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The United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust has reported a critical incident due to significant pressure on its services, particularly at Lincoln A&E.
It comes as NHS workers across the country are set to go on strike from Wednesday. Lincolnshire hospital staff will not join the strikes, but East Midlands Ambulance staff will.
Andrew Morgan, Chief Executive of ULHT said: “Our hospitals continue to experience exceptionally high demand for our services, particularly in our Emergency Departments.
“Many of these people are very unwell and need further treatment, but significant challenges remain in the number of beds available in our hospitals – a situation that is also being mirrored nationally across the NHS.”
He said the Trust continues to work with partner organizations to ensure care is available for those who need it and that those who are ready to be discharged are dealt with as quickly and safely.
“While the majority of our services remain available, there has regrettably been a minor impact on routine procedures,” said Mr Morgan.
“People affected will be contacted directly by our teams. We continue to review our position to ensure there is no unnecessary impact on those awaiting treatment.
“Our colleagues are working exceptionally hard to ensure safe care in these challenging circumstances and I thank them for their continued efforts.”
At EMAS, industrial action is planned for Wednesday, 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. Thursday, and next Wednesday to next Thursday, 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m.
Ben Holdaway, Director of Operations at EMAS, said: “During the duration of the dispute we will do everything we can to minimize the impact on patient safety and will continue to work very closely with fellow unionists, regional service providers and NHS employers.
He said contingency plans are in place to maximize the number of vehicles and staff available.
“However, we expect that on days with industrial action there will still be fewer ambulances available and therefore we will inevitably be much slower in responding to our patients that day,” he said.
“As such, where possible, our 999 control rooms will carefully assess and prioritize an ambulance response to those who need it most, and this can only be where life is at risk.
“Patients should continue to call an ambulance as usual if they encounter a life-threatening emergency and should continue to access other, more appropriate services for other illnesses or injuries such as NHS111 online or by contacting their local emergency treatment centre.
“We fully respect the right of NHS workers to take legal and peaceful industrial action, but call on national employers’ representatives and fellow unionists to engage proactively and seek a negotiated settlement to the dispute as soon as possible.”