Call for residents to play their part in helping NHS
NHS teams across the North East are calling on everyone to help #DoYourBit as hospitals, GPs and paramedics try to manage another surge of pressure on vital services.
This has coincided with a large number of staff having to self-isolate because of Covid-19, which is stretching services even harder after more than a year of managing the pandemic.
NHS teams still face challenges such as reduced space in hospital treatment areas and surgeries because of the need to follow strict infection control measures to ensure patients and staff continue to be safe.
To help cope with these pressures and ensure the people who need care the most can get it, the NHS is asking people to think GP, NHS 111 online or pharmacy first before coming to A&E or calling 111 or 999; understand that you may not be seen in the same way as before the pandemic and virtual or telephone appointments will often be more appropriate; if you suspect you have Covid-19, stay at home and get a test by calling 119 or visiting www.nhs.uk – you cannot access testing through A&E or GP surgeries.
Also, if you are visiting any healthcare settings, please remember to wear a face covering, use hand-washing and alcohol gel facilities; please attend appointments on your own, where possible, to limit the number of people on site and please keep your hospital, clinic or GP appointment – if you can’t make it, let the relevant team know so they can offer that appointment to others.
Speaking on behalf of the NHS in the region, North East Ambulance Service chief executive Helen Ray said: “Every part of the system is currently under pressure, so please think carefully about the right NHS service for your needs.
“We’re seeing increasing numbers of people right across the system and our staff are doing their very best to make sure everyone can get the care they require.
“However, at the same time as we’re seeing increased demand, our staff (like most of the rest of the population) are increasingly having to isolate, making things even tougher.
“If you access support from services which better meets your needs, our A&E teams can focus on those with life-threatening and serious injuries.”