30 March 2022
"Now more than ever, we need everyone's help" – Health bosses urge public to help local NHS
NHS and care services across Derby and Derbyshire are calling for the public’s help to make sure they can focus care on the most poorly patients as they face unprecedented demand.
All health and care services across the city and county are under pressure, with significant demand on urgent and emergency care services and several hundred patients in local hospital with Covid-19. Although Covid-related restrictions have been relaxed, hospitals are feeling the pressure as community case numbers rise sharply.
Alongside increases in hospital patients who have confirmed Covid-19, our emergency departments at Royal Derby Hospital and Chesterfield Royal Hospital are incredibly busy with many patients facing very long waits. This means ambulances need to wait longer at emergency departments before their crews can handover the care of patients. Adult care and community services are also very busy, which means patients can’t be discharged in a timely manner once they are medically fit. The collective impact is that local hospital beds are almost full to capacity.
Sharon Martin, Chief Operating Officer for the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton, said: “We’re working tirelessly with our partners across health and social care to ensure we prioritise those patients who really need us most. We need the public to help us too, and this might include helping us with getting their loved ones home from hospital when they are ready for discharge, avoiding unnecessary delays. Across Derby and Derbyshire’s hospitals we currently have more than 200 people in beds who don’t need to be there, so that type of help from local people is needed now more than ever.”
William Jones, Deputy Chief Executive for Derbyshire Community Health Services, said: “The Pressure is on every part of the health and care system but local people can help by using the most appropriate service for them. People should not be calling 999 or attending EDs unless their condition is life threatening, otherwise it will mean very long waits and may result in delays for seriously ill people.
“We have five Urgent Treatment Centres across Derbyshire where you’ll be seen on the day for conditions such as fractures, minor burns or sprains. For more advice and guidance, just call NHS111 who can direct you to the most appropriate service. If you’re struggling with your mental health you can call the 24/7 Derbyshire support service any time on: 0800 0280077.
“Local communities have been incredible in their help and support throughout the pandemic and busy winter period, but the biggest thing they can do now to help is to think about how they use our services.”
Local GPs are also under extreme pressure, with record demand and high levels of clinical staff absence. They are calling for the public to make good use of local pharmacies and other self-care options to ensure they can prioritise the most poorly patients.
Dr Ben Milton, GP and Medical Director of Derbyshire Local Medical Committee, said: “GPs and their practice staff across Derby and Derbyshire are under intense pressure, so it’s important we see those who really need us. Aches, pains and common colds can be self-treated at home, while local pharmacies can help with minor injuries, allergies or rashes with a range of over-the-counter treatments. If you are unsure just call NHS 111 or visit www.111.nhs.uk. And it’s not too late to get your Covid jab or booster, just call 119 or visit www.nhs.uk.”