Lincolnshire

Lincoln County Hospital extends A&E 'stay away' plea

A&E sign in Lincoln
Image caption Health bosses are warning people to stay away from Lincoln A&E due to a shortage of doctors

A warning to patients to stay away from Lincoln County Hospital A&E department is expected to remain in place for up to a week, health bosses have said.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust first issued the plea on Friday due to a shortage of doctors.

People have been told only to attend if they need "emergency health treatment".

Medical Director Dr Neil Hepburn said: "This week remains challenging and we would ask the public to support us by continuing to choose well."

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He said the warning had been issued in order to keep a "24/7 emergency service ... running safely".

"Due to a continued shortage of available agency A&E doctors, patients to Lincoln A&E may experience longer waits to be seen and treated this week," he said.

"We have coped very well over the weekend and managed to keep waiting times for patients to a minimum, although acknowledge although this may not have been the case for all.

"Our message remains the same, please stay away from Lincoln A&E unless you need emergency health treatment - if it's not serious or life threatening, please do not attend."

The trust is made up of Boston's Pilgrim Hospital, Lincoln County Hospital and Grantham and District Hospital.

The A&E unit in Grantham has been closed overnight since last August because of a shortage of doctors.

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