NHS Grampian saw a surge in patients suffering from the virus admitted this week and is asking for the public’s support to lift the pressure on health services and ensure emergency admissions can receive the highest standard of care possible.
There are currently around 50 patients now in hospital in the region with about 10 in intensive care. The volume of admissions follows weeks of rocketing infection rates in the region and is now seriously impacting patient capacity.
Consultant Hugh Bishop said: “The support we need from the public is four-fold.
"Firstly, if you haven’t done already, go and get vaccinated if you are eligible and able to – not getting vaccinated might well be the reason you end up in intensive care, posing a risk to your health and your life.
"And if your admission could have been avoided by being vaccinated, you are potentially taking away a bed or resource from a patient for whom vaccination has not been effective, an emergency trauma admission or a cancer patient and putting extra pressure on our system.
“Thanks to the vaccine we are seeing a smaller percentage of those infected needing hospital treatment and vastly fewer deaths. However, with cases at current levels, a small percentage of a big number is a big number still being admitted.
“Secondly, stop the spike. Covid-19 cases are increasing rapidly and we can’t afford to let it run rampant, we need to get it back under control.
"So please, stick to the guidelines. Don’t see all your friends or family at once, and where you can, meet people outdoors. In shops and other settings where it is advised, please wear a face covering. On top of that take a LFD test twice a week to help stop the spread.
“Thirdly, phone 111 before attending at the Emergency Department or a Minor Injury Unit, unless you find yourself in a life-threatening situation – for example a suspected heart attack or stroke in which case phone 999. This allows us to manage flow through the hospital better and reduce waiting times.
“Lastly, if you have a friend or relative that is in hospital and is ready for discharge, please, please come and get them as soon as possible. We see a huge number of discharges at around 6pm every night, as people come to collect their loved ones after their work.
“We need people to collect their loved-ones as early as possible, it helps us increase capacity in the hospital and free-up beds.
"Dozens of employers have signed-up to our Pick Me Up Project and have promised to be flexible in letting their staff collect friends and family from hospital in order to support us.
"We once again thank them for their support and ask members of the public to do their part in freeing up beds.”