South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, care home and domiciliary care sectors are also under extreme pressure, with more than 50 care homes unable to accept new people due to recent COVID-19 cases among staff or residents. Primary care and mental health services are extremely stretched, and ambulances are experiencing lengthy waiting times to get people into hospital.
Speaking on behalf of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly’s health and care system, NHS Kernow’s chief nurse Natalie Jones said: “Omicron transmission is causing significant problems for all our services and preventing the movement of people from 1 aspect of their care to the next. Although overall numbers are lower, it’s the busiest we have been at any point in the pandemic because it’s happening at the time of year when we have usual winter pressures on services as well.”
“We know we have asked before, but we really do need to call upon our population to help us by making the right choices if they need help with injuries or illness, and to only use 999 or the emergency department if it is a life-threatening situation. As always, we ask people to consider if it is something they can treat themselves, can speak to a pharmacist about, or contact their own GP. If they aren’t sure which service to use, please call NHS 111 or visit nhs.uk for expert advice.”
“Families and friends can also help if they can support someone to go home from hospital sooner by offering them a helping hand with everyday needs such as shopping, meals, cleaning and getting dressed. Please contact the ward they are on if you can help in any way. There is support we can give to make it as easy as possible, including a grant towards equipment or personal care.”
It’s also not too late for people to protect themselves, friends and family, and the NHS against COVID-19 by getting vaccinated – including 1st, 2nd and booster jabs. There are lots of vaccination sessions across Cornwall during the coming weeks – visit www.kernowccg.nhs.uk for details of sessions.
Visit www.kernowccg.nhs.uk for contact details and opening times of health services which can help you manage any conditions you have.