The NHS in Hertfordshire is appealing to residents to use healthcare wisely as it faces the triple challenge of traditional winter pressure.
In addition to handling the demands of the winter, staff continue to treat patients with Covid-19, as well as working hard to speed up the delivery of the vaccination program.
Dr. Rachel Joyce, Director of Clinical Services for Hertfordshire and the West Essex Integrated Care System, said: “The NHS belongs to everyone and in this time of extreme pressure we can all help by using the right service and taking care of ourselves and others.
Read more: Get the latest news on coronavirus
“This winter, we are not only dealing with the usual increase in seasonal diseases such as colds, coughs, norovirus and influenza, but also staff and service pressures caused by an increasing number of Covid-19 cases.
“To help protect as many people as possible from serious illness caused by Covid – which also puts a lot of pressure on the health and care services, the NHS nationally has made it clear that we need to prioritize the booster vaccination program.
“This means that there will be fewer staff to carry out some routine and non-urgent appointments, which are temporarily suspended so that we can offer all eligible adults in our area a booster vaccination before the end of December 2021.
“Urgent or emergency treatment and other critical services, such as cancer diagnosis and treatment, will continue to be a priority.
“Please continue to participate in your booked appointments – your practice will call you if they need to make a change. There is no need to call them.
“Everyone is working hard to protect their communities and meet the urgent national requirement to deliver the vaccination campaign. Your support and understanding would be greatly appreciated.
“If you have diarrhea, vomiting, or symptoms of Covid-19, seek health advice online or over the phone – do not risk closing a health center or making others very ill by arriving at a health facility unannounced.”
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