NHS and care staff call on public’s help as demand for services rise

Cornwall’s health and care staff are calling on residents for support ahead of the weekend as demand for the area’s services rises.
Dr Tamsyn Anderson, joint medical director for Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We have had a particularly busy week, and I want to thank all our staff and carers across our health and care system who have worked so hard to care for some of our community’s most vulnerable people.

“We are starting this weekend with a high number of people in our hospitals who are fit and ready to go home. We are once again asking families and carers to support us to get people home from hospital once they’re medically fit, but might need some extra help with basic needs such as making sure they have food in their home, cooking, washing and dressing.

“Hospitals across Cornwall are seeing more poorly people, particularly the elderly who need our care. Unfortunately a year of being mostly confined to home means people have not had the opportunities to remain fit and active, and don’t have the muscle strength they would normally have.”

Dr Anderson added: “We are contacting families and the voluntary sector to help us support people back to their home where they can sleep well and continue their recovery in a familiar environment.

“As we begin the weekend, we are asking the public who need urgent but not emergency care to think 111 first. Using the NHS 111 service either online – www.111.nhs.uk or calling 111 – will mean that if someone does need to go to a minor injury unit or the emergency department, the teams there will know they are coming and can manage the way people come into the departments.

“The capacity in our waiting rooms has reduced due to social distancing guidance, and using your GP or the 111 first service can help us to keep everyone safe and reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus.”

Whilst there has been a reduction in positive COVID-19 cases across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, this is not yet being reflected in hospital admissions. There are still high numbers of people who are seriously ill with COVID-19 and sadly a number of deaths in hospitals and in the community. People are being urged not to let their guard down, and to continue following lockdown rules and maintaining hands, face, space. Anyone who is invited to receive their COVID-19 or flu vaccination should book their appointment to protect themselves and others from these viruses.

If you or a loved one develops coronavirus symptoms, please do not to visit your GP surgery, or hospitals or pharmacies to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Symptoms include:

  • a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

Most people with coronavirus have at least 1 of these symptoms. If you have 1 or more symptoms you must stay at home and get a test as soon as possible.

Pharmacists can also help with a range of minor common illnesses such as coughs, colds, sore throats, earache, nappy rash, cystitis (bladder infection), impetigo (skin condition) and emergency contraception. You can also get advice on prescription medicines.

Visit our Choose Well webpages for details on all services and support that’s available in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Added on 5 February 2021, in News - Choose well