Gloucestershire hospitals under pressure as Covid rates rise

AFTER moving in to the highest level of alert at the start of the week, the situation at Gloucestershire’s hospitals has eased slightly.

Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust went into the highest level of alert, Opel 4, on Monday, due to increased pressure on its services.

The move to Opel 4 (Operations Pressure Escalation Level) means people are urged to stay away from emergency departments and minor injuries units unless absolutely necessary.

The situation has eased slightly as the week has progressed, but Cheltenham and Gloucester hospitals remain extremely busy and a high number of in-patients with Covid-19 continues to add to pressures on services.

Speaking today, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Chief Executive Deborah Lee said: “Although our alert level is less critical today, NHS teams across Gloucestershire continue to experience significant pressures during a highly challenging period, and we expect this to continue over the next few weeks.

“Colleagues at our Trust have worked longer and harder than ever before over the last 20 months and we are extremely proud of their unwavering dedication to providing the best care to our patients. Our local communities can help us to be there for seriously unwell patients by following guidance to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and making the right choices when they require urgent care.

“If people are attending our hospitals as either an outpatient or a visitor, it’s really important that they continue to observe our guidance about coming to our hospitals. This includes wearing a mask, attending appointments alone where possible and taking lateral flow tests regularly to ensure that they do not have COVID-19.

“People can use several alternative services, including the ASAP Glos NHS App and website and which will signpost people to the right care for them, including pharmacies and minor injury and illness units. The 111 phone service can provide advice and book people into local NHS services if needed.

“We would like to thank the majority of people in our community who continue to access services appropriately and stress that people should not hesitate to attend A&E or call an ambulance with serious and/or life-threatening conditions including chest pain, signs suggestive of a stroke or loss of consciousness.

“Our commitment remains to provide the best care and treatment for every patient who needs us.”

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