NHS restarts treatments put on hold by pandemic as number of cases start to fall
NHS teams across the North East are starting to offer treatments once again after they were put on hold so medics could tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
Health leaders across the region are reassuring patients work is to restart on some of the planned care which was paused to help the service cope with a rise of emergency COVID-19 cases in recent months.
Now, as the NHS starts to see a stable reduction in the number of cases and comes out of the first peak, teams are focussing on safely phasing back planned care and appointments, which can include scheduled surgery.
Locally, the NHS is asking the public to keep up their support by using services sensibly and following rules on handwashing, social distancing and visiting, which will help protect the NHS as it embarks on phase two of its response to the crisis.
Ahead of the Bank Holiday, health chiefs have launched an animation and set out messages on how they will be protected and cared for.
*strict infection control measures for patients and staff in hospitals, the community or in their own home, including PPE, increasing handwashing facilities and restrictions for visiting.
*social distancing rules - being 2 metres apart - will remain vital as people use NHS services.
*the NHS is there to help if needed - don’t delay seeking help and advice if unwell.
Dr Neil O’Brien is a GP in County Durham and accountable officer for South Tyneside, Sunderland and County Durham Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).
He said: “Everyone has a part to play in how we collectively, across all of our local communities, tackle the impact of COVID-19 which is going to be with us for many months to come.
“Please take sensible steps to avoid accidents and to look after yourselves, both physically and mentally - there are lots of resources out there so if you are struggling with negative feelings during isolation, please do seek help.
“We also know that drinking too much alcohol, attempting difficult DIY tasks, or taking unnecessary trips in the car could all end up causing avoidable accidents which take up precious NHS resources at a time when we are busy treating very sick patients.”