Health and care services in Somerset are very busy, meaning all health and care services including GP practices, hospitals and adult social care services are under immense pressure. We are asking for your help and support to ensure we can continue caring for those who need our support.
Being ready to collect loved ones from hospital as soon as they are medically well enough to leave can make a big difference. If you can provide some care for loved ones it will help us care for those people who are very unwell. Very often simple arrangements such as regular visits or help with meals can mean that someone can go home more quickly.
Mel Lock, Director of Adult Social Care at Somerset County Council said: “We’d like to thank everyone for their help and support in these continuing challenging times for both health and social care. We’re asking families to work with us and our NHS colleagues and help get their loved one home from hospital as soon as they are safely able to do so. We’re also asking anyone who feels they are receiving care at home they no longer need, and only that they no longer need, to contact their care provider or Somerset Direct on 0300 123 2224. Staff will then review their care needs with them. This further supports us in allocating care support to those most in need in these high demand times.
“Though social care is facing some tough challenges at the moment, there are also some amazing opportunities to make a big difference in someone’s life – if you’re interested in stepping in to help out, or are looking to start a new career in social care, visit: bit.ly/proudtocaresomerset”
Daniel Meron, Chief Medical Officer for Somerset NHS Foundation Trust and Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: “COVID-19 infection rates are rising across the county, this remains an incredibly challenging time for health and care services in Somerset.
“Attendances at A&E are high; there are ongoing challenges in discharging patients who are well enough to leave hospital, and we are seeing an increase in staff sickness – all of which leads to longer waits than we would like for patients. Because of these pressures, the Somerset health and care system has taken the decision to move to our highest level of escalation to ensure additional steps can be taken to maintain safe services for our patients.
“Staff are working incredibly hard to ensure we continue to care for people who need us. I would like to thank our hard-working colleagues for their continued efforts and commitment to support the people who need our care as the NHS and social care face a challenging winter.
“We also want to thank everyone in Somerset. You have supported your NHS and social care services extremely well over the last few years and we ask for your support and understanding again. There are a few simple things that you can do to help our services and our colleagues who work in them. This includes choosing the health and care services you use wisely and, where possible, supporting friends and family in hospital to be discharged quickly.”
We need your help; this is how you can support us:
- Help get relatives home from hospital – be ready to collect loved ones from hospital as soon as they are medically well enough to leave. If you can provide some care for loved ones it will help us care for those people who are very unwell. Very often simple arrangements such as regular visits or help with meals can mean that someone can go home more quickly.
- Review your care at home – if you are receiving care at home that you think you no longer need, please contact your care provider or Adult Social Care so staff can review your care needs. This will support us to make sure care is allocated to help someone else to remain in their own home or leave hospital with the right support.
- Access health services wisely – if you don’t know which service is the right service for you click or call 111 first. 111 can provide advice and direct you to the best place for the care you need.
- Use your local pharmacy – they can offer clinical advice and over-the-counter medicines for a range of minor illnesses, such as colds, sore throats, tummy trouble and aches and pains. Pharmacies are open throughout the day, evening and on weekends and you can be seen without an appointment.
- Check the latest guidance on visiting health settings before you go – if you are visiting a relative or loved one in a health or care setting, or are planning to come to an appointment with them, please check if there are restrictions in place.
- Protect yourself – the vaccination remains the best form of protection against coronavirus. You can book your vaccination through the National Booking System or look for walk in sites on the Grab a Jab site. Eligible for a free flu vaccination? You can book your flu vaccination here.
- Help prevent the spread of COVID-19 – continue to wear face masks, sanitise your hands regularly and socially distance where possible in our hospitals and healthcare settings. COVID-19 affects how we run our services and we care for very vulnerable patients, so it is important that we do all we can to minimise the spread of the virus.
- Help look out for your community – check in on relatives and neighbours who might need extra support.
- Check out our advice and guidance – Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group has a webpage full of information and advice on the different services, apps and support available. You can find the information on their choose well page.