Health services stretched

A&E department
A&E department
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Due to the long Christmas weekend and cold weather, all parts of the NHS in Lincolnshire are currently experiencing high demand for their services.

Accident and emergency departments are seeing unprecedented numbers of patients and it is imperative that only those acute emergency patients attend A&E.

With this increased pressure patients are being asked to think carefully and consider all options before going to an accident and emergency department.

There are a wide range of alternatives including: GP, contacting your local pharmacy, calling the NHS 111 service or attending an urgent care unit/minor injuries unit.

Think twice before you go to A&E – if it’s not serious or life threatening, you shouldn’t be there.

The past weekend has seen East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EMAS) deal with 5,448 more calls than during the same period last year (8% increase), the NHS 111 service also saw an increase of 20,000 more calls than during the same period last year.

Lincolnshire A&Es have seen a 30% increase in the number of attendances over the last few days.

Alternative services include:

Pharmacy

Your local pharmacist can provide confidential, expert advice and treatment for a range of common illnesses and complaints, without you having to go to your GP or other healthcare setting.

NHS 111

NHS 111 is a service which makes it easier for you to access NHS services. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year and is free when you telephone 111. You can call 111 when you need medical help fast but is not a 999 emergency.

GP Out of Hours service

If you need a doctor out of normal hours, dial NHS 111 to contact the GP Out of Hours service.

Walk-In Centres

Lincoln Walk-In Centre, 63 Monks Road, Lincoln LN2 5HP - The centre offers a range of services including nurse-led minor illness and sexual-health service including emergency contraception. Patients do not have to be registered at the centre and can walk in or book an appointment on 01522 528153. The centre is open from 8am - 8pm, seven days a week (except for Christmas Day and Easter Sunday).

Minor Injury Units

John Coupland Hospital, Ropery Road, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire DN21 2TJ tel: 01427 816502 open 8am-8pm, seven days a week

Johnson Community Hospital, Spalding Road, Pinchbeck PE11 3DT (for satnav use PE11 3PB) tel: 01775 652000 open 8am-6pm, seven days a week

Urgent Care Centres

• Skegness Hospital, Dorothy Avenue, Skegness, Lincolnshire PE25 2BS tel: 01754 613504 open 24 hours, seven days a week (including Christmas Day and Bank Holidays)

• County Hospital, High Holme Road, Louth, Lincolnshire LN11 0EU tel: 01507600100 ext 1223 open 24 hours, seven days a week (including Christmas Day and Bank Holidays).