Senior health care leaders from the Tees Valley and County Durham have come together in creating a video message to let the public know that their hospitals are still open, and people should not ignore crucial life limiting symptoms.
Susan Green, consultant colorectal surgeon from Country Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, Barney Green, vascular surgeon at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Chris Wells, consultant gastroenterologist from North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust have joined in voice to explain how hospital settings are a different environment because of COVID-19, but still offer the same services as before the pandemic.
From cancer diagnostics, treatments and operations, heart attacks, strokes and other ailments, the NHS says it is important that patients do not ignore any symptoms that might require urgent attention.
Chris explains that as well as hospitals being open for business that GPs are also open for referrals ‘it is important that if you do have any concerns about your health that you contact your health care provider, GPs are open and link into our hospitals where necessary. It’s important not to ignore your symptoms – please do come forward’.
Explaining about the change to hospital settings, Susan said: “Our hospitals have put a lot of measures in place to reduce risk for patients. You will need to wear a mask, and you will need to socially distance. We would like to reassure patients that we have made our hospitals as safe as possible – with supplies of PPE, patient and staff testing where appropriate, patient self-isolation prior to elective admission and protected operating theatres and wards.”
Since the pandemic hit earlier this year, Barney Green says that the number of patients they would ordinarily see has reduced: “One really worrying thing we have noticed over the past three or four months is the significant number of drop off in people seeking help for urgent conditions, I think we can understand why that’s the case, people have been desperately worried about contracting Coronavirus, and we can understand that – but cancer, heart attacks, strokes – these big life limiting conditions are really really important to deal with. Don’t ignore the symptoms for fearing getting the virus.”
The risk of dying from COVID-19 is far less than that if you ignore your symptoms.
The message is clear from the three organisations: the NHS is still open for business, the staff are there to help you and it is safe to come. If you have concerns – contact your health provider, don’t ignore symptoms and don’t delay, get in touch.