Welcome to my April blog. I hope you were able to enjoy Easter this year despite the challenges we face due to the continuing coronavirus crisis. For most of us the situation is troubling and inconvenient but we are looking forward to a future full of events and hope, but we mustn’t forget the many families who have lost loved ones at this darkest of times. Our thoughts are with you.
The response of NHS and other key workers is quite rightly the focus of thanks and on a weekly basis, the ‘clap for carers’ continues to be an expression of this from communities across the country. I’m delighted to say that our response in Rochdale has been as robust as any, as shielded residents have been identified and supported with food and other supplies via a series of response hubs organised by Rochdale council. You can find out more about the help available for these individuals on the council website here ….
Our NHS response has been prompt and decisive as we are poised to manage the predicted peak of cases of covid-19 through a triage, assess and treatment model that encompasses the range of sectors including 111, GP services, out of hours services, care homes, hospital care and if required the services of the new Nightingale Hospital in Manchester.
And of course there are other non covid-19 patients who require our help. In the many cases, due to the need to eliminate journeys and face to face contact where possible, these patients can be assessed and treated virtually, either over the phone or via video call – truly ground breaking times for our NHS.
Our colleagues in hospitals have experienced a fundamental dip in the number of poorly children and also adults who have made their way to their sites either of their own accord, or via emergency ambulance. It’s essential that medical help is sought for patients who may be suffering from a stroke, heart attack or other potentially serious problem, despite the coronavirus crisis. For parents a handy reference has been prepared by the Royal College of Paediatrics that shows, at a glance, which problems require a minor intervention, such as pharmacy, right through to a major one, ie the emergency department. You can access it here.
I hope that in next month’s blog I will be able to share a more positive picture and we will be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Once again I make a big thank you to healthcare staff, essential workers, volunteers and everyone in the community for all the parts you are playing to help this crisis resolve quickly and saving lives in the process.
Thanks for reading and stay safe.
Dr Chris Duffy