Healthcare leaders across Northern Lincolnshire and East Riding of Yorkshire are urging people to think carefully and support their local NHS during the second wave of the Coronavirus pandemic.
In line with much of the country, staff working at hospitals in Scunthorpe, Grimsby and Goole have seen an increase in the number of patients needing treatment for Coronavirus. Now, they are asking the public to support them by ‘choosing well’.
Peter Reading, Chief Executive at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust (NLaG), which runs the hospitals and some community services, said:
“Sadly, we are starting to see a rise in the number of people needing hospital care for Coronavirus, including a growing number of patients requiring critical care. Despite our current local COVID alert level being ‘medium’, we are reaching out to local people now to ask them to support us.
“For us to be able to focus all our efforts on those who really need hospital care, including those suffering from Coronavirus or other serious illnesses or injuries, we need people to choose well. By this, I mean choosing well when seeking medical attention and by choosing well in their social lives by following the government guidelines.
“With rising levels of demand and high numbers of extremely unwell people who need to be admitted to a hospital bed, we are urging people not to attend A&E unless it is a genuine emergency.
“If you have a severe injury or a life-threatening emergency, it is vital you call 999 and of course our emergency department staff will be there to care for you. However, if you have a medical condition that is not an emergency, we are asking you to ‘choose well’ by contacting NHS111 by telephone or online. For symptoms that won’t go away, such as back pain, or if you feel poorly and need advice, please contact your GP surgery or visit a pharmacy. Your GP practice is open and has been open throughout this time. They will speak to you about your problem and can arrange for you to be seen if needed.
“By doing this, it will help you get the right treatment at the right time in the right place. It will also allow our emergency department staff to prioritise those most in need and in turn help the entire hospital to care for the increasing number of patients.
Alternatively, for those in North East Lincolnshire or registered with a GP in the area, you can call the Single Point of Access on 01472 256 256.
Dr Ekta Elson, Medical Director at NHS North East Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), added:
“It is more important than ever to ensure you are accessing the most appropriate NHS service for you or your family’s needs.
“A phone call to 256256 (in North East Lincolnshire) or NHS 111 means you can get the advice you need to take care of health issues or concerns often without having to attend a healthcare setting and make an unnecessary journey. If you need to see a clinician, you will be advised when you ring.
“Coronavirus is on the increase in our area and this is one of the steps you can take to help us prevent the virus from spreading to vulnerable people who may not be able to recover well.”
Dr Faisel Baig, Chair of North Lincolnshire CCG said:
“These are such testing times for all of us. Coronavirus has placed huge restrictions on our way of life, but we have to continue to work together to protect each other. Your continued support and adherence to these measures is really appreciated by your National Health Service.”
The call from local healthcare leaders comes as the number of hospital inpatients testing positive for Coronavirus across Scunthorpe and Grimsby hospitals reached 57 as of 9am on Friday 23 October.
Dr Reading added:
“We are also asking the public and all our staff members to follow the government’s guidelines on social distancing, the rule of six, face coverings as well as following advice around handwashing. Choosing well now will hopefully, as a community, stop us from going into the ‘high’ alert level and will save lives.”
Patients and members of the public are also reminded to attend the emergency departments and any other appointment alone, unless support is needed for medical reasons.
If you have been invited to hospital for diagnostic services such as tests and scans, or treatment for conditions such as cancer, please keep your appointment.