Appeal as NHS in Harlow “under great pressure”

Health / Tue 20th Dec 2022 at 02:01pm

HEALTH services across Hertfordshire and west Essex are currently experiencing major pressures. Accident and Emergency departments at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, Lister Hospital in Stevenage and Watford General, the ambulance service, our GP practices and community health services are all being stretched by the number of people calling on them for help.

The situation is so serious that health bosses and the most senior doctors and nurses in Hertfordshire have united to deliver a hard-hitting message to the public:

Dr Jane Halpin, Chief Executive of the Hertfordshire and West Essex Integrated Care Board, said: “The Accident and Emergency departments at our hospitals only have the capacity to treat people who have serious, life-threatening or dangerous conditions. Ambulances should only be called in genuine emergencies. If you use emergency services incorrectly you are risking the lives of others and won’t get the best treatment for your illness.

“If you come to A&E in Hertfordshire with a minor condition or illness, your care will not be a priority and you will face an extremely long wait. You may be sent away to visit a GP or pharmacist. If you call 999 for an ambulance and you don’t need one, you could endanger the life of another person in desperate need of emergency care.

“Please do not come to hospital as a patient or a visitor if you have a common winter illness, such as a chest infection, cough and cold, diarrhoea or vomiting. Spreading your minor illness to people who are seriously ill can close hospital wards and won’t get you the help you need.

“As usual do not enter a hospital with symptoms of COVID-19 and when visiting hospitals please wear a mask.

“Our services are under extreme pressure, which is why it’s vital that everyone understands the urgency of the situation and what they can do to ensure that we protect essential health services for when we really need them.”

There are a number of ways to get health advice and care if you, a family member or a friend feel ill:
Visit the NHS website – for advice and information on how to look after yourself and your family. It covers thousands of illnesses and conditions: www.nhs.uk

Visit a pharmacy – for expert advice and low-cost medicines to ease your symptoms and help treat your condition. Every area has a late opening pharmacy and most have consulting rooms where you can ask for advice in private. Go to www.nhs.uk to find your nearest open pharmacist.

Contact your GP practice – GP practices have a range of staff to assess and treat you. Visit your practice website or call them to get help.

Visit www.111.nhs.uk or call 111 – for free, round the clock help when your GP is closed, when it’s an urgent but not a life-threatening 999 situation, or if you are unsure where to go to get the right help for your medical condition.

They can advise you on the help you need and even book you an appointment with a doctor when your own GP is closed. NHS 111 can also advise on late-opening pharmacies, minor injuries units, mental health help or urgent care centre services. The online service or the adviser on the phone will direct you to the nearest suitable service to where you are.

Mental health help – if you are in a mental health crisis call NHS 111 and select option 2.
You can also get information on local health services by following local NHS organisations on social media.
Hertfordshire and West Essex ICB @HWEICB
West Herts Hospitals @westhertsnhs
Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust @hctnhs
Hertfordshire Partnership Foundation Trust @hpft_nhs
Princess Alexandra Hospitals NHS Trust @NHSHarlow
Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust @eputnhs

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6 Comments for Appeal as NHS in Harlow “under great pressure”:

2022-12-20 16:48:12

COVID will be blamed for the problems with the NHS, but these problems were around before that. The real blame for this is the Government of the last 12 years who have seriously underfunded all public services including the NHS. They cannot be trusted to sort this mess out. #cutshaveconsequences

Luke Burton
2022-12-20 18:46:06

The NHS is not here for you anymore - despite the taxes you pay. I don't blame the hardworking staff at all but successive governments that have refused to engage with proper reform and a focus on preventative care.

Kim Oconnor
2022-12-20 19:00:12

That's what 12 years of cuts, cuts, cuts, does. One person doing the work of 3, and im not just talking about NHS, all over the public sectors. It has to break at some point. Theses Angel s that we all clapped on our door step, are pleading with this government, to help them, but no to avail, I don't get it, or understand it any more. But I do know the rich only get richer. Theses public services from all over keep us a float, with out them we would sink. Sadly miss reading the mood of this country.

David Morris
2022-12-21 10:14:29

The Tories won votes because they promised funds for the NHS. All lies. They created tax breaks for the multi-millionaires and oligarchs during this crisis, instead. let's not forget about the PPE VIP list illegalities. Get Tories Out!!!

2022-12-21 20:07:12

Ban private health care, and miraculously the NHS will become perfect in next to no time. And I say this as someone who uses private health care. Private health care is just a method to jump the que

2022-12-22 22:36:22

This gov removed bursaries for nurses, midwives, radiographers, discouraging them to train... and cut the training places for doctors, despite having many of willing people wanting to be docs. They were warned, years ago that this was a bad move and that in years to come when the medical personnel move, retire then they would be incredibly short staffed and it would be dangerous. They did it anyway and now we are reaping what the Cons sowed, with the added bonus of brexit and medical professionals leaving the UK. This gov is corrupt, greedy, uncaring and a complete bunch of self-serving idiots. Sadly people in the UK keep voting them in, believing their lies every time. Madness, sheer madness.

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