July 12, 2022 6.00 am This story is over 23 months old

Let’s keep A&E free for those who need it most

Local emergency care services under increased pressure

Over the last few months, urgent and emergency care services across Lincolnshire and the wider UK have been under increased pressure.

We have seen record numbers of Emergency Department attendances and pressure on our ambulance service, with high levels of very poorly patients requiring hospital care.

This means that waits for some of our urgent care services have been longer than we would like, and means that we have needed to focus on ensuring all patients are seen in the right place, at the right time.

NHS staff are doing everything they can to ensure patients get the treatment and care they need as quickly as possible, but everyone in the community has a role to play too.

As the summer holidays approach, everyone has the responsibility to make sure they know where they can get the best kind of help for them if they need it. We know that, with high numbers of holidaymakers visiting the county and school holidays in full swing, the pressure on our urgent care services can be extreme.

Everyone needs to make sure that Emergency Departments (A&Es) are kept for those with the most urgent life-threatening accidents or health emergencies.

Otherwise, your first port of call should always be to contact 111 first – either by telephone or online at www.111.nhs.uk

This service will direct you to the most appropriate place for the care that you need.

The range of options that you may be given are below:

  • Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC)- You can visit your local UTC for sprains, fractures, minor burns and skin infections. Walk-in or bookable appointments are available via NHS 111.
  • GP- GP practices are open. Talk to your GP Practice about symptoms that aren’t going away. They can offer telephone, online or face-to-face appointments depending on what your health concern is.
  • Pharmacy- Visit your local pharmacy for advice on minor injuries, allergies, constipation, headaches, cold and flu symptoms and earache.
  • Self-care- treat aches and pains, coughs and colds at home. Stock your medicine cabinet or first aid kit with over-the-counter medicines.

Our NHS services are absolutely excellent, and our NHS staff are heroes in delivering quality care to our patients every single day.

We need the wider population to support these services and make wise decisions, to make sure everyone is seen in a timely manner in the most appropriate setting.

We hope everyone has a fantastic summer.

Tracy Pilcher is Director of Nursing, AHPs and Operations/Deputy Chief Executive at Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust.