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Statement from Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System on pressures on local NHS services

23rd October 2020

We are increasingly concerned about the significant increases in Covid-19 admissions. NHS services in Lancashire and South Cumbria are under a huge amount of pressure, but they remain open. 

As Covid admissions in our hospitals rise, it is important that we continue to provide services for our patients for treatments such as cancer and routine appointments. Patient safety remains of the highest importance. 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 want to emphasise that all hospitals within Lancashire and South Cumbria are working together and have plans in place to manage increased demand on our services. All hospitals are following strict social distancing and hygiene measures.

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 (opens in new window) 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.

GP practices have introduced new ways of working since the start of the pandemic in order to protect staff and patients from the risk of infection. These measures, such as making clinical assessments of which patients can be diagnosed remotely via video or telephone and which patients need to be seen in a face-to-face appointment, continue to be incredibly important as the Covid-19 incidence rate rises within our communities. Without these sorts of measures and without the cooperation of patients, the challenge faced by local practices would be even greater.

We are aware of the psychological strain Covid-19 has on our teams. The Lancashire and South Cumbria Resilience Hub (opens in new window) is now in place to support those who have worked through the Covid-19 pandemic, including healthcare workers, blue light workers, council staff, volunteers, care home staff and all public sector workers and their families. If you are in one of these staff groups and are struggling, please call 01772 520228 or email lschub@lscft.nhs.uk.

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.

Video message from Kevin McGee, speaking on behalf of hospitals in Lancashire and South Cumbria

Video message from Andy Curran, Executive Medical Director for Lancashire and South Cumbria ICS

Video transcript - Kevin McGee

KEVIN: 

Across our hospitals in Lancashire and South Cumbria, we are seeing unprecedented levels of demand. This is both for Covid patients and non-Covid patients.

It's really important that we have capacity to deal with our Covid demands and also our urgent patients.

Please still come to your appointment, unless you are told otherwise. I can reassure all our listeners and our communities that the hospitals across Lancashire and South Cumbria are safe and are working together to provide support and capacity to deal with the needs of our communities. It is important that everybody follows the guidance. So please wash your hands, please wear masks, please think about social distancing. We need to drastically reduce the demands on our hospitals so that we can treat everybody safely and timely.

Video transcript - Andy Curran

ANDY: 

I'm here to talk to you today because we're really worried about increasing Covid infection rates across Lancashire and South Cumbria.

Our A&E departments are really busy at the moment but all our hospitals, A&Es, GP surgeries they are all continuing to be open for Covid and non-Covid patients too.

If you have a hospital appointment, GP appointment that's already made please continue to come forward for that appointment. And if you have a non-Covid related illness or injury please also still seek help, we're still here for you and we have lots of pathways and processes in place to make sure that we keep you safe.

As infections in our communities rise, we expect the number of people with infections to increase that need to come into hospital. So I am here today to ask you if you could help us try and prevent that number from going up. You could think about what you do. Ask your family or ask your friends and think about what you could do to lower the infection rate. A really great place to start is thinking about your hands, face and space.

We really appreciate your help. Thank you.