Your weekly NHS update for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland
Hello and welcome
Welcome to 5 on Friday. This is our new look stakeholder bulletin replacing Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Stakeholder Bulletin. We will still be keeping you up to date with how the NHS in LLR is responding to COVID, but we will cover more topics to keep you informed about your local NHS.
1.A message from the NHS CEOs in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland
The NHS in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland is experiencing significant pressures in response to the combined challenges of rising numbers of Covid-19 positive cases and annual winter pressures.
The number of people with Covid-19 being cared for at Leicester’s hospitals is at its highest level since the pandemic began in March and continuing to rise. At the peak of the pandemic in wave 1, there were 204 people with Covid-19. Today there are 295 cases in University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.
High numbers of very ill people with complex needs are being seen daily in the Emergency Department at the Leicester Royal Infirmary.
To continue to maintain care for those who need it and manage additional pressures we are opening additional beds in our community hospitals to care for Covid-19 positive patients. Unfortunately we will also need to postpone some non-urgent planned procedures and operations. Cancer and other urgent surgery will continue.
People should continue to attend their appointments with us unless advised otherwise. If we do need to make changes, people will be contacted directly.
Contacting NHS 111 first either online or by calling will help you to get the right treatment you need. NHS 111 can, if necessary, book you a time slot in ED. If your need isn’t an emergency and you go straight to the ED without contacting NHS 111 you could be asked to attend another service or asked to contact NHS 111.
Please remember: if you think your need is a life–threatening emergency you must seek help, including calling 999.
Together, all NHS organisations are working tirelessly to ensure we can safely treat patients despite these pressures.
Please do help us to help you: It is essential that the public follows the public health advice on social distancing, hand hygiene and the use of face coverings. To put it simply: the more Covid-19 infections we have in the community in LLR, the more likely we will see cases increase in hospital and have an impact on NHS services.
The NHS is very grateful for your support and co-operation and fully appreciates this is a difficult time for you too given the impact Covid is having on your everyday life. We know that local restrictions have taken their toll on people’s mental wellbeing too. If you need urgent mental health care advice, we have a free telephone line for round-the-clock urgent mental health support which you can call on 0808 800 3302.
2.Celebrate safely this Christmas
This year we will all be celebrating Christmas differently. The government has announced a change to some social contact restrictions between 23 and 27 December. However, people are advised to think carefully about the risks of meeting up with others and to only do so if you feel you absolutely need to. The safest way to celebrate Christmas this year is with your household or existing support bubble in your home.
If you do decide you need to form a Christmas bubble, you can do so between 23 and 27 December with people from no more than three households, this means your household and two others.
If you choose to form a bubble, you are advised to follow a number of measures to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. These include: stopping unnecessary social contact outside your immediate household as soon as possible and for at least five days before you meet other households in your bubble you should keep your bubble as small as possible you can only be in one Christmas bubble you cannot change your Christmas bubble Click here to find out more about the advice to follow if you form a Christmas Bubble.
3. First patient COVID-19 vaccines commence at Leicestershire GP practices This week, eligible patients registered with 29 GP practices in Leicestershire were amongst the first people in the country to receive the ground breaking Pfizer Covid-19 vaccination from GP-led vaccination centres, with more expected to begin vaccinating across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland in the coming weeks. One practice will generally provide vaccines on behalf of all practices in a group of practices, known as a primary care network.
Nurses, paramedics, pharmacists and other NHS staff will work alongside GPs to vaccinate those aged 80 and over, as well as care home workers and residents, identified as priority groups for the life-saving vaccine.
Six primary care networks, Bosworth, Millennium, Market Harborough and Husbands Bosworth, Leicester City South Salutem and Leicester Health Focus were the first groups of practices in LLR to commence vaccinations for their patients, which started on Tuesday.
The vaccine is typically delivered by a simple injection in the upper arm. Two doses of the vaccine are required, three weeks apart, to achieve protection against coronavirus. In advance of receiving their vaccine, patients can read more information in the leaflets available on the gov.uk website.
Patients are reminded not to call their GP practice for a COVID-19 vaccination. Patients will be contacted by their GP when it is their turn to be vaccinated.
Click here for further information about COVID-19 vaccinations.
4. Winter Mental Health Support for People in Leicestershire and Rutland All residents in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland now have free telephone access to round-the-clock urgent mental health telephone support through the NHS locally.
Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT) has merged its 24-hour all-age central access point service with Turning Point’s Freephone crisis helpline for adults. Using Turning Point’s established Freephone number 0808 800 3302, the re-named mental health central access point will give people of all ages free round-the-clock phone access to urgent support, advice, signposting and referral for themselves or on behalf of others.
Located at LPT’s Bradgate Mental Health Unit, Turning Point’s 25-strong team of skilled and experienced recovery workers will handle the incoming calls.
For further information about the expanded helpline service, please email Rosie Klair.
People in LLR can now also access a new online support programme launched by the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Mental Health Wellbeing and Recovery Service, supporting individuals and communities struggling with their mental health.
The service has developed new resources and training aimed at people who are supporting others by providing tools that will help them and also people who are aiming to improve and maintain their own mental health.
Click here to sign up for the Winter Well-being Recovery Education Workshop which will be on Tuesday 22nd December.
5. Building Better Hospitals consultation: Only 3 Days to Go There is still time to have your say on the £450 million proposals to transform acute hospital and maternity services in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
The consultation runs until next Monday (21st December) which means you have three days left to share your views.
Click here to find out more about the public consultation and take the survey.
If you have any feedback on the website please click here