Stay away from A&E unless it’s life-threatening, beg hospital bosses

Royal Lancaster Infirmary.
Royal Lancaster Infirmary.

Hospital chiefs have asked non-urgent cases to stay away from an over-stretched accident and emergency department.

The A&E at Royal Lancaster Infirmary says it has been under pressure this weekend with a spike in the number of patients.

A spokesman at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are currently experiencing increased pressure in our A&E at the RLI with 163 people attending our A&E department between 8am Friday and 8am Saturday.

“This included six more ambulances than anticipated over that same period of time.

“We are calling on the public to help us. We do occasionally experience sudden increases in attendance which can impact on the time for patients to be seen, treated and either discharged or admitted. At the moment, patients are likely to experience long waiting times, whilst those who need urgent treatment are seen first.

“Please help us make sure our staff are free to treat those most in need, such as those who have a serious illness or injury. If you do attend, please be patient with staff who are doing their best in difficult circumstances.

“Whilst we will see and treat all patients who attend, there are those who could be better treated elsewhere. We know it can be difficult when someone is unwell so if you aren’t sure whether or not to attend the A&E, please ring the NHS advice line on 111 who are trained to help.

“If you have a minor illness or injury that needs attention, you can visit your nearest pharmacist, Primary Care Assessment Centre, or speak to your GP.”

An emergency is a serious or life-threatening injury and condition, such as a suspected heart attack, acute confused state and fits that are not stopping, loss of consciousness, breathing difficulties, chest pain, head injuries or severe bleeding that cannot be stopped.

If someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk, then 999 should be called.