NHS offers top tips to get the best care, and support frontline teams

With frontline health and care teams facing significant pressures, NHS leaders are offering advice on how to get the best possible care – and to support hard-pressed staff.

It isn’t just Emergency Department teams who are under pressure from rising Covid infections and high demands for care and treatment – ambulance crews and call handlers, GP surgery staff, community teams and mental health workers are all facing significant demands.

Dr Ziad Hirmiz, GP and clinical director for south east Hampshire at the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care System, said: “We are very well aware that some people are having to wait longer than they would like to get care and treatment at the moment, and we completely understand that can be frustrating.

“All NHS services are really busy, but dedicated health and care teams continue to work incredibly hard to provide safe, high quality care and manage the impact of rising COVID-19 infections. As always, the NHS remains here for you when you need it.

“We are doing everything we can to support our brilliant frontline teams, at what it is a really challenging time for them. There are things that you can do which would really help and make a difference – please treat staff with kindness and respect, please help get relatives home promptly when they no longer need hospital care, and please help us to help you make good decisions about the help you might need if you are ill or injured.

“At a time when all services are incredibly busy, there are a number of ways that people can not only help themselves to get the care they need, but also really support the staff who are working flat out to help them.”

Nine ways to get the best care, and support NHS staff:

  1. Get vaccinated against COVID-19 – the best form of protection for you and your loved ones. More information is available here.
  2. The Emergency Department (ED) is for emergencies, not convenience
  3. Not sure what help you need? Contact 111 online and let the experts help you
  4. Urgent treatment centres are best for minor injuries
  5. Help patients get home when they’re ready to leave hospital – it’s better for them, and frees up beds for others
  6. Use the expert help available on every high street, at our network of pharmacies
  7. Your GP practice has online access and a range of expert help – a convenient option
  8. Look after yourself – being ready to care for yourself can be a great help, and there are some great tips
  9. Make use of online help – try for health and medicines advice, and if you are concerned about an unwell child.

Major milestone reached as 2m COVID-19 vaccines delivered across Hampshire and Isle of Wight

A major milestone has been reached in the local delivery of the COVID-19 vaccination programme with 2 million jabs delivered across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

Latest official data published on Thursday 17 June shows that 2,068,810 doses of the vaccine had been delivered locally by the week ending 13 June.

To date more than 91% of adults aged 30 and over have received their first COVID-19 jab and the vaccination programme continues to roll-out at pace across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

This milestone has been reached just six months since the launch of the biggest vaccination programme in this history of the NHS.

Anyone aged 21 and over is invited to make an appointment to receive the vaccine by contacting via the National Booking Service at or by calling 119. Text invitations appear as an alert from ‘NHSvaccine’, including a web link to the NHS website to making a booking.

With bookings open to adults aged 18 or over, everyone eligible is urged to take up the offer of a vaccine as soon as they receive their invitation.

Jenny Erwin, Senior Responsible Officer for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight COVID-19 vaccination programme, said:

“We are proud of and incredibly grateful to everyone who has stepped up and continues to go above and beyond to support delivery of the COVID-19 vaccination programme. We will never forget the dedication of every one of our colleagues, partners and volunteers who have helped us achieve this milestone in just six months – thank you.

“We don’t stop here. Working with our partners we continue to do all we can to reduce inequalities and ensure everyone eligible receives the vaccine. We remain on track to have offered every adult across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by 19 July and I urge anyone eligible who hasn’t yet made an appointment to do so as soon as possible.”

Dr Nigel Watson, Clinical Lead for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight COVID-19 vaccination programme, said:

“This is an incredible achievement and testament to the dedication and commitment of all our colleagues and partners across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight whose outstanding efforts are helping to save lives.

Getting the vaccine helps protect you, your loved ones and our communities against COVID-19. The first dose offers good levels of protection, but to get maximum protection everyone will need a second dose.

Two doses of the vaccines are highly effective against the Delta variant of COVID-19, which is now making up the vast majority of cases and I encourage everyone eligible to get vaccinated without delay.

Please keep your appointment if you have been offered one or are booked into a clinic. If you are unable to attend an appointment please cancel the appointment so that someone else can benefit from it.

If you have previously declined a vaccination – the benefits outweigh any potential
risks – if you now would like to be vaccinated please contact your practice or book
an appointment via the national booking service.”

NHS service to help patients with Long COVID

Local NHS providers (Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, Solent NHS Trust and Isle of Wight NHS Foundation Trust) have a number of clinics across Hampshire and Isle of Wight to help patients suffering from the effects of Long COVID.

The service is part of a £10m initiative by NHS England, which is funding 69 clinics across the country.

This vital service has been launched following emerging evidence that reveals a growing number of people who contract COVID-19 cannot shake off effects of the virus months after initially falling ill.

The symptoms of Long COVID are wide-ranging and fluctuating and can include pain, breathlessness, chronic fatigue, brain fog, anxiety and stress. However, many patients recover with support, rest, symptomatic treatment and with a gradual increase in physical activity.

Robin Harlow, Clinical Director for Primary Care Development, Southern Heath NHS Foundation Trust said:

“We are delighted to be working with our NHS colleagues to deliver this service and support those who are experiencing the symptoms of Long COVID. While we have learned lots about Covid-19, we are still yet to learn more about its long-term effects that we know can be debilitating, even for young, fit people, or those who did not go to hospital.

“These new clinics not only give us an opportunity to support those in need but will also help us learn out more about Long COVID and find new ways to help people affected by it.”

The service is available by GP referral only and is available anyone who is still experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 for more than 12 weeks.

Patients referred into the Long COVID service will be asked to fill out a questionnaire and will then undergo a number of physical, cognitive and psychological assessments. Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) will then work alongside other health teams to develop a support plan that will help improve their health outcomes and quality of life.

Patients will also be signposted to existing Long COVID support services, and will have access to the ‘Living with COVID’ App, offering patients education, support and encouragement.

Dr Hayden Kirk, Clinical Director at Solent NHS Trust, said:

“We know it is vital that people with Long COVID get the support they need. Through our partnership working within the NHS, we will be able to draw on existing specialist services across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight in a co-ordinated manner to address every persons individual needs to ensure they can benefit from a wide range of specialist advice.”

Evidence shows that 10% of people experience prolonged illness after COVID-19. The new service will be part of a research network to help the NHS learn more about the effects of the pandemic on the population.

There are six Long COVID clinics now open across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

Anyone experiencing the symptoms of Long COVID can visit for more information and if symptoms persist, should contact their GP or health care professional.