Shropshire hospitals boss: 'Now, more than ever, we need your help'

Read the latest column from Dr Arne Rose, medical director at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust.

Dr Arne Rose
Dr Arne Rose

By now, nobody can be in any doubt about the seriousness of the current wave of coronavirus.

Nobody can be in any doubt about the tremendous pressure my colleagues across the NHS are under.

And nobody can be in any doubt about the need for them to play their part in bringing the number of infections down and, ultimately, saving lives.

The news has been saturated with coverage of the numbers of people contracting the virus, and the number of lives that are being lost to it.

It has been saturated with coverage of the rules around the latest lockdown and, indeed, whether these will be strengthened further.

I’m not pretending the lockdown is easy. I’m not pretending it is popular.

I understand the difficulties and the frustrations it brings. Like you, I’m only human.

But, as I have said previously, it is necessary.

Tragically, the number of Covid-positive patients at our hospitals who are dying from the disease is again increasing.

More than 320 people have now lost their lives at the Royal Shrewsbury and Princess Royal Hospitals since the pandemic reached Shropshire.

At SaTH we are doing all we can to tackle the situation we now find ourselves in.

We are working to increase our critical care capacity – not only for the rise we are seeing in Shropshire and Mid Wales, but also so that we are in a position to help other regions who may be more seriously affected than we are.

This, of course, comes with challenges both in terms of space and staff, and we need to balance this with what elective procedures we can continue to offer.

Tough

We are continuing to vaccinate our vulnerable frontline staff to help us meet these challenges, as well as offering regular testing for colleagues to give them reassurance while they are at work.

But now, more than ever, we need your help. When rules were relaxed over the festive period I said it was important for people to think about not what they could do, but what they should do. I repeat that plea today.

The lockdown restrictions are not a test to see how much you can get away with.

It is not about following the letter of the law, it is about following the spirit of the law.

Only by restricting our movements and restricting our contact with others will we be able to give this virus nowhere to go.

Remember, about one in three people with coronavirus will have no visible symptoms, but can still spread it to loved ones and to strangers.

That is why we say “act as if you have it”.

There is no doubt that the next few weeks will be tough for everyone.

But without us all doing the right thing, the weeks could become more months.

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