27/03/2013 - Permalink

Busy weekend predicted for NHS services

Related topics: Health

News from our partners NHS Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group 

The local NHS is encouraging patients to think carefully before dialling 999 and Shropdoc or visiting A&E this Easter weekend (March/April 2013). 

During Bank Holiday weekends NHS services often see an increase in demand.  The local Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group is encouraging patients to use NHS services wisely and help us treat those who most need their help. 

Patients may have seen in the news that the new NHS 111 service has been experiencing capacity issues during its soft launch.  Work is ongoing at a national and regional level to put in place additional staff to resolve these issues. 

As commissioners, we have agreed with ShropDoc that local calls to NHS 111 will be diverted to Shropdoc.  The CCG would like to thank Shropdoc for stepping up and taking on these calls.  Together with Shropdoc, the local health economy has acted quickly to ensure that patients are able to access appropriate advice and treatment. 

The CCG would also like to thank Shropdoc clinicians for coming forward to help manage demand.  The local NHS is encouraging patients to help us manage these changes, by only accessing these services if they need urgent advice or treatment. 

Remember A&E and 999 should only be used for life threatening and serious conditions. 

Dr Caron Morton, Accountable Officer for NHS Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

“We would like to apologise to any patients who have experienced difficulties with NHS 111.  As local commissioners we are working with the provider to ensure that any issues are resolved safely and as quickly as possible. 

“I would like to thank everyone at Shropdoc for their hard work to ensure that patients can access appropriate out of hours advice.  As local health organisations, we have worked quickly to mitigate the issues at NHS 111 and put in place local plans. 

“We would like to reassure residents that if they need urgent advice they can call NHS 111 and their call will be directed to Shropdoc.  Alternatively, they can call Shropdoc direct on 08444 06 88 88.  To help us manage demand during this wintry weather, we ask patients to think before going to A&E, dialling 999 or using the out of hours service.  Please remember A&E and 999 should only be used for emergencies.” 

Dr Mike Innes, Chair of Telford and Wrekin CCG, said:

“As local commissioners we are in intensive discussions with our local NHS 111 provider to resolve the capacity issues.  We are sorry if any patients have experienced any delays in accessing NHS 111.  To help ensure local patients have access to urgent advice, Shropdoc have agreed that local calls to NHS 111 can be diverted to the Shropdoc phone number.  We would like to thank Shropdoc, their staff and clinicians for their continued dedication to providing excellent patient care. 

“We are expecting a busy weekend, and are encouraging patients to think if they really need urgent medical advice.  If they do need urgent treatment there are a range of options available including GP out of hours advice through Shropdoc, pharmacies walk in centres and the minor injury units in Shropshire. 

For more information visit www.sath.nhs.uk