Shared statement – 19 December 2022. This week the health and care system in Leeds is facing unprecedented levels of demand which is resulting in long waits for care in Accident and Emergency (A&E).
The colder temperatures and the ongoing impact of COVID-19 and seasonal flu means that most of our services across the city are dealing with a huge increase in the numbers of people accessing care whilst many are operating with significant staff shortages. We are also anticipating additional pressures with the upcoming strikes.
Dr Sarah Forbes, Medical Director at Leeds office of NHS West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board, speaking on behalf of the Leeds Health and Care Partnership said: ‘Our colleagues from across the health and care partnership, including the city’s hospitals, GP practices, pharmacies, social services, community health services, mental health services, ambulance services and the voluntary sector, are working together to provide safe and effective care for the people of Leeds’.
‘I would advise that we take these five simple steps together to overcome the challenges ahead:
- Regardless of pressures and any strike action taking place, it is really important that patients who need urgent medical care continue to come forward as normal, especially in emergency and life-threatening cases – when someone is seriously ill or injured, or their life is at risk.
- Save time if you have a minor injury or illness – A&E is busier than usual so, unless it is a life threatening or emergency case (when someone is seriously ill or injured, or their life is at risk), you are likely to experience a long wait. It may be quicker for you to go to an Urgent treatment centre or call 111 / visit NHS111 online It’s free and they can give you urgent advice, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- If we have not contacted you, please attend your appointments as planned. The NHS will contact you if your appointment needs to be rescheduled due to pressures or strike action.
- We can all play our part to protect ourselves and those around us. Check the local service information and self-care tips available on our ‘Together We Can’ The site includes information on how to access your GP and when to visit the pharmacy.
- Vaccines are the best way to protect everyone this winter – please have all your Covid jabs and your flu jab if you’re eligible.’