Public reminded to think about which health service they need

The local NHS in Lancashire North is continuing to remind people to think carefully about what service to use to ease pressure on busy hospital teams.

Health services across the country are experiencing very heavy demand with some patients requiring admission and a longer stay in hospital.

As a result this is impacting on the flow of patients through local hospitals leading to an increase in the time patients are waiting in A&E. Due to the pressures on beds this has resulted in medical teams concentrating on looking after increased numbers of emergency admissions.

NHS staff are working tirelessly to ensure patients remain safe. The public can help to ease the pressure on hospital services by only attending A&E or using 999 services for serious or life threatening conditions.

Pharmacists, GPs, out-of-hour services and same day services are all available for injuries and ailments that don’t require emergency services. Advice on how to use self-care to treat common ailments can be found at www.nhs.uk

Dr Alex Gaw, Clinical Chair of NHS Lancashire North Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “Traditionally the winter months put extra demand on health services, however this year has seen an even greater demand. The public can help to ensure that hospital teams are free to treat people with very serious conditions by thinking about what other NHS service is most suitable to help them.

“Most winter illnesses don’t need to be treated by a GP or emergency services. Sore throats, colds, headaches and winter vomiting can all be treated at home. Help and advice on how to use self-care is available on the NHS website or by visiting your local pharmacist. If you still have concerns then seek the advice of your local GP.”

Additional capacity has been created at University Hospital of Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust (UHMB) and partners across health and social care are working together, on a daily basis ensure patients receive the right care.

Dr David Walker, Medical Director at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMB), said: “The safety of everyone who uses our services is our priority and I would like to pay tribute to our staff who continue to work extremely hard to treat and care for our patients in a timely and safe way. We are ensuring that disruption to our non-emergency services is as minimal as possible.”