Health and social care services across Somerset are under extreme pressure, greater than at any time during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Coronavirus prevalence rates in the county have reached their highest levels since the start of the pandemic and the number of COVID-19 patients cared for by the NHS remains high.
The Somerset NHS Foundation Trust says seasonal pressures and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic mean there are very limited beds available in hospitals and care homes in Somerset, and there are a number high number of employees on sick leave, either with COVID-19 symptoms or in isolation.
COVID-19 has not gone away, adds Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, and it is impacting health and care services in Somerset more than ever.
Dr Dan Meron, Chief Medical Officer of Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, says: ‘Across our two trusts we are caring for around 200 coronavirus patients and are juggling absence rates of between 6% and 8% in direct consequence of the illness of colleagues. with the virus.”
“The measures in which hospitals and other health care establishments are working means that this has a massive impact on the functioning of our services. Unfortunately, it also impacts planned care – operations and other procedures that patients have been waiting for for a long time – because we simply don’t have the beds to care for them and we have big gaps in our staff turnovers.
“Our colleagues have worked very hard for two years to care for patients who need urgent and planned care, and to care for patients with COVID-19 who need our services. We are currently going through one of the most difficult times of this pandemic and we ask the public for their help and understanding.
“Please do all you can to limit the spread of coronavirus – it is still around and affecting your local health services. You can also really help us by helping a family member or loved one to leave the hospital when they are medically fit to do so.
“This will allow us to admit another person who needs our care. Also consider carefully whether you need our services at this time when we are under extreme pressure. However, I must stress that we are here for you and you should not hesitate to contact us if you need urgent attention.
The NHS and local authority social workers in Somerset are working tirelessly to keep services working to support us all – keeping our loved ones, families, neighbors and local communities safe and healthy. However, Musgrove Park Hospital, Yeovil Hospital and County Community Hospital have made the difficult decision to temporarily restrict visits to patients receiving end-of-life care and carers of patients with specific needs requiring the support of a caregiver. Details are available on the NHS Trusts websites.
Dr Ed Ford, Chairman of the Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group, adds: “Your local medical practice and all staff working across the county continue to work tirelessly to meet the health and care needs of their communities. During this incredibly difficult time, GP practices are working hard to ensure that patients who need urgent consultation are prioritized.
“It could mean you could experience delays for less urgent conditions. Please be patient and kind to our staff if you need to wait longer for your request to be processed.
“You can also continue to support us by asking for help from the NHS website who has lots of advice on self-management and can direct you to the most appropriate service if you need it. Most importantly, you can help by doing whatever you can to help stop the spread of COVID-19. »
You can help ease the pressure and ensure services are there for the people who need them most:
- Use NHS services wisely to get the right treatment, in the right place, at the right time. Our hospital emergency departments are under extreme pressure. If you’re not feeling well and don’t know where to go, go to nhs.uk or call 111.
- Contact your local pharmacist for minor health issues.
- Use the HANDi pediatric app for advice on common childhood illnesses.
- Never call 999 except in a medical emergency– is when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is in danger.
- Help your loved ones get out of the hospital so they can be more comfortable and recover faster at home. The support of relatives and friends can be important in allowing patients who are medically ready to leave the hospital.
- Do not visit friends or family in the hospital if you have COVID-19, stay away from the hospital if you have COVID-19.
For more information on local services, visit https://www.somersetccg.nhs.uk/health/choose-well/.
If you need urgent care, our staff is there for you. As staff deal with the added pressures they face, you may have to wait longer to be seen, the NHS says.
Ed adds that COVID-19 is still with us, rates in Somerset are currently the highest we have seen in the past two years. The end of restrictions does not mean that COVID-19 is gone and we must continue to manage it.
For more information, visit www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do