HEALTHCARE bosses across Herefordshire and Worcestershire are asking the public for help so they can assist patients more efficiently.
Demand on local emergency departments, West Midlands Ambulance Service and GPs across the two counties continues to grow beyond pre-pandemic levels.
People are being urged to assess their medical options and not to go to A&E or call an ambulance unless it is a life-threatening emergency.
Mike Hallissey, Chief Medical Officer at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said as the number of Covid-19 cases continued to rise, there was an increasing number of patients admitted to hospital with the virus, including younger patients – half who have not received the vaccine.
“Restrictions outside of our hospitals may have been lifted, but I would continue to urge people to take every precaution to protect themselves and others – in particular by getting vaccinated.
“As well as seeing more patients with Covid-19, we are seeing more patients attending our emergency departments each day, with some attending with minor ailments, which could be dealt with at a pharmacy, through their GP, or at one of Worcestershire’s Minor Injuries Units.”
He added teams at emergency departments and hospitals in general were working extremely hard to ensure patients received appropriate and safe care as soon as possible.
Dr Ian Tait, GP and Chair of NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire CCG, also issued a plea for people to get both doses of the vaccine to protect themselves from serious illnesses.
“We are seeing increased pressure on all our services and are asking people for their support – both to continue to take sensible precautions with regards to Covid-19, and to access the right NHS service for their need. ”
He urged people to contact NHS 111 for urgent care advice and signposting to the most appropriate service and only to use 999 in a life-threatening emergency.
Anyone who has not taken up the offer of a vaccine or had their first dose more than eight weeks ago should visit nhs.uk/CovidVaccine or a local walk-in site. People are reminded face coverings are needed in all healthcare settings across the country and social distancing is in place.