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, 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.”
Shaun Stacey, Chief Operating Officer, Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The impact of the pandemic has been significant and continues to impact on how we run our services. I would like to apologise to all of those patients whose treatment was put on hold, and thank them for their understanding and patience.
“Our teams are working incredibly hard to bring services back on line, but unfortunately patients may still face waits to have their treatment or test. This is not what we would want but we have had to change the way we work to ensure the safety of patients and our staff.”