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Covid: Lincolnshire hospitals declare ‘critical incident’ over staff shortages

Local Democracy Reporting Service

A critical incident has been declared at four Lincolnshire hospitals because of staff shortages due to Covid-19.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust said it was taking "additional steps to maintain services" at all its hospitals in Lincoln, Boston and Grantham.

The trust's medical director, Dr Colin Farquharson, said there were "significant staffing pressures due to absence related to Covid-19".

But he said essential services "remain fully open".

Last month, visiting restrictions were brought in at Lincoln County, Grantham and District, Pilgrim Hospital Boston and County Hospital Louth to slow the spread of the new Omicron variant of coronavirus.


In a statement, Dr Farquharson said: "As a result of significant staffing pressures due to absence related to Covid-19, we are having to take additional steps to maintain services.

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"Our staff continue to work exceptionally hard and we would like to reassure our patients and the public that in spite of the challenges faced, essential services remain fully open for anyone who needs them, so people should continue to come forward for care."

He added people could "reduce pressure on health services" by getting a booster vaccine.

BREAKING: A very serious situation at hospitals across Lincolnshire tonight as @ULHT_News declares a 'critical incident' over "extreme and unprecedented" staff shortages. It says it is "unable to maintain safe staffing levels" leading to "compromised care" across its sites:

— Shaun Lintern (@ShaunLintern) January 2, 2022

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

According to a leaked email seen by The Sunday Times, the trust declared a critical incident on Saturday night "due to extreme and unprecedented workforce shortages".

It issued an "urgent appeal" for clinical and non-clinical staff to offer extra time supporting colleagues "over the next 72 hours".

It also asked staff to "consider limiting social contacts with people outside of work".

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