News from our partners NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin
Health and care leaders across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin are encouraging people to help their NHS by getting vaccinated against flu and COVID-19 if they are eligible, and choosing the right service for their needs.
This follows extremely high demand across health and care services over the weekend with rising numbers of patients presenting with flu and COVID-19, and parents of young children contacting NHS services about scarlet fever (Strep A). This, together with ongoing workforce challenges and sickness, has led to delays for people accessing urgent and emergency care.
Nick White, Chief Medical Officer for the NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, said:-
“Our hospitals continue to experience extreme pressure, and regrettably this means that patients are having to wait long times to be seen in our emergency departments. We are doing everything we can to deliver safe care for patients, including diverting clinicians and staff to support within our emergency departments and discharge lounges.
“There are ways people can help their local NHS by using the right service for their needs and getting vaccinated. This weekend we have seen increased numbers of people presenting with flu and COVID-19 symptoms. These viruses should not be underestimated, and to avoid being admitted to hospital this Christmas we are strongly urging everyone who is eligible to come forward and get vaccinated this week.
“Over the weekend we saw increased numbers of parents contacting NHS services about Strep A, which causes scarlet fever. Although uncomfortable, this virus can usually be treated with antibiotics available from your local GP. Please contact 111 online or call 111 for advice and support if you are worried about Strep A.”
What people can do to help:-
- People are being urged to use NHS 111, online or by phone, for 24/7 advice about the most appropriate care for your needs.
- Use your pharmacists: they are experts in medicine who can help you with minor health concerns such as coughs, colds, sore throats, tummy trouble and aches and pains.
- For other non-urgent cases, when you need medical advice and it’s not an emergency, please contact your GP practice or a pharmacist.
- Minor Injury Units (MIUs) are there to help with injuries that need attention urgently but are not critical or life threatening. This will allow A&E staff to concentrate on people with serious, life-threatening conditions and will save you a potentially long wait. There are four MIUs in the county, located in Bridgnorth, Ludlow, Oswestry and Whitchurch. For more information visit: Community hospitals and health centres in Shropshire
- Mental health crisis helpline – urgent mental health support is available 24/7 on 0808 196 4501.
- Only call 999 or attend A&E departments for serious accidents and for genuine emergencies.
For more information on scarlet fever including symptoms and what to do, visit: UKHSA update on Scarlet Fever and invasive Group A strep – NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin (shropshiretelfordandwrekin.nhs.uk)
For more information about winter vaccination, visit: nhs.uk/wintervaccinations
Please continue to treat all NHS and care staff with the respect they deserve. Our hard-working staff and volunteers are doing all they can to keep patients safe and supported.