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Herefordshire and Worcestershire health leaders ask public to help them help you

Demand on local hospital emergency departments, the ambulance service and GPs across the two counties continues to grow beyond pre-pandemic levels.

The public are reminded that if they need medical help, but it is not a life-threatening emergency, there are options available that can help.

Mike Hallissey, Chief Medical Officer at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said: “As the number of Covid-19 cases in our local community continue to rise, we are also seeing an increasing number of patients admitted to our hospitals with Covid-19. We are seeing younger patients in our beds, around half of whom have not received a Covid-19 vaccination.

“Restrictions outside of our hospitals may have been lifted, but I would continue to urge people to take every precaution to protect themselves and others – in particular by getting vaccinated.

“As well as seeing more patients with Covid-19, we are seeing more patients attending our emergency departments each day, with some patients attending with minor ailments, which could be dealt with at a pharmacy, through their GP, or at one of Worcestershire’s Minor Injuries Units.

“As demand for our urgent care services also grows, teams across our Emergency Departments and wider hospitals are working incredibly hard to ensure patients receive appropriate and safe care. We are doing everything we can to care for those unwell patients to make sure they get the help they need, as soon as they need it and as safely as possible.”

Dr Ian Tait, GP and Chair of NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire CCG said: “As with the rest of the country, we are seeing a rise in cases of Covid-19, especially in younger age groups who have not yet been vaccinated or have only had their first dose. I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to get vaccinated and would encourage you to take up the offer of both doses to receive maximum protection from serious illness.

“In addition, we are seeing increased pressure on all our services and are asking people for their support – both to continue to take sensible precautions with regards to Covid-19, and to access the right NHS service for their need. We would urge people to contact NHS 111 for urgent care advice and signposting to the most appropriate service for you. Please only use 999 in a life-threatening emergency.”

Anyone who has not yet taken up the offer of vaccination or had their first vaccination over 8 weeks ago can book an appointment online at nhs.uk/CovidVaccine or visit a local walk-in site. Walk-in availability for Herefordshire and Worcestershire can be found here: https://herefordshireandworcestershireccg.nhs.uk/covid-19-vaccine/vaccination-sites

The public are reminded that face coverings are required in all healthcare settings across the country and social distancing measures remain in place in our local NHS services.