Long delays at under-pressure Lincolnshire hospitals

NHS bosses in Lincolnshire are warning people to expect long waits at A&E departments across the county due to extra pressure.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the county’s hospitals, has said that it has seen a high number of very sick patients in recent days.

This has meant that the trust has had to cancel some operations.

The trust was named among at least 16 NHS trusts that have been put on the most sever level of operational pressure over the last week.

Health chiefs are urging people to consider using a local pharmacy, walk-in centre or urgent care centre, as the A&E department will prioritise the sickest patients.

Simon Evans, director of operations at ULHT, said: “As part of our winter plan we schedule fewer non-urgent and non-cancer operations so we are able to prioritise emergency patients.

“Like many trusts we have seen a high number of very sick patients in our hospitals with complex health needs, which means despite our best efforts due to the demand we are not able to admit all patients for their routine operations as planned.

“We have had to cancel a small number of operations, including four yesterday across the trust. Not all of these were due to winter pressures or bed capacity.

“We recognise that cancelling operations and procedures is very distressing for our patients and their families and we apologise for this. We will try to rearrange appointments as quickly as possible.

“The advice to patients is that if you do not hear from us, please assume that your appointment or operation will be taking place and attend as normal.”