Health teams in Calderdale urge people to help them get through incredibly busy weeks ahead

Calderdale’s health services are making a plea for help as they face their “busiest winter in history”.

By sarah fitton
Friday, 28th January 2022, 3:28 pm
Health services across the borough are facing a busy time.
Health services across the borough are facing a busy time.

Hospitals, GPs, pharmacies and mental health teams are all feeling the strain, and are urging everyone in Calderdale to do what they can to protect themselves and those around them.

They have teamed up to stress that rates of Covid-19 in Calderdale remain high and local hospitals are caring for more patients with Covid-19 than ever before.

Health and care services are in high demand, and organisations facing the additional challenge of Covid-19-related staff absences.

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Calderdale Council's Director of Public Health Deborah Harkins

Calderdale’s Director of Public Health, Deborah Harkins, said: “There are some small, simple things that we can all do to prevent the further spread of Covid-19 and help to reduce pressure on our health and care system.

“This includes wearing a mask indoors, keeping a distance and limiting how many people we mix with, taking a lateral flow test before meeting with others and those who are vulnerable, and opening a window when mixing indoors.

“It’s not too late to protect yourself by getting the vaccine or booster. We know this is a big decision for some people.

“Over 75 per cent of people aged 12 and over in Calderdale have now had two doses. Walk-in clinics and appointments continue to be offered locally. The teams at the clinics will be happy to answer any questions you may have.”

Pharmacies can help with minor illnesses. As dedicated, qualified health professionals and experts in medicines, they can offer clinical advice, consultations and over-the-counter medicines to help safely manage a wide range of minor health concerns.

Ruth Buchan, Chief Executive Officer for Community Pharmacy West Yorkshire said: “As well as providing advice on minor illnesses, we can advise you on what medicines you and your family should have in your medicine cabinet and first aid kit at home.”

GP practices are busy but say they are open and continue to triage patients to ensure those with the greatest need are seen first.

Halifax GP, Dr Steven Cleasby, Chair of NHS Calderdale CCG said: “Our surgeries have been busier than ever, but if anyone has any concerns about their health, we still want to hear from them.

“When requesting care, whether online, by phone or in person, it helps us if you can explain to the receptionist what’s wrong. This ensures we can give the care people need at the right time, from the right person. It also helps our medical team to prioritise those who need our care most.

“Our reception teams will always respect your privacy and confidentiality, it’s an important part of their job to ask, so thank you for your support with this.”

Jo Fawcus, Chief Operating Officer at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust said A and E departments are extremely busy but should be used by anyone with life-threatening conditions such as loss of consciousness, breathing difficulties or severe bleeding that cannot be stopped.

For free, round the clock guidance about which NHS service to use, call 111 or visit www.111.nhs.uk .

“Choosing the best service for your needs helps us prioritise those patients who are most poorly and in need of emergency treatment,” she added.

Mental health and wellbeing services are also still here to help.

Mark Brooks, Interim Chief Executive of South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It’s important that we all look after our mental health the same way we do with our physical health.”