Humber and North Yorkshire health and care leaders encourage people to make best use of services this New Year

With high numbers of people awaiting hospital services local people are being asked to make full use of all alternative health services, including NHS111 online and local pharmacies, and to take simple steps to look out for family and friends.

Dr Nigel Wells, Executive Director Clinical and Care Professional for Humber and North Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership, said: “Our region, like most of the country, is experiencing exceptionally high demand for all healthcare services. People can greatly help connect the right care with the right people by making full use of the services available. NHS111 online provides expert advice and can make appointments with the right service where that is the most appropriate advice.

“Our local community pharmacies are also a key first port of call for anyone who needs advice and care for routine minor medical conditions.”

Leaders are also encouraging people to take steps to look after themselves and loved ones at home where this is possible.

Stephen Eames, Chief Executive for Humber and North Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership, said: “NHS services, whilst facing extreme pressure, remain available and accessible for those who need them, but we also need people across our region to help support by remaining sensible and taking steps to keep themselves and others safe during this period.

“This includes keeping yourself well, such as drinking responsibly, keeping warm and having a well-stocked medicines cabinet, as well as checking in on vulnerable family, friends and neighbours to make sure they are ok.”

“Our ambulance services and hospitals, in particular, are facing extreme pressure and I would ask the public to make sure they are only calling 999, for life-threatening emergencies. In other circumstance, NHS111 online should be the first port of call.”

Regional hospitals are also seeing high instances of respiratory disease, including COVID-19 and flu, as well as other serious illness. As winter continues, pressures on services are expected to stay high. There are a number of ways that people can protect themselves and their loved ones, and ensure they most effectively get the care they need.

Teresa Fenech, Executive Director for Nursing and Quality for Humber and North Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership, said: “We know that, unfortunately, there are high levels of illness around during the winter. This year in particular we are seeing high levels of respiratory illness including COVID and flu. For some people this will be a serious condition and hospitalisation will be needed. For many others these illnesses are best treated with rest, keeping warm and drinking plenty of fluids.

“We also strongly encourage people with COVID or flu like symptoms to prevent spreading infection by avoiding mixing with others, particularly those who may be vulnerable.’