United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust bosses announced yesterday (Tuesday) that they had raised the level from a critical incident, which had been declared nearly two weeks ago.
Increased numbers of COVID patients and staff going off sick or isolating because of the virus, as well as an issue with water supply at Grantham and District Hospital were cited as reasons for the Trust taking additional steps to maintain safe services for patients.
This means some planned operations and outpatient appointments over the next 48 hours at Lincoln County Hospital will be postponed, to accommodate those patients with the most urgent clinical need.
In a statement the Trust said: “Those patients whose appointments are being postponed will be contacted directly by our teams. Our emergency departments remain open for all emergency care. Any postponed appointments will be put back in as soon as possible and patients will be kept informed.
“If you are not contacted directly, please continue to turn up for your appointment. Please also contact the number on your appointment letter if you are no longer able to attend so it can be reallocated to another patient.”
They also apologised for the added inconvenience of patients who have been waiting for their treatments and appointments, some having been postponed repeatedly during the last year due to the pandemic pressures,
“We appreciate that this may be disappointing for those patients whose appointments need to be postponed – especially given the ongoing delays due to the pandemic. However, patient safety must take priority and we need to take action to make sure that those who are more clinically urgent get the help they need as quickly as possible.”
They said: “Our teams continue to work exceptionally hard; and we would like to reassure our patients and the public that in spite of the challenges faced and some changes to non-urgent appointments, essential services remain fully open for anyone who needs them so if you require urgent medical help, please continue to come forward.”
The public can help manage these periods of demand by ensuring they are seeking help from the most appropriate health services, and only attending A&E for serious accidents and emergencies. If you are unwell, visit NHS 111 online for 24/7 advice about the most appropriate care for your need.