Lincolnshire healthcare crisis deepens due to budget cuts, says UNISON

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust has declared a critical incident at Pilgrim and Lincoln hospitals today (Tuesday) due to huge demand for services.

At one stage today there were 110 patients in the trust’s A&E departments, of which 37 were waiting for beds. UNISON says this reflects the chronic lack of resources available to the cash-strapped health service.

The longest waits in A&E have been 19 hours at Lincoln and 21 hours at Boston. Pilgrim hospital had seven ambulances queuing to hand over patients, some waiting up to two hours.

The trust has opened 26 additional beds used only in emergencies at each of the sites to help deal with demand.

UNISON East Midlands regional organiser Elliot Dean said: “The trust’s declaration of a critical incident shows services are underfunded and overstretched across Lincolnshire and winter pressures will only make this worse.

“Healthcare staff across the county are working extremely hard to deliver the best possible patient care in incredibly challenging circumstances.

“However the closure of the Lincoln walk-in centre, lack of GPs in the county and the down grading of A&E services at Grantham Hospital are all increasing demand at Lincoln and Pilgrim Hospital A&E departments.

“It’s vital the government recognises this crisis and takes urgent action to put funding in place to invest properly in all NHS services to ensure a high quality health system for the residents of Lincolnshire.”