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

Dr Amanda Doyle OBE, Chief Officer for Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System, said:
“We are very concerned about the rising infection rates in Lancashire and South Cumbria. We all need to be aware of this worsening local situation, our hospitals are under a huge amount of pressure. As the number of Covid-19 admissions are rising steeply, it is important we take action now to protect our hospitals.

“We want to emphasise that all hospitals within Lancashire and South Cumbria are working together and have worked to put strong escalation measures in place. Hospitals are following strict social distancing and hygiene measures to allow people to access care safely and we have temporarily restricted hospital visiting. We understand the frustrations this creates for patients and their families and appreciate their continued support.

“We would like to thank our local NHS staff, who are pulling together and we will get through this.”

The more the virus spreads and increases Covid admissions, the less we will be able to offer urgent elective surgeries. If necessary, our local hospitals will prioritise the most clinically urgent procedures - but we don’t want to do that, which is why we are asking 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.         

The NHS across Lancashire and South Cumbria is open, hospitals are safe and are continuing to provide care for non-COVID-19 patients. Anyone with concerns should continue to come forward for help and treatment. We want to be able to continue to do this too so we need everyone to pull together and follow the guidance so everyone can access the healthcare they need.

The important role that we can all play is following local guidance now, which has been put in place to protect us, and encouraging our families and friends to do the same. Don’t take unnecessary risks – follow the advice to think hands, face, space.

If you need advice but it is not an emergency, it is best to first access NHS 111 online or call NHS 111 or contact your GP. Face coverings should be worn at all times inside hospitals, GP practices and pharmacies, unless you are exempt from wearing one.

Listen to the interview

Listen again to Dr Amanda Doyle's interview with BBC Radio Lancashire on iPlayer (from 2 hours, 26 minutes)