Dumfries & Galloway Health & Social Care

D&G Health & Social Care

IJB okays consultation on options for care in region’s communities

OPTIONS for providing care in communities across Dumfries and Galloway are to be written up and assessed – in the next stage of the Right Care, Right Place programme.

On Tuesday, members of the Integration Joint Board (IJB) agreed plans to advance the work focused on the care which does not require the services of an acute facility and is not delivered in someone’s own home.

IJB Chairman Andy McFarlane said: “A great deal of work has taken place within Right Care, Right Place, looking at the provision of care, gathering views and insights, and looking at future models.

“With our region’s changing demographics and increasingly complex care needs, we know that we need to adapt our approaches in order to best serve our communities – now, and over the longer term.

“Last year, Right Care, Right Place gathered a huge amount of valuable insight and understanding from local stakeholders, including public and staff.

“In recent weeks, the team have been undertaking focused workshop sessions with stakeholders to take all that we’d learned and start planning, in real terms, how we can adapt to meet the care needs in our communities.

“This takes in everything from the roles played by our care homes to the services embedded in our cottage hospitals.

“A range of options for each of our eight Home Teams areas has been identified. And yesterday we agreed the next stage – to work with stakeholders to assess and shortlist the options, taking the most viable approaches out for public consultation.

“This consultation is expected to begin later in the spring, and we’ll be encouraging everyone to have their say.

“We are working to ensure that, by September, the Board have the necessary information to make the decisions that will provide the best outcomes for all involved, and begin implementing models of care that are best placed to meet the needs of communities both in the short term, and for years to come.”

Full details on the paper to IJB on 5th March 2023 can be found by visiting: https://dghscp.co.uk/integration-joint-board/integration-joint-board-meetings/

maternity consultation

A CALL is being made for everyone to have their say on two options for the future of maternity services in Wigtownshire – as consultation gets underway.

A series of in-person events and an online survey will set out the options to provide a birthing service for pre-planned, ‘low-risk’ births.

These represent around a quarter of all pregnancies in Wigtownshire.

Lyn Durrant is General Manager for Women, Children and Sexual Health, and she said: “We’re very keen to encourage and support everyone in Wigtownshire to provide their response to this formal consultation on birthing services.

“A full programme of engagement begins today, Monday November 20.

“We’d invite everyone to have their say, to help spread the word to friends and neighbours, and encourage the fullest participation – as the approach which emerges from this will serve Wigtownshire for years to come.”

Engagement earlier in the year gathered the thoughts of stakeholders including service users and staff.

The work took place under the direction of independent chairs, and the findings were used to develop several different options for ‘intrapartum’ birthing services.

After the options were scored, two shared first place.

One was for the current arrangements, providing only for low-risk home births.

The second option would allow pre-planned births within Galloway Community Hospital, but only for the same relatively small number of low-risk births and with the same level of support provided for home births.

This second option was narrowly preferred by the independent chairs when the scores by local professional NHS staff were excluded.

Feeling there was a lack of a decisive outcome, and with no proposals or options having yet been taken out for the public to consider, a recommendation was agreed by a sub-committee of the Integration Joint Board that two options be taken out for formal consultation.

Lyn Durrant said: “Just to be clear, and contrary to some reporting, neither of these options would represent a full birthing service in Wigtownshire.

“High risk pregnancies have always been advised to take place in Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary, and this would remain the advice.

“It’s important that everybody takes the time to understand all the considerations here, including the fact that both options would only be for low-risk pregnancies and that this is about 23 per cent of all pregnancies in the area.”

The consultation is set to run into February.

Once it has concluded, independent agency Sleeping Giants will produced a thematic analysis of what has come out of the consultation.

This independent report will then be used to help develop a recommendation which will be brought to Dumfries and Galloway Integration Joint Board.

Full details and the online survey are available now at the website https://dghscp.co.uk/maternity-consultation/

Vital new service for people affected by cancer comes to Dumfries and Galloway

A new service to ensure people living with cancer and their families are offered emotional, practical and financial support was launched in Dumfries and Galloway this week (1st November) as part of a successful model spreading around Scotland.

Macmillan Cancer Support, NHS Dumfries and Galloway, Dumfries and Galloway Council, Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership and Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway are working with a range of partners to make sure people across Dumfries and Galloway can access all the help they need – by making just one phone call.

The Macmillan Improving the Cancer Journey service is a tried and tested model which provides one to one, tailored support for people affected by cancer and reduces pressure on health services. It is already available in many parts of Scotland, and now the people of Dumfries and Galloway can feel its positive impacts.

Anyone who is newly diagnosed with cancer in the area will either hear about the service from their hospital cancer team or a letter and will be offered a meeting with a link worker. The link worker will then help the person access a wide range of non clinical support that ranges from benefits advice, emotional support, to help at home or other practical needs.

There are around 100 people diagnosed with cancer each month and approximately 1200 people living with cancer across Dumfries and Galloway. By 2030, one in two of us can expect to be diagnosed with cancer at some point in our lives.

While it’s good news that advances in treatment mean that more people than ever are surviving, it also means that people living with cancer are living longer, often with long-term effects of treatment or other health conditions that have an enormous impact on health, wellbeing and independence. Many of them don’t know where to go for help in coping with the non-medical effects of the illness.

John Lytham from Dumfries, who was referred to the service after his diagnosis, said: “I was really down in the dumps, I must admit. My whole world collapsed. It was actually my clinical nurse Julie Baty who referred me to the Macmillan Improving Cancer Journey and my daughter Stephanie also made the referral.

“Julie McClelland, my link worker, was soon on the phone and she was very cheery and made an appointment to come out and talk about the cancer. She explained everything to me, made me feel relaxed, and she made me aware straight away that in no way would I be alone on my cancer journey. She told me: ‘We’re here to support you all the way.’

“Overall they really did help me. After meetings with Julie she would always phone up, chasing blue badges, financial support, all sorts of different things. It really is invaluable because it opens up new avenues. I would definitely recommend anyone diagnosed to go to Macmillan Improving the Cancer Journey.”

Macmillan’s Head of Partnerships for Scotland & Northern Ireland Janice Preston said:

“Cancer has a huge impact on every aspect of people’s lives and many people tell us they don’t know where to turn for help. This new service should make sure everyone with cancer and their families and carers in Dumfries and Galloway have someone to call on for help. Improving the Cancer Journey practitioners will help individuals to identify their needs and access expert support, from benefits advice to emotional support – whatever they might need. We hope this service will transform cancer support in Dumfries and Galloway.

It’s thanks to the continued support from people locally, who fundraise for us and donate so generously, that we are able to fund this vital new service. With their help we can make a huge difference to the lives of people affected by cancer in Dumfries and Galloway.”

Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership chief officer Julie White said: “A cancer diagnosis can be a concerning and unsettling event in someone’s life and many people will be left with questions or a need for very practical advice and support.

“The programme being implemented in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support aims to help meet this need by connecting people to the wide range of help which is available.

“Whether it’s advice around benefits, securing practical help at home, or identifying some emotional support, this programme will deliver a real package of support at a time when many people will feel they need it the most.

“We look forward to seeing the benefits the programme will deliver over coming months.”

The project is open to everyone aged 18 and over living with cancer regardless of their cancer type or where they live in Dumfries and Galloway. To find out more about the Macmillan Improving the Cancer Journey service call 07977 171837 or email dg.icj@nhs.scot

ENDS

For further media information please contact:

DGHSCP communications team: alexander.campbell5@nhs.scot or call 07932 745130

About Macmillan

At Macmillan, we give people with cancer everything we’ve got. If you’re diagnosed, your worries are our worries. We will move mountains to help you live life as fully as you can.

And we don’t stop there. We’re going all out to find ever better ways to help people with cancer, helping to bring forward the day when everyone gets life-transforming support from day one.

We’ll do whatever it takes. For information, support or just someone to talk to, call 0808 808 00 00 or visit macmillan.org.uk

DGHSCP chief officer Julie White addressing the launch event

Draft Integration Scheme published

The Integration Scheme for Dumfries and Galloway has been reviewed, revised and updated. This is a draft document until 2nd December 2023 to give people a further opportunity to provide comments and/or suggest changes.

After this time, this will become a final draft document and submitted to NHS Dumfries and Galloway Board and Dumfries and Galloway Council for approval for submission to Scottish Ministers. 

Once agreed by Scottish Ministers, the document will become the Integration Scheme for Dumfries and Galloway.

Please contact Vicky Freeman, Strategic Policy Lead with your  comments at vicky.freeman2@nhs.scot by 2nd December 2023

As this is a draft document at this time, it should be noted that it is still subject to some minor changes and alterations.

Please click here to view the Draft Integration Scheme:

https://dghscp.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/Revised-Integration-Scheme-V6.doc

Work Experience 2023

DOZENS of pupils from across the region have been offered a taste of life working in health and social care.

A total of 91 pupils took part in Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Partnership’s work experience week from 25th to 29th September.

Medicine, laboratory science, Care, IT and estates were just some of the areas where the S4 to S6 pupils were working – getting to take on work themselves, and sit in on everything from tooth extractions to surgeries.

Freya Pardoe from Lockerbie Academy was one of seven pupils who were assigned medicine, and she said: “I thought my work experience was phenomenal.

“I had the absolute best time, I was so thankful to everyone I worked with, and it’s confirmed to me that medicine is the path that I want to take in my career.”

Medical Director Dr Kenneth Donaldson was one of the senior managers from the Partnership who attended an event at The Bridge on the Friday afternoon where pupils gave presentations on what they had experienced and learned over the course of the week.

Speaking at the event, Dr Donaldson said: “It’s been a fantastic afternoon, just hearing the experience of lots of school students – and in particular for me hearing from those who were doing the medical block.

“We know there is a lot of school students out there who might be thinking about doing medicine but are just not sure, and this opportunity to actually see what it offers, and the different range, is just invaluable.

“We’re really keen that we get people locally who are getting into medical school. Obviously, our hope is that they might come back to Dumfries and Galloway in the future because we really want to boost our recruitment number, and I see this as a very good start for that – so it’s been a very encouraging afternoon.”

Many of the pupils who took part in the week noted their surprise at the very wide breadth of roles which feature in the delivery of health and social care.

Sharon Williams from Dumfries Academy was among the block of pupils working in administration within general practice, and she said: “Before doing this programme I always thought that the main roles in the hospital were just the doctors and the nurses – I never really appreciated the rest of the staff.”

Similarly, Luka Stores from Wallace Hall Academy described the estates team as ‘unsung heroes’.

He said: “We went to DGRI, Mountainhall, we had a few jobs at Annan and Lochmaben. We had some small jobs, like hanging a picture of Major Tom in Annan, and we went about DGRI looking at the generators and the air handling units. It was a mix of everything, and really good.”

He added: “The estates department, nobody really speaks about it, but it’s actually really interesting how much work they do and how little they’re recognised.”

Other pupils were placed with health care support workers within the community, within the dental centre, within Human Resources, IT, Administration, Home Teams, Medical Physics, Recruitment and Support Services, and alongside pharmacists, ophthalmologists, public health workers, radiologists, practice educators, nurses and allied health professionals such as physiotherapists, speech therapists and occupational therapists.

NHS Dumfries and Galloway Workforce Manager Vic McDade said: “We’ve had yet another great work experience week, which has allowed pupils an insight into the very many and varied careers which exist within health and social care.

“Hopefully this week gave them a taste of what life might be like after school, and the very many fantastic and varied career opportunities the NHS can offer them.

“And with a bit of luck, a good number of the pupils who we’ve welcomed will go to choose a career within health and social care – and they’ll perhaps go on to work in those roles within Dumfries and Galloway.

“I’d like to thank everyone who took part, and the schools who support this. I’d also like to thank our amazing staff for helping to make these young people feel welcomed and appreciated as they’ve got involved in so many areas of our work.”

Changes at top of region’s health and social care system

New Integration Joint Board members named

A CHALLENGING period lies ahead for the corporate body responsible for the strategic planning of health and social care across the whole of Dumfries and Galloway.

A new-look Dumfries and Galloway Integration Joint Board (IJB) has now assembled amid great financial challenges and serious pressures on systems – and it is led by a new Chair in the form of Andy McFarlane.

Andy said: “I am delighted to take on this role and hope to make a positive impact. 

“I would firstly like to record my thanks to the former chair Laura Douglas for her contribution and passion for service integration and the difference that can be made by working in partnership.

“I look forward to building on the achievements of the Board and those working across vital services to make positive change happen.

“We continue to face significant challenges in health and social care not only in Dumfries and Galloway but across Scotland and change will take time and there is so much still to do, to deliver the level and quality of provision that this region deserves.”

Dumfries and Galloway Integration Joint Board (IJB) is responsible for the planning and commissioning of the vast majority of health and all adult social care services within the region.

Its directions are implemented by Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership (DGHSCP) which is a separate corporate body featuring the NHS and local authority as statutory partners, working together with the third and independent sectors.

Acknowledging the very significant challenges currently facing health and social care, and the work continually taking place to improve provision and meet local need, Andy said: “It is crucial that we all work together to involve the public and staff through meaningful engagement, in particular in relation to the Right Care Right Place: Bed-Based Intermediate Care consultation and the review of maternity services in Wigtownshire.

“As the new chair of the IJB, my aim to support the delivery of safe and deliverable health and social care models of care for the communities that we serve, that are fit for future generations.”

Mr McFarlane previously served as senior police officer in England before moving to Dumfries and Galloway with his wife in 2006.

As an elected member with Dumfries and Galloway Council, he serves as a councillor for Ward 3 Dee and Glenkens.

Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership Chief Officer Julie White said: “I welcome Andy as Chair of the Integration Joint Board. 

“At the same time as Andy’s appointment there are a number of new additions to the IJB, who are set to bring their experience, knowledge and perspectives to help take forward this work.

“I look forward to working with the new Board, addressing the challenges faced by health and social care.”

Several new additions are among the voting members on Dumfries and Galloway Integration Joint Board, with a voting membership comprising of Greg Black, Ian Carruthers, Kim Dams (Vice Chair), Rhianna Davies-McCrorie, Gwilym Gibbons, Chrissie Hill, Vicky Keir, Denis Male, Andy McFarlane and Paula Stevenson. Substitutes for voting members are Karen Carruthers, Bill Irving, Andy Ferguson, Gail MacGregor, David Slater and Carolyne Wilson.

Click here to learn about Right Care, Right Place - our consultation about bed based intermediate care

Consultation underway on bed-based intermediate care

Consultation on bed-based intermediate care within Dumfries and Galloway is now underway, running from April 14 to July 7.

Upcoming drop-in consultation events Lockerbie Town Hall tomorrow, April 21, from 3pm to 7pm.

The consultation will be focused on how to best deliver, as close to local communities as possible, the help people receive between an acute hospital setting and what they are able to manage at home, either independently or with support. 

Details on all in-person drop-in events along with online consultation documents for completion can be found at the website www.dghscp.co.uk/rcrp-consultation

Intermediate care consultation

Consultation to focus on local bed-based care

A STRONG desire to see bed-based intermediate care delivered in the heart of local communities emerged from a major piece of public engagement. 

Building on the feedback received, a period of formal consultation is now set to be launched by Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership – focused on how to best deliver, as close to local communities as possible, the help people receive between an acute hospital setting and what they are able to manage at home, either independently or with support. 

Key to this is a proposed flexible approach to bed-based intermediate care. This could see a proportion of bed capacity within settings reallocated to different roles, such as palliative or ‘step-down’ care – helping to meet a variety of need in the heart of local communities. 

Introducing the consultation which will run from April 14 until July 7, Director of Strategic Planning and Transformation David Rowland said: “We had a fantastic response to our Right Place, Right Care: Intermediate Care engagement, with people right across the region coming forward to share their thoughts and experiences. 

“Bed-based intermediate care takes in everything from care homes to cottage hospitals, extra care housing and short breaks providing respite, and recognises the importance of care and support at home.  

“We need to develop approaches aimed at best meeting the healthcare needs of the local population where these cannot be met at home but do not require the services of a district general hospital. 

“It’s an area set to play an important role within our region over coming years, and so it has been very important to get people’s input to help inform and shape our approaches.” 

Key outcomes from this work is –  

  • Initial modelling which sets out the capacity believed to be needed in each location in years to come. 
  • Proposed discussion around facilities which either currently play a role or which could in the future. 
  • The proposal of a flexible approach to the use of beds.  

Mr Rowland clarifies that, within the flexible approach, each bed would continue to have a set use. 

However, the beds within any facility might not all serve the same purpose – with different ongoing roles for different beds, informed by local need. 

Mr Rowland said: “What we are talking about is using the total capacity more flexibly. With care homes, for example, it’s the idea that – as beds become available or extra beds are added by care home owners – a small number could be allocated for palliative care, step up or step down care, but while ensuring residential need is being properly met. 

“We are preparing to take these proposals for public consultation, along with the modelling we will be basing our planning around. We have also identified facilities which either currently contribute to the intermediate care bed-base right now or which could over coming years, and which we want to discuss with the local communities. 

“It’s very important that everyone is aware of the public consultation taking place from April 14 2023 until July 7 2023, and that they are encouraged and supported to have their say.” 

Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership Chief Officer Julie White has also voiced the call for everyone to participate in the consultation, and to help promote the opportunity to others. 

Ms White said: “The contribution everyone has made to the development of this work through the engagement activity has been invaluable. 

“It’s vitally important that everyone now has the opportunity to review and understand what has emerged from this work, and has the opportunity to provide their response. 

“A core principle of Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership is to deliver services right into the heart of communities, and so it was heartening that this was reflected very prominently in what people were saying. 

“I’d encourage everyone to note how they can participate in the consultation process, to take part, and to help others to do the same.” 

A calendar of in-person engagement events has been scheduled between 21 April 2023 and 7 July 2023, and this is set out as follows: 

21 April at 3.00pm to 7.00pm – Lockerbie Town Hall  

24 April at 3.00pm to 7.00pm – Virtual  

27 April at 3.00pm to 7.00pm – Castle Douglas Town Hall  

03 May at 12 pm to 2 pm – St Ninian’s Centre, Isle of Whithorn 

03 May at 3 pm – 6 pm – Whithorn, venue TBC 

05 May at 3.00pm to 7.00pm – The Usual Place, Dumfries  

16 May at 3.00pm to 7.00pm – Moffat Town Hall  

22 May at 1.30pm to 5.30pm – Thornhill Community Centre  

24 May at 3.00pm to 7.00pm – Buccleuch Centre, Langholm  

29 May at 3.00pm to 7.00pm – Parish Church, Kirkcudbright  

01 June at 3.00pm to 7.00pm – Richard Greenhow Centre, Gretna  

06 June at 3.00pm to 7.00pm – McMillan Hall, Newton Stewart  

09 June at 3.00pm to 7.00pm – Dalbeattie Town Hall  

12 June at 3.00pm to 7.00pm – Corner House Hotel, Annan  

22 June at 3.00pm to 7.00pm – Sanquhar Community Centre  

03 July at 3.00pm to 7.00pm – Stranraer Millennium Centre 

Anyone who requires assistance to attend or who wishes to attend the virtual meeting on 24 April is asked to email dg.spcp@nhs.scot 

Information on events is hosted on a dedicated web-page, which will also host all the consultation materials and the consultation document itself. 

The web-page is www.dghscp.co.uk/rcrp-consultation 

The consultation document can be completed online, can be completed in person at any of the events, or taken away and returned by July 7 2023 by emailing to dgcommunications@nhs.scot or by post to Communications Team, DGRI, A75, Cargenbridge, DG2 8RX. 

Partnership calls for questions on a challenging year 

Annual Review Postponed
Unfortunately we have been made aware of a technical issue that has resulted in any questions submitted prior to 23 January 2023 not arriving in our mailbox.
The IJB has decided to postpone the Annual Review to enable people to submit their questions.
If you submitted a question prior to 23 January 2023, please resubmit your question.
We will be recording the answers at a later date.
Thank you for your patience.
 

DUMFRIES and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership senior managers are ready to take questions on its performance in 2021-2022, following the publication of its latest Annual Review.  

The Review, covering the year from April 2021 to March 2022, praises health and social care staff for their work fighting the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic – and highlights many pressures which continue to this day. Senior management will discuss the review and answer questions in an online meeting later this month. Questions can be sent in by visiting http://dghscp.co.uk/performance-and-data/annual-review/ 

David Rowland is the Director of Strategic Planning and Transformation for the HSCP, and he says: “The Annual Review is how the Partnership is held to account. The Scottish government has set nine health and wellbeing objectives for every region in the country, and we have to hold ourselves to them and report how well we are doing.  

“2021-2022 has been a very tough year for Dumfries and Galloway, and health and social care have been under unprecedented pressure – pressure that continues to this day. The Review recognises areas where we have done well, and areas where we have not yet met our ambitions and aspirations. It also talks about the change and innovation that has happened over the year, a lot of it driven by the pandemic, and how that has improved services for people in the region. 

“The Partnership is accountable to the people of Dumfries and Galloway. Anyone can ask senior management a question about the Partnership’s performance at the meeting this month, and get an answer in public.” 

A panel of senior managers from Dumfries and Galloway Council and NHS Dumfries and Galloway, including Partnership Chief Officer Julie White, DGC Chief Social Work Officer Lillian Cringles, Partnership Chief Finance Officer Katy Kerr, Integration Joint Board Chair Laura Douglas, and IJB Vice-Chair Andy McFarlane will discuss the review’s findings in an online meeting on 25th January.  

All questions are welcome – anyone in the region, including Partnership staff, can send in a question for the panel by visiting http://dghscp.co.uk/performance-and-data/annual-review/ A video and transcript of the meeting will be published shortly after the meeting finishes.  

The Review is available now online at http://dghscp.co.uk/performance-and-data/annual-review/ and highlights some of the partnership’s achievements. Alcohol and drug treatments are promptly available, and most people say they are able to look after their own health – Dumfries and Galloway is significantly ahead of the Scottish average in both areas. The region also has some of the most successful vaccination programmes in the UK, both for COVID-19 and for other diseases. 

However, rising demand for health and social care, together with staff shortages, put a heavy burden on the people working across the Partnership. Waiting lists have grown, and in some cases planned care and operations have been delayed.  

Support for unpaid Carers has been a priority with the opening of the new Carers Centre at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary. The Partnership has also been working on making care more accessible and more efficient, through projects such as Home Teams for coordinating care delivered at home, Care Call to provide rapid assistance to vulnerable people at home, and the Single Access Point for reaching all health and social care services across the region. 

The Annual Performance Report is available at http://dghscp.co.uk/performance-and-data/annual-review/  An Easy Read version is also available for anyone who has difficulty reading.  

Unprecedented pressures

Massive pressures faced by region's health and social care

UNPRECEDENTED pressures are being faced by the region’s health and social care system – in line with the rest of Scotland, and the UK as a whole.
Julie White is Chief Officer of Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership, and she said: “The pressures are now greater than seen during the peak of the COVID pandemic.
“They are being driven by a combination of factors, including very high rates of flu and other respiratory illness currently circulating within communities – resulting in high numbers of vulnerable people requiring immediate medical care.
“The health and social care system is also supporting many older and vulnerable individuals who have multiple, complex needs that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.
“We are having to make day by day decisions on our capacity to deliver planned surgery. This is distressing for patients who receive late notice cancellation but reflects the prioritisation of those with the most immediate and pressing need.
“Similarly, we are exploring options to facilitate the accelerated discharge of patients. Currently, a very significant proportion of hospital staff are supporting patients who no longer have a need for further medical treatment or rehabilitation.
“It is essential that we do everything we can to return these individuals home or to a homely setting in order that we are able to provide the support to those most unwell patients – where immediate help can potentially be life-saving.
“We are appreciative of all support in this, particularly from all families and the thousands of Carers who already contribute so much to the sustainability of health and social care delivery.
“If you are able to think of ways in which you can support a loved one to get home from hospital now they have no further medical need to be there, please do get in touch with them and their clinicians.
“At this very challenging time, our priority has to be to minimise the risk of harm to individuals.
“Today, well over 100 people are in hospital beds whose needs could be better met at home or in a homely setting, important operations are being cancelled and our Emergency Departments are under significant strain. Our GP practices, mental health teams and community-based health and social care teams are also experiencing unprecedented demands.
“To be clear, the primary consideration here is not facilities or equipment, but having the necessary volumes of staffing who have the skill and capacity to provide treatment and care to those in most urgent need.
“At this time, difficult decisions will need to be taken to ensure our staff can help meet the most urgent need and to ensure that our hospital has the capacity to deal with the next emergency attendance.
“We will keep you informed of this position and the difficult decisions which need to be taken to deal with this unprecedented level of pressure. It is likely that these pressures will persist in line with the traditional flu season and we are unlikely to see significant improvement for some weeks.”