An East Lancashire hospital has apologised to patients and their families who may experience longer waiting times once admitted to the accident and emergency department.

The East Lancashire Hospitals Trust (ELHT) also said their teams were ‘doing their absolute best’ to see people as quickly as possible and whilst patients were waiting they are being cared for.

Patients had complained of long waits with some left in corridors over past the week at Royal Blackburn Hospital

Chief operating officer and deputy chief executive at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, Sharon Gilligan, said: "I want to start by saying how sorry we are to everyone who finds themselves or their family waiting for long periods of time in our urgent or emergency care treatment centres. 

“We are regularly breaking records for the number of people who come in for treatment each week and this includes a lot of very poorly people who need to be admitted for further care. 
"It’s important that local people know that the team is doing their absolute best to see people as quickly and effectively as we can, depending on clinical need and linking in with community colleagues to support people at home – preventing the need to come into hospital – where possible. 

“Please be assured that whilst patients are waiting for a bed, they are being care for, reviewed, assessed and supported by colleagues. 

“The team could not be doing any more to support patients and their families in an extremely pressured and challenged environment – and I want to thank them for their ongoing hard work and resilience.
“Please help us by only attending urgent or emergency centres if you have medical needs that are life threatening – otherwise NHS 111 has clinicians who can immediately guide you to the most appropriate place for help, including GP surgeries and pharmacies."