People wait for hours at stretched Lincoln County Hospital A&E

The A&E department at Lincoln County Hospital is very busy, with some people experiencing waiting times of more than five hours.

Readers contacted The Lincolnite this week to complain they have been made to wait for over five hours to be seen for what could be serious injuries.

Now ULHT, the trust in charge of Lincolnshire hospitals, is warning people to stay away from A&E departments unless they have a serious emergency.

ULHT has not hit its targets for average A&E waiting times of under four hours since September 2014. It is also in special measures for the second time in as many years, and the deficit this year is of over £70million.

The Lincoln Walk-In Centre commissioned by the Lincolnshire West CCG is also overstretched as half of staff quit their jobs ahead of the planned closure of the service after the winter period.

So the trust running hospitals in Lincoln, Boston and Grantham, tweeted on Tuesday, December 12 to advise residents to stay away from hospitals unless necessary.

A spokesperson for ULHT said: “We are currently experiencing high demands on our services, particularly in our A&E departments.

“Please only attend A&E in an emergency and consider the alternatives.”

This comes on the same day that health bosses confirmed Grantham A&E will not reopen overnight during the Christmas period as hoped and could be downgraded to an urgent care centre in the new year.