‘Critical incident’ declared at Lincolnshire hospitals trust

‘Exceptionally high demand’ for hospital services in Lincolnshire has lead the trust behind Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital to declare a ‘critical incident’

Pilgrim Hospital, Boston. Stock image
Pilgrim Hospital, Boston. Stock image

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) said the ‘ongoing impacts of Covid-19’ plus the recent arson attack at Lincoln Hospital’s A&E department - have added to the pressures on its services.

ULHT says staff are now working with partners to prioritise patients needing urgent treatment at its hospitals in Boston, Lincoln and Grantham.

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In a statement, ULHT CEO Andrew Morgan said: “Our hospitals are continuing to see exceptionally high levels of demand for our services, along with the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, and our emergency diagnostic capacity being reduced as a result of the recent fire.

ULHT CEO Andrew Morgani pictured at Boston's Pilgrim Hospital last year.

“We are continuing to work with our system partners to prioritise those in most urgent need of hospital treatment and urge people to get medical help when they need it for non life-threatening issues by using NHS 111 online.

“Despite the current demand, essential services remain fully open for anyone who needs them so if you require emergency medical help, please continue to come forward.”

Critical incidents are announced when demand becomes such that measures need to be taken to safeguard the most vital areas of healthcare.

The trust last declared a critical incident in early January - citing ‘extreme and unprecedented’ staff shortages.

This came at a time when cases of the new Omicron Covid-19 variant were spreading across the country.

The fire at Lincoln County Hospital’s A&E was started deliberately on March 29 - leading to extensive damage at the department, including the X-ray, CT and MRI imaging suite.

A 56 year-old Sleaford man has been charged with arson in relation to the fire, and is awaiting a hearing at Lincoln Crown Court.

Visitor restrictions brought in on March 30 are still in place across the trust’s hospitals.

General visiting is restricted, but ULHT says visiting ‘will be fully supported for maternity, paediatrics, neonates and other exceptional cases’.