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Pressure builds on NHS as Aussie flu reaches Preston

Posted on - 9th January, 2018 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Politics, Preston News
The flu map auto-updates based on new cases being submitted
The flu map auto-updates based on new cases being submitted

Royal Preston Hospital is still telling patients to stay away where possible as it fights to control the ‘winter crisis’.

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A strain of flu, known as Aussie Flu, is ravaging the UK according to reports and Preston is seeing cases.

The flu map, from Public Health England, shows the city is not seen as a flu hotspot compared to other parts of the North West but Lancashire Teaching Hospitals has confirmed it has seen cases.

A statement put out last week urged people to ‘use NHS services appropriately’ and non-urgent operations at RPH are being cancelled as staff are diverted to dealing with high priority cases.

Royal Preston Hospital Pic: Paul Melling
Royal Preston Hospital Pic: Paul Melling

Chief executive of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, who operate Preston and Chorley hospitals, said: “Like other NHS organisations across the country, we have seen an increase in respiratory conditions, more severe illness, and an increase in flu which means our hospitals are very busy.

“To plan appropriately for rising demand many hospitals carry out fewer scheduled operations at this time of year. In line with national recommendations we are currently reviewing the schedule of operations and outpatient appointments planned for January. We will contact patients directly as soon as possible if we need to reschedule any operations and appointments – if you don’t hear from us please come to hospital as planned.

“We apologise to every patient whose procedure or appointment will be affected, and recognise the concern and inconvenience this will cause. Please be assured we will be in touch in the coming weeks to reschedule your treatment or appointment as quickly as possible, and thank you for your patience and understanding in these challenging circumstances.

“Our staff have been working tirelessly in recent weeks and throughout the festive period to provide compassionate care for the continuously increasing number of patients who needed hospital services. On behalf of our board and patients I thank them for their continued commitment and heroic efforts.”

Read more: Mental health unit opens at Royal Preston Hospital

Denis Gizzi, Deputy Chair of the central Lancashire A&E Delivery Board, added: “At this exceptionally busy time, we encourage everyone to use NHS services appropriately. Pharmacists can offer over-the-counter medicines for a range of winter illnesses, and NHS 111 can provide medical advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Nearly all GPs in our area are also offering additional evening and weekend appointments, and patients should enquire at their practice for details.

“Making best use of the services available can help free up hospital services for those who are seriously ill.”

Have you needed to visit Royal Preston Hospital in the last few weeks? What was your experience? Let us know in the comments below

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