People are being urged not to go to the A&E Department at the Royal Blackburn Hospital unless absolutely necessary due to unprecedented demand.
Instead, hospital bosses are asking that unless it is a genuine medical emergency that people seek medical advice and treatment elsewhere.
Dr Damian Riley, Medical Director at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Following the Christmas and New Year period we are seeing unprecedented levels of demand and with that, a number of people who really don’t need to be at A&E as their injury or illness would be better treated at the GP, pharmacist or Minor Injury Unit. We do see everyone that comes through the door but it is really vital that we keep A&E free for those who really need it such as people with severe cardiac chest pain, serious breathing difficulties, serious accident victims or very unwell children.
“When we are very busy like this it means that waiting times are increased as the sickest patients are given priority.”
There are lots of options for the public to seek medical advice without coming to A&E which include:
- Urgent Care Centre at Burnley General Hospital, open 24 hours
- Minor Injury Units at Rossendale Primary Care Centre and Accrington Victoria Hospital – both open 8am – 8pm
- Your local GP practice
- Your local pharmacist
- NHS 111 telephone advice line
- NHS Choices website nhs.uk for self-care.