HOSPITALS in East Lancashire endured their busiest day ever - and patients have been urged to think twice before attending A&E.

Last Monday (July 8), 738 people visited East Lancashire Hospitals Trust’s A&E, two urgent care centres and two minor injury units.

Of these, 142 arrived by ambulance at the A&E at Royal Blackburn Hospital.

Mondays are typically the busiest day of the week for the hospital trust, with an average of 626 emergency attendances overall.

But last Monday saw a huge rise of 18 per cent in attendances to the hospital trust for emergency care.

The trust has two urgent care centres, one at Royal Blackburn Hospital and the other at Burnley General Hospital.

It has also has a minor injuries unit at Accrington Victoria Hospital and one at Rossendale Primary Health Care Centre.

And the trust said people turning up at A&E who don’t necessarily need to be aren't helping the situation and it’s encouraging people to think twice before visiting and consider using a different health service. 

Kevin McGee, chief executive for the trust described the figures as ‘staggering’.

He said: “Monday, July 8 saw our busiest day ever across the trust’s emergency department, two urgent care centres and two minor injury units.

“The statistics were quite staggering with 738 attendances in total, 142 of these arrived at our emergency department via ambulance.

“There was no single condition or incident identified as a reason for this increase in activity and it is believed that other NHS trusts also saw a rise in demand on that same day.

“Mondays are typically our busiest day of the week with an average of 626 attendances overall, which illustrates the level of increase in patients requiring treatment.

“Our amazing staff work tirelessly to provide a high standard of care for patients under sometimes extremely difficult circumstances. For this we are extremely grateful.”

Mr McGee called on people to think about whether they could use other health services before turning up at A&E.

He added: “We ask members of the public to support them (the staff) by considering all sources of healthcare that are available so they receive the right care in the quickest time possible.

“The trust is proud to work as part of a larger healthcare system including the local clinical commissioning groups and local authorities to help patients get the right treatment in the right place at the right time.

“By using other services such as visiting their local pharmacy, GP or calling NHS 111, it will help reduce pressure on our emergency services.”