NHS leaders: how to get the best care and support our brilliant staff

With frontline health and care teams facing significant pressures, NHS leaders are offering advice on how to get the best possible care – and to support hard-pressed staff.

It isn’t just Emergency Department teams who are under pressure from rising COVID infections and high demands for care and treatment – ambulance crews and call handlers, GP surgery staff, community teams and mental health workers are all facing significant demands.

Dr Ziad Hirmiz, GP and clinical director for southeast Hampshire at the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care System, said: “We are very well aware that some people are having to wait longer than they would like to get care and treatment at the moment, and we completely understand that can be frustrating.

“All NHS services are really busy, but dedicated health and care teams continue to work incredibly hard to provide safe, high-quality care and manage the impact of rising COVID-19 infections. As always, the NHS remains here for you when you need it.

“We are doing everything we can to support our brilliant frontline teams, at what is a really challenging time for them. There are things that you can do which would really help and make a difference – please treat staff with kindness and respect, please help get relatives home promptly when they no longer need hospital care, and please help us to help you make good decisions about the help you might need if you are ill or injured.

“At a time when all services are incredibly busy, there are a number of ways that people can not only help themselves to get the care they need but also really support the staff who are working flat out to help them.”

Nine ways to get the best care, and support NHS staff:

  1. Get vaccinated against COVID-19 – the best form of protection for you and your loved ones. More information is available here.
  2. The Emergency Department (ED) is for emergencies, not convenience
  3. Not sure what help you need? Contact 111 online and let the experts help you
  4. Urgent treatment centres are best for minor injuries
  5. Help patients get home when they’re ready to leave hospital – it’s better for them, and frees up beds for others
  6. Use the expert help available on every high street, at our network of pharmacies
  7. Your GP practice has online access and a range of expert help – a convenient option
  8. Look after yourself – being ready to care for yourself can be a great help, and there are some great tips
  9. Make use of online help – try nhs.uk for health and medicines advice, and www.what0-18.nhs.uk/ if you are concerned about an unwell child.