Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Health | By Jay Jacobs

Hospital bosses warn of long waits at Lincolnshire A&E departments

Hospital bosses warn of long waits at Lincolnshire A&E departments

Milton Keynes University Hospital say they are under "extreme and sustained pressure" due to very high numbers of patients seeking emergency medical care. It will see up to 50,000 routine operations axed.

The NHS's most senior nurse also urged patients not to make unnecessary trips to A&E departments, saying many complaints could instead be dealt with by local pharmacists.

Some operations and procedures have been cancelled or postponed at two of West Sussex's biggest hospitals. Hospitals will begin using non-emergency vehicles to mitigate the limitations imposed by insufficient ambulances.

Dr Fawcett went on Twitter to apologize after the NHS had a Tuesday from hell. If you have concerns, particularly with relation to children or the elderly, or those with long-term conditions please consult your GP or NHS111 before coming to A&E.

"I personally apologize to the people of Stoke for the Third World conditions of the department due to overcrowding", he said.

In the week ending December 24, 83.3% of patients were seen and either admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours, against a target of 95%. "And there's more flu around than usual", said Prof Chris Moulton, the vice-president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM), which represents A&E doctors.

It is too early to judge how bad this year's pressures are compared with previous years.

It comes after warnings that every A&E in the country is struggling to meet demand.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has apologised to those affected.

But he said the move was needed given the pressure hospitals were under.

Simon Evans, director of operations at ULHT, said: "As part of our winter plan we schedule fewer non-urgent and non-cancer operations so we are able to prioritise emergency patients".

'Although if you are someone whose operation has been delayed I don't belittle that for one moment and indeed I apologise to everyone who that has happened to'.

The president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, Taj Hassan, said: "In increasing numbers of departments, conditions are just terrible and staff are stretched to the limit just trying to deliver safe care".

Meanwhile the public has helped by largely listening to appeals around making the appropriate choices if they feel unwell this winter, and by taking note of patient visiting rules.

She told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Well certainly what we have is a system that's running at absolutely full stretch across both health and social care and despite all the planning that we've heard about...."

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