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NHS plea as services under significant pressure


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NHS appeals to public as services under unprecedented pressure

NHS and social care services in our region continue to experience the highest levels of pressure ever seen this winter. With the impact of huge demands on our services still being experienced by patients and staff, NHS leaders are asking the public to help us prioritise services for people who are critically ill or injured by choosing the right service for their needs.

Dr Neil O'Brien, executive medical director for the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board, said: "We'd like to thank people and communities for their support and the way they have used services during this exceptionally busy period. This has helped us to prioritise patient care for those who are most poorly. We would also like to thank our staff for the way they have responded to a very challenging week with unprecedented numbers of people really needing the help and support from health and social care services.

"These challenges remain difficult, so we are asking for everyone's continuing support. Our services are still extremely busy, so please only use 999 and accident and emergency departments for life threatening injuries and illnesses. We're working hard to ensure that patients who need emergency care are seen as quickly as possible. We know that no-one wants to stay longer in hospital than they need to so it is our aim to discharge people from hospital as soon as they are well enough.

"All our services will respond as best we can in providing treatment and have processes in place to ensure patients are cared for, with patient safety as our top priority. Patients who attend accident and emergency departments with non-emergency conditions are likely to face a long wait for treatment. Given the additional pressures we know some people have had to wait longer than we would like for care and a few people have had planned procedures postponed. I would ask all our public and communities to please continue to lend your support and kindness to our teams working extra hard during these difficult times."

If you need advice for an everyday illness or injury, please either contact your local pharmacy for help or look at the self-care advice that’s available online from the NHS at www.nhs.uk.

You can also check your symptoms, using the online symptom checker available at www.111.nhs.uk, which will re-direct you to a health professional if you need to be seen by someone. If your symptoms persist and you are not getting better, please contact your GP practice for advice.

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