.
Bosses at Lincoln County Hospital have advised people to stay away from A&E this weekend unless it is an emergency due a severe staff shortage.
Due to a continuing shortage of A&E doctors, United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust has said Lincoln A&E will struggle to provide a full service overnight over the weekend of Friday 28, Saturday 29 and Sunday, July 30, with no middle grade doctors available for duty.
Health bosses have said that due to a reduced supply of agency doctors and as the peak holiday season approaches, they are unable to fill rotas.
Pilgrim Hospital in Boston is also experiencing difficulties, although continues to meet its minimum staffing requirements.
United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust (ULHT) are working closely with NHS Improvement and senior leaders in surrounding hospitals but, in order to continue to provide a 24/7 emergency service to the population of Lincolnshire, are having to take extra measures to keep services running safely.
A&E consultants will remain resident in Lincoln A&E overnight to act as coordinating doctors, alongside physicians, surgeons and paediatricians to see patients and to arrange the appropriate investigations and treatments as quickly as possible.
Dr Neill Hepburn, Medical Director said: “We are working hard to make sure we maintain a safe service for our patients by releasing senior staff from other specialities to help out in A&E over the weekend.
“We also continue to need help from members of the public too.
“Please stay away from Lincoln A&E unless you need emergency health treatment – if it’s not serious or life threatening, please do not attend.
“Please visit your local pharmacy, call 111, or visit your local GP out of hours service, or attend a walk in centre or a minor injuries unit wherever possible.”