Leeds Health and Care services experiencing highest ever demand

Shared statement – Leeds Health and Care Partnership

This week the health and care system in Leeds is facing demand higher than ever experienced. The ongoing impact of COVID-19 and seasonal flu means that all our services across the city are dealing with a huge increase in the numbers of people accessing care. At the same time, services are experiencing staff shortages in many settings due to vacancies and sickness.

Our Emergency Departments, (A&E) and ambulance services are seeing a large number of extremely unwell and frail patients who are suffering from the effects of Covid or Flu. This means that people who do not have a life-threatening illness or injury will be waiting a long time, even those who arrive by ambulance.

The NHS in Leeds must prioritise Urgent and Emergency surgery so that we can ensure people get the specialist care that they need. This means that some planned surgery will be cancelled. People will be notified directly if their treatment or appointment needs to be rearranged.

During these busy times, the NHS needs families and friends to support their loved ones more than usual and provide additional help with arranging transport home or collecting their medicines.

The NHS is still here for you. Please continue to come to hospital if you are seriously unwell. If you are unsure about the care you need, please call 111 or visit the NHS 111 website.

Dr Sarah Forbes, Medical Director at Leeds office of NHS West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board, speaking on behalf of the Leeds Health and Care Partnership said:

‘It is more important than ever that people across the city take the steps they can to keep themselves well and protect those they know who are frail’

‘I would advise that we take these six simple steps together to overcome the challenges we are facing:

  • Regardless of pressures, it is really important that patients who need urgent medical care (when someone is seriously ill or injured, or their life is at risk) continue to come forward as normal, especially in emergency and life-threatening cases
  • Save time if you have a minor injury or illness – A&E is busier than usual so, unless it is a life threatening or emergency case (when someone is seriously ill or injured, or their life is at risk), you are likely to experience a long wait. It may be quicker for you to go to an Urgent treatment centre or call 111 / visit NHS111 online  It’s free and they can give you urgent advice, 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • If your GP or hospital has not contacted you, please attend your appointments as planned. The NHS will contact you if your appointment needs to be rescheduled.
  • All residents of Leeds and NHS workers can play a part to protect ourselves and those around us. If you have Covid or flu symptoms avoid mixing with others, particularly those who are elderly or frail. Check the local service information and self-care tips available on our ‘Together We Can’ website. The site includes information on how to access your GP and when to visit the pharmacy: www.togetherwe-can.com
  • If you have a friend or relative in hospital and you are able to support them with discharge transport or on their return home, please let the ward know this
  • Vaccines are the best way to protect everyone this winter – please have all your Covid jabs and your flu jab if you’re eligible.’

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