The NHS has seen a continuing increase in seriously ill coronavirus patients, alongside COVID-19 related staff absences, reduced space due to social distancing regulations, and a need to continue providing safe urgent and emergency care, which has led to all parts of the health and care system facing pressure.
Speaking of the pressures, Dr. Andrew Girdher, Clinical Chair, BSW CCG, shared how local partners along with NHS staff have shown their support, allowing them to provide care for coronavirus patients, those needing treatment for cancer, and other life-threatening conditions.
But there are steps we can take to help these services continue to function and show our support:
- Being there to take relatives home from the hospital in a timely manner
- Using NHS 111 for non-life-threatening emergencies instead of going straight to the hospital, or just following the latest social distancing guidelines.
- Thinking twice about how our own actions, such as exercising outdoors in icy weather or carrying out DIY without the correct safety equipment
All the above could help avoid pressure on the NHS. Even when you are fit and healthy, you can still play your part.
However, health care professionals are keen to remind the public that although they are incredibly busy, the NHS is still open.
It remains vitally important that any person with an existing healthcare appointment with a GP or at the hospital attends that appointment unless told otherwise.
Missing appointments not only impact an individual’s health and wellbeing but can lead to a clinician’s valuable time being wasted when it could be used to care for another patient.
NHS 111, which is available online or by telephone, remains open 24/7 to provide people in need of medical assistance with advice, support, and where appropriate, a route into the most appropriate healthcare service.
For more information on health and care services across Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire, visit www.bswccg.nhs.uk.