Keep A&E for medical emergencies

The NHS in Lincolnshire is urging people to make sure they choose the most appropriate care for their ailments this winter.

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The NHS in Lincolnshire is urging people to make sure they choose the most appropriate care for their ailments this winter, not always A&E.

Despite a relatively mild winter so far, local NHS services are facing increased demand, particularly from elderly and vulnerable patients, and the weather is forecast to get significantly colder towards the end of the week.

Dr Suneil Kapadia, Medical Director for ULHT, says, “Even without severe weather, such as snow or prolonged sub-zero temperatures, the arrival of winter invariably means the NHS as a whole faces considerable challenges in dealing with greater numbers of patients.  Whilst the NHS plans for increased demand, we need help from people which they can give by using the most appropriate way to treat their ailments.”

Colder weather and viruses lead to an increase in the number of people being admitted to hospital as an emergency, particularly those with a respiratory condition.

The NHS has produced a list of tips to help people plan and ensure they receive the most appropriate and timely treatment during winter:

·         Ensure you have sufficient over the counter medicines to treat minor ailments, such as coughs, colds, cuts and scratches.  The NHS Choices website has further information about sensible items to keep in your medicine cabinet at home

·         If you feel unwell, particularly if you are elderly, seeking early advice from your GP or pharmacist could prevent a minor ailment becoming more serious.  The NHS Feeling Under the Weather campaign is aimed at people over 60 or anyone aged over 45 looking after elderly relatives or neighbours, encouraging them to get early health advice

·         If you have an ongoing medical condition requiring repeat prescriptions, ensure you have sufficient supplied to avoid running out when your GP surgery is closed

·         Your local pharmacist is a good source of information, advice and treatment for a wide range of minor ailments

·         For urgent medical needs that are not emergencies, NHS 111 is a free national phone number able to provide advice at any time on where and how to receive the most appropriate treatment

·         This year’s NHS Flu campaign is encouraging all those who are eligible for the free flu vaccination to take up the offer.  It is targeted at those with long-term health conditions, pregnant women and parents of children aged two-four.  United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust is supporting the campaign by providing background advice and guidance on who is eligible for a free flu jab and the importance of getting one

·         Keep a look out for elderly or vulnerable neighbours to ensure they are staying safe and well

·         If you have symptoms of vomiting or diarrhoea, stay away from hospitals including visiting friends or relatives.  Norovirus, often called the winter vomiting bug, is highly contagious and can spread quickly in hospitals

·         Don’t’ go to a hospital A&E department or dial 999 for an ambulance unless it is for a serious or life-threatening emergency.

“Clearly there are times when attending A&E or dialing 999 is the right thing to do.  However, using these services for less serious conditions does not mean a patient will receive quicker treatment, and may result in a delay for someone else whose condition is serious or even life threatening,” adds Dr Suneil Kapadia.

“Taking a few easy and sensible precautions now, along with using the best way to receive treatment if needed, can help ensure the NHS continues to provide high quality, appropriate care for everyone needing it this winter.”



The range of alternative services to A&E includes:


Your local pharmacist can provide confidential, expert advice and treatment for a range of common illnesses and complaints, without you having to go to your GP or other healthcare setting.

NHS 111

NHS 111 is a service which makes it easier for you to access NHS services. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year and is free when you telephone 111. You can call 111 when you need medical help fast but is not a 999 emergency.

GP Out of Hours service

If you need a doctor out of normal hours, dial NHS 111 to contact the GP Out of Hours service.

Walk in centre

Lincoln Walk-in Centre, 63 Monks Road. Lincoln LN2 5HP

Tel: 01522 528153 opening times 8am- 8pm

Grantham Enhanced Out of Hours Service

Kingfisher Suite, Grantham and District Hospital, Grantham NH31 8DG

For booked appointments with the traditional GP Out of Hours Service, dial NHS 111 6.30pm-8am on weekdays or 24hours a day at weekends and Bank Holidays.

For injuries only (cuts, minor burns, sprains and suspected fractures, bites and stings), walk in without an appointment 6.30pm-11.30pm seven days a week.

Minor injury units

Sleaford Medical Group, 47 Boston Road, Sleaford, Lincolnshire, NG34 7HD
Tel: 01529 419100 opening times 8am – 8pm weekdays, 8am – 6pm weekends

The City Care Centre, Thorpe Road, Peterborough PE3 6DB.
Tel: 01733 293800 opening times 8am-8pm

Stamford Hospital, Ryhall Road, Stamford, Lincolnshire,PE9 1UA
Tel: 01780 764151 open 9am- 5pm

Newark minor injury unit and urgent care centre

Newark Hospital, Boundary Road , Newark, Nottinghamshire, NG24 4DE

Tel: 01636 681681 opening times

John Coupland Hospital, Ropery Road, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, DN21 2TJ.

Tel: 01427 816 502, open seven days: 8am – 8pm

Johnson Community Hospital, Spalding Road, Pinchbeck, PE11 3DT

Tel: 01775 652000 , open seven days: 8am – 6pm

Urgent Care Centres

Sleaford Medical Group, 47 Boston Road, Sleaford, Lincolnshire, NG34 7HD
Tel: 01529 419100 opening times 6.30pm – 8pm weekdays, 8am – 6pm weekends

Skegness Hospital, Dorothy Avenue, Skegness, Lincolnshire PE25 2BS

Tel: 01754 613504

Open: 24 hours, seven days a week (including Christmas Day and Bank Holidays)

County Hospital, High Holme Road, Louth, Lincolnshire LN11 0EU

Tel: 01507 600100 ext 1223

Open: 24 hours, seven days a week (including Christmas Day and Bank Holidays)