There is growing evidence showing that people are ignoring health concerns and putting off coming into hospital, even if they need urgent or emergency help.
Our two acute hospitals are open and are still providing safe, high quality, urgent and emergency care services for those people who need them.
Dr David Walker, Medical Director said: “Since the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic started, we have seen a drop off in urgent and emergency hospital attendances, for example new referrals for cancer, and people presenting with heart attacks and strokes. Some parents are not bringing their sick children to hospital and some pregnant women are not attending if they have concerns about their pregnancy.
“We know that many people are worried about putting extra pressure on the NHS during the coronavirus outbreak, but if you are seriously unwell, we still want to see you.
“We understand that this may feel like a scary time, but there is no need to be anxious about coming into our Emergency Departments. Your health is important to us and we have put in place a number of precautions within our departments to keep you safe.
“We are proud to provide safe and high quality care and we are happy to look after you at any of our hospitals, safely, and away from the risk of infection. We are here if you need us.
We have put in place a number of precautions to keep patients safe:
- We have separate streams in our Emergency Departments for possible Covid-19 patients and non Covid-19 patients, and separate wards for the non Covid-19 patients to prevent cross infection
- We have changed the location of some services so that patients can access them directly without coming through the main hospital
- More and more of our outpatients appointments are taking place over the phone or via video call
- We have changed drop in services to appointment only (such as Xrays, hearing aids and blood tests)
- Members of staff are wearing appropriate protective equipment to reduce spread of infection
If you are feeling unwell, please contact NHS 111 for advice and they will tell you if you need to come to hospital for assessment. If you have a booked appointment with us, please keep the appointment unless you are contacted by us to have a phone consultation, or, of course, if you have symptoms of Covid-19.