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Please use NHS sparingly over New Year break, says CCG

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The group representing GPs in Norfolk has pleaded with the public not to heap further pressure on the NHS at a time of unprecedented crisis.

Cath Byford, chief nurse at NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “Our local health and care services are facing some of the most significant and sustained pressures they have faced in recent years.

“We are seeing large numbers of very unwell people requiring 999 ambulance services and urgent hospital care.

New EEAST vehicles (54033475)
New EEAST vehicles (54033475)

"This is resulting in delays in ensuring some patients already admitted to hospital and who are ready to leave can do so, and the ongoing restrictions and reductions in our bed numbers brought about by Covid-19 is creating additional pressure.

"We are also seeing an increase in seasonal illnesses such as flu and the winter vomiting bug.

“During this time our first priority has to be providing the most urgent and lifesaving care. This means that many patients in less urgent need of care may have to wait longer than we would like.

“We apologise to those patients and ask for their understanding during this time of exceptional pressures.

“Our NHS remains open for business and it is vitally important that if people have serious conditions or concerns they seek help and in a serious medical emergency, such as symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, that they call 999.”

Marcus Bailey, chief operating officer at the East of England Ambulance Service, said: “We need the public’s help more than ever given the sustained pressures on our services and the healthcare system in Norfolk.

“We are asking the public to use our services wisely and only call 999 for life-threatening emergencies.

“You can also help us by not making multiple calls about the same incident or patient and only calling back if there is a significant deterioration in the patient’s condition.

"Please also be patient and stay on the line if the call is not put through immediately to the call handler.”

The best way to get the medical help you need is to think NHS 111 first. Phone NHS 111 or visit 111.nhs.uk for anything that feels urgent, or if you are unsure what to do. They can direct you to the most appropriate place. In life-threatening emergencies dial 999.

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