Services within Health and Social Care including GP, hospital, community and social care services across the region have been seeing very high levels of demand in the past few weeks. The levels of activity resulting from such demand are typical of mid-winter rather than mid-summer.
The uptake of the vaccination, currently at 91.5% of the region’s adult population in the region has prevented illness and minimised severity of illness due to Covid-19, but as restrictions continue to ease a significant volume and wide range of other health and social care concerns are coming to light. It is clear that the pandemic and associated lockdowns have created a pent up wave of demand that is now breaking across all of our services.
In addition, we are experiencing some staffing difficulties as Covid cases increase again, since our teams can be affected by requirements to self-isolate in order to keep patients and staff safe. Ultimately the very high levels of demand along with these staffing issues means that we are faced with a challenging situation. We are monitoring the situation closely and managing it in such a way that we continue to deliver the best possible care to our patients and service users, as well as take account of the wellbeing of our staff who continue to work in unprecedented, difficult situations since the onset of the pandemic.
Due to the rise in Covid-19 cases in the past few weeks we are beginning to see small numbers of admissions of patients with Covid-19 which causes some delay to usual patient flow because of additional infection control requirements.
Unfortunately, the very high levels of hospital occupancy have necessitated cancellation of some non-urgent surgery over the past few weeks. We would like to extend an apology to all patients affected, acknowledging the distress and upheaval this can cause, and to offer reassurance that we will reschedule as quickly and as safely as possible.
Whilst we continue to make every effort to minimise the impact of this rise in activity across health and social care, it is possible that this situation could persist for a while longer and we would ask for your patience if you need to access our services at this time.