Lincolnshire hospitals trust declares third critical incident in three weeks due to A&E pressures

An internal memo at United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust described a "low level of discharges".

Lincolnshire hospital trust has declared a critical incident for the third time in three weeks due to the "exceptionally high levels of demand" on its emergency and urgent care services.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust (ULHT) declared the incident on Tuesday 3 January.

It follows previous critical incidents on 28 December and 20 December.

ULHT Chief Executive Andrew Morgan told ITV Calendar A&E attendances over the past ten days were up 20% on the same time last year.

He added there are "exceptionally high levels of demand for our Emergency Departments, coupled with high levels of very ill patients needing hospital care and ongoing staffing challenges.

"Many of the patients we are seeing are very unwell, many with respiratory illnesses including COVID-19 and flu. This means we are facing significant challenges around discharge from our beds, causing delays in admitting patients into our care- a situation that is also reflected nationally across the NHS at the moment.

“Our colleagues are working exceptionally hard to ensure the safe delivery of care in these challenging circumstances and I thank them for their continued efforts.”

ULHT is asking people to consider whether they actually need to go to A&E, instead pointing them towards other healthcare and advice services such as phoning NHS 111 and using GP practices and pharmacies where possible.

It's also asked family members to collect relatives due to be discharged from hospital if possible, instead of waiting for hospital transport to take them home.