People are being urged to avoid using A&E at Southport and Ormskirk hospitals unless they have a serious or life-threatening condition.
Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust experienced an increase in A&E attendances on Monday (Feb 27), putting pressure on beds and delaying the admission of some patients.
Patients attending with minor ailments are being asked to attend West Lancashire Health Centre at Ormskirk hospital for treatment.
Therese Patten, Chief Operating Officer, said: “Local health and social care services have been collaborating closely this winter in both hospitals, community health services and with social care to improve the flow of patients through A&E departments, hospital wards and back into the community.
“But we also need our community’s help and never more so than during this particularly busy period. Please help your local NHS by using A&E services wisely and thinking carefully before calling an ambulance.
“If you have a friend, relative or loved already in hospital, you can also help by supporting our staff get them ready when it’s time to go home.
“In the meantime, I want to apologise to anyone who is inconvenienced or caused unnecessary distress as a result of these difficult few days.”
A&E is for people facing life-threatening and serious emergencies such as serious accidents, serious burns, breathing problems, heart attacks and strokes.
Coughs, colds, sore throats, upset stomachs, general aches and pains, and flu will usually clear up on their own. Keep warm, drink plenty of fluids and, if appropriate, treat with over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol.
Contact a GP or a GP out of hours service for help with injuries or illnesses that won’t go away.
For people needing urgent help with minor illnesses or injuries no appointment is necessary at our walk-in centres. West Lancashire Health Centre at Ormskirk hospital is open from 8am to 7.30pm all year round. Skelmersdale NHS Walk-in Centre at The Concourse is open from 8am to 7.30pm weekdays and from 9am to 5pm on weekends.
NHS 111 is the NHS non-emergency number. It’s fast, easy and free. Call 111 and speak to a highly trained adviser, supported by healthcare professionals. They will ask you a series of questions to assess your symptoms and immediately direct you to the best medical care for you.
Local pharmacists and the NHS Choices website are also a good source of information and advice.