Ambulance from South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT)

The NHS says health and care services across Somerset are very busy, with all health and care services including GP practices, hospitals and adult social care services “under immense pressure.”

The NHS is asking for residents’ help and support to ensure they can continue caring for those who need support.

Being ready to collect loved ones from hospital as soon as they are medically well enough to leave can make a big difference, it says, adding that if you can provide some care for loved ones it will help the NHS care for those people who are very unwell.

Mel Lock, Director of Adult Social Care at Somerset County Council said: “We’d like to thank everyone for their help and support in these continuing challenging times for both health and social care. We’re asking families to work with us and our NHS colleagues and help get their loved one home from hospital as soon as they are safely able to do so.”

“We’re also asking anyone who feels they are receiving care at home they no longer need, and only that they no longer need, to contact their care provider or Somerset Direct on 0300 123 2224.”

“Staff will then review their care needs with them. This further supports us in allocating care support to those most in need in these high demand times.

“Though social care is facing some tough challenges at the moment, there are also some amazing opportunities to make a big difference in someone’s life – if you’re interested in stepping in to help out, or are looking to start a new career in social care, visit:

Daniel Meron, Chief Medical Officer for Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, adds: “COVID-19 infection rates are rising across the county, this remains an incredibly challenging time for health and care services in Somerset.”

“Attendances at A&E are high; there are ongoing challenges in discharging patients who are well enough to leave hospital, and we are seeing an increase in staff sickness – all of which leads to longer waits than we would like for patients. Because of these pressures, the Somerset health and care system has taken the decision to move to our highest level of escalation to ensure additional steps can be taken to maintain safe services for our patients.

“Staff are working incredibly hard to ensure we continue to care for people who need us. I would like to thank our hard-working colleagues for their continued efforts and commitment to support the people who need our care as the NHS and social care face a challenging winter.

“We also want to thank everyone in Somerset. You have supported your NHS and social care services extremely well over the last few years and we ask for your support and understanding again. There are a few simple things that you can do to help our services and our colleagues who work in them.  This includes choosing the health and care services you use wisely and, where possible, supporting friends and family in hospital to be discharged quickly.”

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