STORMS AFTERMATH: Operations and clinics cancelled in wake of flooding

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All non-urgent operations and a number of clinics have been cancelled at a Lancashire hospital in the wake of severe flooding caused by Storm Desmond.

Urgent operations will continue to be carried at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary (RLI) on Monday but any non-urgent operations are now cancelled.

The following clinics at the are also cancelled for tomorrow: audiology, Ear Nose and Throat (ENT), maxillofacial and breast screening.

Access to the site from surrounding villages and towns is restricted resulting in difficulties for staff to attend. Military and mountain rescue colleagues have been helping staff travel.

Power has been lost to around 50,000 properties in Lancaster, including the hospital which is running on reserve generators, and mobile phone coverage for most networks has been lost in the the city.

The Cardiac Centre at Westmorland General Hospital will also be closed tomorrow and any planned sessions due to take place are now cancelled.

A spokesperson for UHMBT, said: “We are trying, where possible, to contact those patients affected, but due to significant problems with phones in the Lancaster area, this is difficult. Therefore, we are asking for the public’s help in passing on the message to any friends and family members that may have appointments at the RLI tomorrow.”

Please also note that the hospital restaurant has now closed to the general public.

This is due to the fact that food stocks are now low and the remaining food needs to be saved for patients in hospital.

The Trust is still asking the public not to visit its hospitals unless absolutely necessary.

The spokesperson, continued: “We also require the support of the public to help ease the pressure on our A&E services at this time. While we will see and treat all patients who attend, there are those who could be better treated elsewhere.

“Please help us make sure our staff are free to treat those most in need, such as those who have a serious illness or injury.

“If someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk then 999 should be called. An emergency is a critical or life-threatening situation, such as a suspected heart attack, acute confused state and fits that are not stopping, loss of consciousness, breathing difficulties, chest pain, head injuries or severe bleeding that cannot be stopped.

“However, coughs, colds, sore throats and other minor ailments such as sprains, do not necessarily require a trip to A&E. Please ring the NHS advice line on 111 if you are unsure.

“If you have a minor illness or injury that needs attention, visit your nearest pharmacist or speak to your GP, but again, please check the latest advice regarding weather conditions before venturing out.”

Any staff who have difficulties attending work should let the hospital know as soon as possible.

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