United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust has suspended selected non-urgent surgeries across the county as coronavirus case numbers continue to surge in the area and patient visiting has been restricted.
Trust bosses decided to prioritise emergency and urgent treatment, as well as managing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, with over 50 people hospitalised with coronavirus.
Services and surgeries will be prioritised based on their clinical need until case numbers drop, as Lincolnshire ranks among the highest for coronavirus infection rates, and Lincoln is still number one for infections in the UK.
The Lincolnite were made aware of one particular case in which someone had been waiting for a wrist operation at County Hospital Louth, but was contacted to say that it had been cancelled.
It comes just two days after patient visiting was suspended at Lincolnshire’s hospitals, as concerns continue to grow over the high infection rates in the county, and specifically the city of Lincoln.
A spokesperson for United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “The trust has taken the difficult decision to suspend some elective, non-urgent surgery across our sites as we respond to the rising number of COVID-19 patients in our hospitals and increased emergency demand.
“A number of districts across Lincolnshire have some of the highest prevalence of COVID-19 cases in the UK, which is causing significant challenges in our hospitals.
“We fully understand the disappointment of individuals who had a planned procedure scheduled, but we must prioritise patients with emergency and urgent clinical need.
“We remain committed to providing elective and non-urgent surgeries as soon as we practically can, and we will prioritise those by clinical need as we continue managing the impact of COVID-19.”
As well as this, Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust is temporarily changing patients access to care in the Louth Urgent Treatment Centre, due to “unprecedented staffing pressures”.
From Wednesday, August 11 until Monday, August 16, from 8pm to 8am, the UTC in Louth will not be offering walk-in services as previous, but instead offering appointments that can be booked through NHS111.
The Urgent Treatment Centre in Skegness will remain open 24 hours a day.
The decision will be reviewed regularly and overnight walk-in services will resume “as soon as possible”.
Susan Ombler, Deputy Director of Nursing and Quality at LCHS, said: “Due to unprecedented staffing pressures on our services and across the Lincolnshire system, the trust, in communication with other partners, has made the decision to temporarily change the delivery of services from the Louth Urgent Treatment Centre.
“We are making these temporary changes to ensure patients are looked after in a way that best protects their needs during this period of staffing pressures on our services due to coronavirus.”