'Under pressure': Call for help as hospital patients face delays

NHS Lanarkshire warned the challenge will be particularly difficult during the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations when there is an extra public holiday.

NHS Lanarkshire warn hospital patients face long waiting hours amid pressure on services iStock
Warning: Patients face long wait for out of hours care amid pressure on services.

A health board has said patients are facing longer waiting hours to access care as out of hours services continue to face significant pressure.

As a result, NHS Lanarkshire has urged the public to seek information and advice about any ailments on the NHS inform website before attending hospital.

The health board has also directed the public to make use of healthcare advice at local pharmacies and to call NHS 24 for further support.

Scots have also been reminded to ensure they have the medication they need as some GP surgeries will be closed over the Jubilee weekend, with some set to close on Monday, Thursday and Friday of next week.

Dr Iain Hathorn, NHS Lanarkshire’s clinical director in primary care, said: “We understand that when someone has an illness or minor injury they want help as soon as possible.

“Unless a patient’s condition is life-threatening or critical they should seek advice for the appropriate healthcare support by ringing NHS 24 on 111 day or night.  They will be able to direct people to the right NHS service which will result in people being seen and treated quicker including by the primary care out of hours service where appropriate.

“There are a number of options that people can turn to for health care with a range of help and advice on NHS Lanarkshire’s website including Meet the Experts which offers a range of services that local healthcare professionals across Lanarkshire can provide.

“The NHS inform website also provides advice on self-care and NHS 24 can provide urgent health advice out-of-hours by calling 111 and your local pharmacy is the first port of call for minor ailments. This can also help free up appointments for those who need them with our primary care out of hours service.

“Please help us help you get the right care at the right time.”

Soumen Sengupta, director of health and social care added: “Lanarkshire’s primary care out of hours service is experiencing similarly high levels of demand as other emergency care services. We are asking Lanarkshire residents for their continued assistance during this challenging time.

“Our out of hours staff are committed to doing the very best they can for patients across Lanarkshire. If you or your family do need to contact our out of hours service please be patient, kind and considerate to our staff.

“All of our teams work extremely hard in often very challenging circumstances, and we very much appreciate the support of the communities we serve.”