A Christmas message from your local NHS
Dr Faisel Baig, GP & Chair, NHS North Lincolnshire CCG and Humber Clinical and Professional Leaders Board
Dear Humber residents
It has been a difficult year for all of us but especially for those who have been very poorly due to coronavirus or for those who have tragically lost loved ones.
We know this is not the Christmas we expected but we really hope that next Christmas will allow us more freedom from this virus.
I’d like to say a few words about how you can support the NHS during this challenging winter period.
Our NHS is still treating significant numbers of coronavirus patients, we are seeing a new strain of the virus and the rate of spread is very concerning. All the other urgent winter pressures are also mounting. Our teams are still running the flu vaccination programme. We have just commenced a huge and momentous coronavirus vaccination programme, which brings us a lot of hope, however, this vaccination programme will take time and we have still to learn whether this vaccination prevents us passing the illness on to those who haven’t been vaccinated.
Our NHS staff have worked such long hours this year, sometimes in unfamiliar environments, with little rest. Seeing so much illness and death has had a huge emotional impact on the whole country, but especially so on the frontline individuals and teams who have been, and are, treating the most poorly.
So, how can you help our NHS?
- Please continue to follow the guidance around frequent hand hygiene, the wearing of face masks, and social distancing.
- Please isolate, along with the household, if you have coronavirus symptoms or meet any of the other isolation criteria (see gov.uk for details), then, go online to gov.uk or call 119 for a coronavirus test.
- Whilst the national guidance for the Humber Area (Tier 3) allows us to form a Christmas Bubble (see gov.uk for details) on Christmas Day only – you may wish to consider a video call or meeting outdoors briefly. If you do decide to meet indoors on Christmas day, please try to keep windows and doors as open as is safely possible, try not to share cutlery and keep your distance.
- Don’t be put off seeking medical help when it’s needed but please try to use services wisely, these include your local pharmacy, GP Practice, NHS 111, or in a life-threatening situation, 999.
- Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, so please seek support if needed (see nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/ for more details).
- Please don’t contact us regarding your coronavirus vaccination date, you will be contacted in due course, and when you are, please accept the invitation and encourage others to do so also.
- Finally, please be patient with our staff, and be kind to them. It has been the most difficult year in the history of our NHS and it is the staff that keep our NHS going. Things may operate in a different manner to usual, or be slower than usual, but please, bear with us.
As we approach the end of 2020, our local NHS would like to say a big thank you for your immense support this year.
In these strange times, wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy 2021.
Dr Faisel Baig