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Elective care – reducing waits for routine or non-urgent appointments

During the first wave of Covid in spring 2020 hospitals across the country paused routine and non-urgent care, ensuring enough staff and beds were free to look after Covid patients  as well as people who needed urgent or emergency care.

As the first wave receded in summer, NHS staff worked tirelessly to catch up with waiting lists for routine and non-urgent care. As the second national lockdown took place in November, hospitals in Lancashire ad South Cumbria worked together to reduce any impact on routine and non-urgent appointments.

In January we provided the following update:

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.

Despite these pressures the NHS never became a Covid only service. Throughout the pandemic we have ensured many services continued as close to normal as possible and that we protected the most urgent services.

We will continue to work together to make sure that any person waiting for treatment is seen as soon as safely possible.

We are also working with local Healthwatch to help us to understand the views of local people who are waiting for a routine or non-urgent appointment to consider different ways of working together to improve services. If you are contacted by Healthwatch, we encourage you to share your views so we can use these to shape our services going forwards.

Alternatively, please visit Healthwatch Lancashire's website to learn more and complete the survey (opens in a new window)

Hospitals in Lancashire and South Cumbria include:

  • Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust

We will update this webpage with further information about the elective care programme as this develops.