People in Oxfordshire are being encouraged to support their relatives to be home for Christmas so they do not spend any more time at hospital than absolutely necessary.
Lily O’Connor, Director for Urgent Care in Oxfordshire, said: “We are working hard with our social care colleagues to try and get as many of our patients home safely from hospital as soon as possible. Priority is being given to our most vulnerable patients, and alternative health and care packages such as transferring patients to nursing home beds are being offered as a short-term measure.
“However, when there are difficulties in discharging medically fit-patients from hospital, it leads to further bed shortages and, consequently, lengthy ambulance waits at the ‘front door’ of our Emergency Departments, which means that paramedics are unable to respond to other 999 calls in the community.
“Nobody wants to spend longer in hospital than they need to, not least around the Christmas period. Recovery for medically fit patients is often best treated at home in a more comfortable and familiar setting, or alternative environments.
“If you have a relative or loved one in hospital who is well enough to go home, but is waiting to be discharged with home care and community health support, you may be able to help them to get home more quickly if you and your family are in a position to support them at home. Please speak to the ward manager or nurse if this something you can help with.”
The John Radcliffe and Horton General Hospitals continue to be busy and staff are all they can to ensure people are seen as quickly as possible.
Sam Foster, Oxford University NHS Foundation Trust’s Chief Nursing Officer, said: “Winter is always a busy time for our hospitals and because of this we continue to ask anyone thinking of attending the Emergency Department to make sure they only do so in an emergency.
“If you’re unsure of where to go, use NHS 111 online. The service can also direct you to GPs, minor injuries and first aid units, pharmacies, emergency dental services, mental health support, or other local services.”
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Published: 7 December 2021