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Community needed to support health and care sector

Care pressures

Over the last 16 months, Gateshead residents have shown incredible support for each other and key workers in managing the impact of the pandemic. The health and social care sector in Gateshead is now asking residents to step up once more and help them manage pressures caused by Covid-19.

Despite the easing of restrictions, health and care services are still facing huge pressures which are likely to continue throughout the summer months. With Covid-19 cases among some of the highest in the country, large numbers of staff are isolating, or have the virus and this is having a major impact on the ability of Gateshead Council, its partners and the health system to deliver vital services to those who need them.

The message from health and care professionals is that the pandemic is not over. Services are not yet back to normal and in some cases can not be provided at the usual levels due to the high number of staff absences and other staff being redirected from their usual areas of work to manage the impact of the ongoing pandemic. This comes at a time when there is additional pressure on staffing due to the summer holiday period.

Alice Wiseman, Gateshead's Director of Public Health said: "Covid-19 continues to have a major impact on all our services and businesses including our health and social care workforce. Not only are we seeing large numbers of staff absent through sickness and self-isolation, it's also peak holiday time and many of our colleagues are due some hard-earned time off with their families. As a result, it's becoming increasingly challenging to provide the high level of service that clients may be used to in the past and that we would like. 

"Unfortunately we are not in recovery yet; so we are asking residents, family members, friends and neighbours to be patient and support the council, its partners and their loved ones during this difficult time. Could they make extra visits to their vulnerable family members, friends or neighbours or if they have some spare time could they volunteer at one of the many organisations in Gateshead who we are turning to for help?"

"We know these are big asks, but last year we saw some amazing community spirit, the pandemic really brought our communities together, it brought out the very best in people. We're asking again for people to help us make sure that the most vulnerable in our communities are supported and get the help they need."

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead is also seeing additional pressures with the return of seriously ill Covid patients and with many of their highly skilled doctors and nursing staff and vital support staff isolating. This is combined with seeing over 200 attendances within the trust's Emergency Departments every day.

Andy Beeby, medical director for Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust said: "Our services are again coming under massive pressure as we continue to face the pandemic. We look after some of the most vulnerable people at a time when they are often very ill and we have a duty to protect our staff and patients. We know that wearing masks, social distancing and regular handwashing have all helped to stop the spread of Covid and keep people safe.

"This is affecting every part of the system and our staff are doing their best to make sure everyone gets the care they need, so please think carefully about the right NHS services for you."

Residents are urged to first seek advice from a local pharmacy or 111 online if they're feeling unwell. Anyone who does need to be seen is asked to attend alone if possible, to be patient while waiting and to treat staff with respect. Those who are experiencing Covid symptoms, have tested positive or have been instructed to self-isolate should stay at home and use the NHS 111 service, or call 999 in an emergency.   

Dr Georgina Butler, a local GP and clinical director at NHS Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "Our GP practice teams are having to work differently to normal, but staff are working hard to care for everyone.

"Staff are still extremely busy with a mixture of phone consultations, face to face appointments and home visits, so they are often having to prioritise the patients in most urgent need. Reception staff are working so hard to help to make sure you get the right care for your needs.

"You can help by using other options for less urgent issues. You can use the NHS app to book appointments, request medication and get medical advice, or use the eConsult option on your practice's website and they will respond the next working day. Remember, your local pharmacist is highly qualified and can advise on a range of minor illnesses and conditions.

"It's still important to keep doing your bit by washing hands regularly, social distancing and wearing your mask in indoor public places. This is to keep all of us safe."

 

Care pressures
23 July 2021

Over the last 16 months, Gateshead residents have shown incredible support for each other and key workers in managing the impact of the pandemic. The health and social care sector in Gateshead is now asking residents to step up once more and help them manage pressures caused by Covid-19.

Despite the easing of restrictions, health and care services are still facing huge pressures which are likely to continue throughout the summer months. With Covid-19 cases among some of the highest in the country, large numbers of staff are isolating, or have the virus and this is having a major impact on the ability of Gateshead Council, its partners and the health system to deliver vital services to those who need them.

The message from health and care professionals is that the pandemic is not over. Services are not yet back to normal and in some cases can not be provided at the usual levels due to the high number of staff absences and other staff being redirected from their usual areas of work to manage the impact of the ongoing pandemic. This comes at a time when there is additional pressure on staffing due to the summer holiday period.

Alice Wiseman, Gateshead's Director of Public Health said: "Covid-19 continues to have a major impact on all our services and businesses including our health and social care workforce. Not only are we seeing large numbers of staff absent through sickness and self-isolation, it's also peak holiday time and many of our colleagues are due some hard-earned time off with their families. As a result, it's becoming increasingly challenging to provide the high level of service that clients may be used to in the past and that we would like. 

"Unfortunately we are not in recovery yet; so we are asking residents, family members, friends and neighbours to be patient and support the council, its partners and their loved ones during this difficult time. Could they make extra visits to their vulnerable family members, friends or neighbours or if they have some spare time could they volunteer at one of the many organisations in Gateshead who we are turning to for help?"

"We know these are big asks, but last year we saw some amazing community spirit, the pandemic really brought our communities together, it brought out the very best in people. We're asking again for people to help us make sure that the most vulnerable in our communities are supported and get the help they need."

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead is also seeing additional pressures with the return of seriously ill Covid patients and with many of their highly skilled doctors and nursing staff and vital support staff isolating. This is combined with seeing over 200 attendances within the trust's Emergency Departments every day.

Andy Beeby, medical director for Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust said: "Our services are again coming under massive pressure as we continue to face the pandemic. We look after some of the most vulnerable people at a time when they are often very ill and we have a duty to protect our staff and patients. We know that wearing masks, social distancing and regular handwashing have all helped to stop the spread of Covid and keep people safe.

"This is affecting every part of the system and our staff are doing their best to make sure everyone gets the care they need, so please think carefully about the right NHS services for you."

Residents are urged to first seek advice from a local pharmacy or 111 online if they're feeling unwell. Anyone who does need to be seen is asked to attend alone if possible, to be patient while waiting and to treat staff with respect. Those who are experiencing Covid symptoms, have tested positive or have been instructed to self-isolate should stay at home and use the NHS 111 service, or call 999 in an emergency.   

Dr Georgina Butler, a local GP and clinical director at NHS Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "Our GP practice teams are having to work differently to normal, but staff are working hard to care for everyone.

"Staff are still extremely busy with a mixture of phone consultations, face to face appointments and home visits, so they are often having to prioritise the patients in most urgent need. Reception staff are working so hard to help to make sure you get the right care for your needs.

"You can help by using other options for less urgent issues. You can use the NHS app to book appointments, request medication and get medical advice, or use the eConsult option on your practice's website and they will respond the next working day. Remember, your local pharmacist is highly qualified and can advise on a range of minor illnesses and conditions.

"It's still important to keep doing your bit by washing hands regularly, social distancing and wearing your mask in indoor public places. This is to keep all of us safe."

 

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