People across East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen are being asked to use the right local NHS service for them if their condition is not a life-threatening emergency.
In the recent days, Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital has been seeing more and more people, both with and without COVID-19 attending their A&E department.
Mr Jawad Husain, Executive Medical Director for East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust said: “The number of patients with COVID-19 has increased sharply in the last week. Everyone will benefit if we can give urgent and emergency care to the people most in need. Our staff are working extremely hard under exceptional circumstances. With services being in very high demand, we would like to remind people to think twice and make sure they chose the right service for their needs. Attending with minor ailments leads to longer waiting times for those with conditions which could be treated more appropriately using another local service.
“If your condition is an emergency and you do need to come to the Emergency Department, please remember the guidance of hands, face and space. Your safety is our priority and as the hospital is seeing an increase in patients with COVID-19, washing hands, wearing a mask and maintaining a two-metre distance from others is absolutely essential whilst in the department.”
“Dr David White, GP lead for Emergency Care at NHS East Lancashire and NHS Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Groups, said: “We are seeing a marked increase in cases of COVID-19 alongside the other demands for health care services. Rising need for GP and emergency care services, alongside more patients requiring hospital admission, means the health system across Pennine Lancashire is under considerable pressure. This is undoubtedly being contributed to by the rise in COVID-19 and other urgent cases.
“This does mean we must all be extra careful to protect ourselves, our loved ones and those in our communities. Keeping your distance, self-isolating if infected or instructed to do so via test and trace, wearing a mask when out and about and always washing your hands are important things we can all do. If you are unwell and require urgent advice, please call NHS 111 or your GP practice first. You can also check your symptoms using NHS 111 online.”