Patients asked to think twice before heading to A&E as NHS services are stretched

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Increased pressure on the NHS in Lincolnshire has lead to hospitals asking patients to think carefully and consider all options before going to an accident and emergency department.

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

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

The message is: “Please think twice before you go to A&E – if it’s not serious or life threatening, you shouldn’t be there.”

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 please 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: 01507 600100 ext 1223 open 24 hours, seven days a week (including Christmas Day and Bank Holidays)