We continue to be concerned about the huge amount of pressure NHS services in Lancashire and South Cumbria are under, but we are demonstrating our ability to work together to manage demand and ensure that patient safety remains of the highest importance.
We want to emphasise that we continue to provide services for our patients for treatments such as cancer and routine appointments. To manage pressures across services, a Gold Room for Lancashire and South Cumbria has been established to coordinate how organisations support each other with mutual aid between hospitals to manage care for Covid and non-Covid patients and our critical care capacity.
The current demand for critical care in Lancashire and South Cumbria’s hospitals is significant and we have needed to increase the number of critical care beds available to more than double our normal number in order to safely manage all patient care. To do this, we have numerous daily meetings with teams from across local NHS organisations to ensure services are safe and can continue wherever possible.
We need to manage our waiting lists, so that we continue to treat patients who need urgent care alongside patients who are very unwell with Covid. To make sure this happens, currently we need to move some staff around to support different clinical areas, including critical care, and this may mean that some less urgent appointments are temporarily delayed. Our hospital Trusts continue to make local decisions, where necessary to manage their services on a daily basis, and we work closely together as a health and care system and in the North West region to ensure we optimise the care we are providing.
Anyone with concerns should continue to come forward for help and treatment. It is important that unless you are contacted, you should continue to attend your appointment as planned.
We are asking patients with minor injuries to please contact NHS111 first, rather than coming straight to the emergency department. For all other medical issues use 111.nhs.uk or call NHS 111, where you will be directed to the most appropriate place for your care. In an emergency and for life threatening conditions, call 999.
We continue to ask local people to take action now and follow the government guidance to keep everyone safe and reduce the rate of infection in our local communities.
Dr Amanda Doyle OBE, Chief Officer for Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System
Kevin McGee, Chief Executive of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, speaking on behalf of hospitals in Lancashire and South Cumbria