NHS and council organisations in Humber, Coast and Vale are appealing for the public’s help as they work together to increase the availability of health and care services, which were restricted, relocated or paused during the coronavirus outbreak.
At the outset of the pandemic, health and care professionals including hospital teams, GPs, health visitors and social care staff responded quickly by changing the way they worked.
While some services are returning to how they were before, many of the changes made in response to the pandemic need to remain to maintain patient and staff safety and ensure services are prepared to handle any future increases in Covid-19 cases.
The public can play a pivotal role in helping to ensure that health and care services can resume safely and promptly. You can support your local NHS by:
- Attending any appointments booked on your behalf
- Consulting NHS 111 first if you are unsure which service you need
- Only using A&E for emergencies
- Being prepared to travel to a different location for appointments or treatment
- Helping family and friends to get online so they can access online services if required
Dr Nigel Wells, Clinical Lead for the Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership (which includes NHS North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group) said: “We have to make some tough decisions about how we bring back services over the coming months. These decisions are being taken by the doctors and nurses in our hospitals and in the community. Our main concern is and always will be everyone’s safety.
“Many of our staff have been asked to work in new roles and locations; equipment has been moved to where it is most needed to care for people; we have fewer beds in our hospital wards as we have had to move them further apart which takes up more space; and we have to wait longer between procedures in our operating theatres to allow for deep cleaning and for the air to change.
“This all means that while some services are being restored to how they were before the outbreak, we can’t switch them all back on straight away and we hope people can understand the reasons why and bear with us.
“We are thankful for your patience as we resume services safely as quickly as possible and we need your help to do this. If you are asked to come to hospital or your GP practice for treatment, please do everything you can to keep your appointment so that we can see as many people as possible within the current constraints.”
Dr Charles Parker, NHS North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group Chair, said: “If you are unwell, it’s important you don’t ignore your symptoms and put off seeking medical advice. The NHS App and NHS 111 Online are excellent tools to help you get the support you need. If you are not online or just not sure, call 111.
“If you are asked to visit hospital or your GP surgery in person – in circumstances where it’s not possible or appropriate for a virtual or telephone appointment – please do all you can to keep that appointment.”
James Taylor, Medical Director for York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We’d like to thank local people for their patience, understanding and visible support over recent weeks and months. We had to make some immediate decisions for the safety and wellbeing of our staff, patients and their families and we know that, for some, these service changes have caused anxiety and concern.
“As we continue to work differently over the coming weeks and months, we ask for your continued support and patience. We may ask you to travel to a different location, your appointment might be conducted over the phone or online or your care may be provided in a different way than you are used to. Clinicians are working hard to review all patients to ensure that we know who is most urgent so that we can see them as quickly as we can.”