Adverse weather continues to affect health services
Non-urgent appointments and operations have been cancelled at Lincolnshire’s hospitals due to the adverse weather conditions.
The county’s GP practices are also facing pressure on services due to the amount of snow which has fallen over the past 24 hours.
As a result, United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust has now cancelled all non-urgent outpatient appointments and operations.
Mark Brassington, Chief Operating Officer at ULHT, said: “To protect the safety of our patients, today (Thursday 1 March) and tomorrow (Friday 2 March) ULHT is unfortunately cancelling all non-urgent outpatient clinics and operations.
“Many of our staff haven’t been able to get into work due to the adverse weather conditions and we don’t want patients to risk their safety by travelling to one of our hospitals for a routine appointment.
“People who have an outpatient appointment at any of our hospitals today or Friday should not attend unless it is urgent which is for a two week wait appointment, radiotherapy, renal or oncology services. If you are unsure, please call the contact number on your letter for advice.
“We are contacting people who have an operation scheduled that has been cancelling. Also, we are cancelling all operations that are not emergency surgery.
“We will rearrange all appointments as soon as it is safe to do so.
“To help cope, we are redeploying outpatient staff and non-clinical staff to wards and theatres. We are also using emergency 4×4 vehicles to help get staff to work in critical areas.
“Please stay safe and keep away from hospitals unless it is an emergency. Getting to our hospitals is tricky and the conditions may be treacherous.
“Our A&Es are busy treating very sick patients or patients who are badly injured. To help ease pressures on A&Es, we urge everyone to think twice before they go to an A&E – if it’s not serious or life threatening, you shouldn’t be there. Call NHS 111 for advice.”
Lincolnshire’s GP practices are also experiencing severe disruption due to the weather, with some not having staff available in surgeries.
If you have a routine appointment booked, please try and contact your practice to check whether it is still available or has been cancelled.
Similarly, if you are planning on attending for an urgent appointment please contact your practice to check it is still able to see you or whether alternative arrangements will have to be made.
For any other appointments you have booked but are unable to make, please contact your practice and let them know in case they are able to offer it to someone else.
In addition to your GP practice there are a range of other sources of help and advice.
Self-care is really important and you should make sure your medicine cabinet is stocked with cold and flu remedies.
A&E should only be used in life threatening situations. Finally, if you can it is helpful to check on elderly and vulnerable neighbours and relatives.