An urgent plea has been issued to communities amid significant pressures on all NHS services in Hampshire and Isle of Wight.
Dedicated health and care teams continue to do all they can to ensure patients receive safe, high-quality care – but they need your help amid sustained pressures across the board. It comes as figures show:
Click here to hear from Dr Tim Cooper, GP Partner and Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Primary and Local Care for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board.
Help us help you
As always, your NHS remains open and here for you. If you are concerned about your health, feel you are getting worse or need help, please come forward.
You can also help health and care teams help you by choosing the right service when you need medical help or advice. This will help you get the treatment you need in a timely way.
Make sure you are ready to treat common illnesses and injuries at home. Keep stocked up on essentials such as paracetamol, plasters, bandages and upset tummy remedies and order repeat prescriptions in good time so that you don’t run out. The NHS website provides lots of advice on conditions, symptoms, treating illnesses and injuries as well as when to seek further support.
Remember to keep any medicine in a safe place and well out of the reach of children and check medicines regularly to make sure they are within their use by dates.
If you need urgent help but it is not a life-threatening emergency, please visit 111.nhs.uk. If you or someone you know is experiencing a medical emergency you/they should attend a local Emergency Department or call 999.
Medical emergencies can include:
Also call 999 if you think someone has had a major trauma, such as after a serious road traffic accident, a stabbing, a shooting, a fall from height, or a serious head injury.
You can also help by:
More information on which service to use and when is available here. This includes mental health care and dentistry as well as urgent treatment centres.
Winter is always challenging for health and care services, and recent pressures have been compounded by the sudden cold snap and understandable concerns following an increase in reported cases of Group A strep among children and young people. With rising numbers of people seeking support and soaring attendances across all local health services, it is vital that more is done to help teams who are doing their very best for all those who need care.
Dr Derek Sandeman, Chief Medical Officer at Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board, said: “Winter is always a challenging time of year for our population and also the NHS. You will have heard on the news that this winter feels the most difficult the NHS has faced and that is the experience of colleagues working in our system. I want to publicly thank them for stepping up to try and meet the demands which at times have felt overwhelming. I also know that this can make it hard for you to find the care you need and are being asked to wait longer than any of us would like. I’m sorry for the added frustration this is causing.
“Unfortunately, due to the current situation we may need to postpone some appointments to meet this urgent and emergency demand. We need to ask for your help in being understanding of this as well as using sites such as Healthier Together, which provides advice and guidance for pregnant women, parents and guardians of children and young people aged up to 18 and NHS.uk to get advice on common conditions that don’t necessarily require clinical support.”
Due to such high levels of requests for appointments or access, some services may be offering care differently to ensure those most in need are able to be seen quickly. This means that:
Pharmacies are also busy with the build-up to Christmas and people requesting prescriptions and other medication before going away and are doing all they can for patients.
Dr Tim Cooper, GP Partner and Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Primary and Local Care at Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board, said: “Health and care teams are doing all they can to respond to general winter pressures, alongside a rise in attendances and contacts with health services due to high levels of strep A infection. Within general practice this means that some routine appointments may be postponed to help clinicians treat patients who need to be seen urgently, but we will do our best to minimise disruption. Colleagues continue working hard to support our patients, so please be patient with us as we try to find the best possible way to help you. As always, if your need is urgent, please get in touch.”