Ahead of the first May bank holiday weekend, health chiefs
across the region are asking the public to keep-up their amazing
support for the NHS.
The appeal to the public includes asking them to support the NHS
and others by:
All of which, health chiefs say, will play a vital part in
protecting the NHS as it embarks on phase two of its response to
the COVID-19 pandemic and planning which is underway to re-start
more elective activity for people who need to come into hospital
for planned care or treatment.
Ahead of the bank holiday weekend, Dr Neil O'Brien, a local GP
in County Durham and accountable officer for South Tyneside,
Sunderland and County Durham Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs)
"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. The public have
been amazing in responding to the lockdown measures so far and it
is really important that we all continue to adhere to these rules,
especially as we head into a sunny bank holiday.
"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."
"I would also urge people to stay two metres away from others
when they go about their day-to-day activities such as shopping or
exercise and, of course those key workers who are still commuting
every day. Keeping hands extra clean through regular
handwashing and avoiding touching your eyes, nose and face are
still the most effective ways to stop the spread of the virus."
Professor Chris Gray, clinical lead for the integrated care
system for the north east and north Cumbria said: "We are now
starting to see a stable reduction in the number of COVID-19 cases
in our hospitals as we come out of the first peak, our efforts are
now focussed on planning how we can safely re-start some of planned
care and treatments we had to put on hold so we could cope with
rise of emergency COVID-19 cases during the pandemic.
"Over the coming weeks, individual organisations will be
contacting patients to re-book some planned appointments and
treatments. We will be doing this safely and as quickly as we can
but it will take time and will be managed in a phased way - so
please bear with us.
"I also want to re-assure people that at the heart of all this
planning is ensuring we keep patients safe - whether they are
being cared for at home, in the community or in our hospitals. The
fact is this virus will be with to us for some time to come. For us
to be able to provide care safely we will continue with many of the
measures we already have in place to protect patients and our
staff - this includes strict infection control rules.
"Many people will be familiar with these - such as seeing our staff
wearing personal protective equipment, appointments being held over
the telephone or online and restrictions on visiting including who
can come with you for an appointment. This will all need to
continue for the foreseeable future and we would like ask for your
"Social distancing rules - being 2 metres apart - will continue
to be a key feature not just as people go about their daily
business but will remain vital as they use NHS services too.
Professor Chris Gray added: "Your support for the NHS has been
amazing so let's all keep it up and look after the NHS and each
Published: 7 May 2020
'As I was very, very nervous, I must have been the worst patient
ever and they were brilliant with me and I can't thank them enough
- could you please pass on my sincere thanks.'
Patient, Hysteroscopy Unit, Chester-le-Street Community