Shropshire hospitals boss: 'This is a risky period - we still need to be taking precautions'
Medical director for The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, Dr Arne Rose, reminds people to follow the Covid-19 guidelines and explains how the trust is preparing for winter.
The news this week that there has been rise in cases should act as a stark reminder to all of us that we still need to be taking precautions.
We still need to be following social distancing guidelines. We still need to be wearing face coverings in crowded areas. We still need to wash our hands regularly.
Unfortunately, we are seeing signs that some people think the risk has gone away. We are beginning to see people arriving at our A&E departments with several members of their family in tow, who we then need to turn away.
If you need emergency treatment, we are still here for you but please come on your own unless you need specific support.
I’ve also been hearing that some neighbourhoods around our hospitals are reporting an increase in littering caused by disposable face coverings being thrown in the street.
I appreciate that it is inconvenient to have to wear a mask when you come into hospital but please dispose of them correctly by putting them in the bin.
If you are able to, please also cut the straps before throwing them away.
We are now in Phase 3 of the NHS’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, which includes accelerating the return to near-normal levels of services between now and winter.
Trauma services returned to our trust from the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital at the end of last month and we have also restored our blood taking service, on an appointment-only basis.
The restoration of services is not something that can be done quickly, due to the social distancing requirements that we need to take into account, but it is important that we return more services as we head into the winter.
Our planning for the winter is already well under way and we will be doing everything we can to put systems in place for what could be a very busy time.
There are, of course, things that you can do to help.
I would also encourage everyone to get their flu jab when the time comes, to protect yourselves and your loved ones from what can be a very serious virus.
The most important thing you can do, though, is to remember that coronavirus is still around, and still spreads just as easily as it did at the start of the pandemic.
With more and more parts of our lives being opened back up, it is easy to become complacent, but that is what makes this period such a risky one.
We have all made a lot of sacrifices to keep the spread of the virus under control, please don’t do anything that would undo all of that hard work.
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