As reported in The News this week, healthcare workers in Portsmouth have found themselves swamped by coronavirus cases, with more than 500 people receiving Covid-19 treatment at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham and a sharp rise in ambulance handover delays.
Figures show 4,363 people are also waiting for general surgery at QA.
Now, in an open letter to Portsmouth residents, NHS leaders are pleading for locals to do their bit and stay at home.
In the letter, they said: ‘Local hospitals and GP practices are busier than ever before. There are huge pressures on NHS services and NHS staff are working flat out, at the most difficult of times.
‘Frontline teams and support staff are doing everything they can, not only to treat people with Covid-19, but to also provide cancer care, screening, operations, care in the community, mental health services, and all of the non-urgent, urgent and life-saving treatments that people need, every day, in addition to delivering the biggest vaccination programme ever seen in England.
‘These next few weeks will be the most difficult we have ever faced. That is why we are asking for your help.’
People are reminded that the following measures can reduce infection rates:
- Limiting essential food shopping trips
- Not meeting in groups, either indoors or outdoors
- Only exercising near your home and in your household bubble
- Consider wearing a face covering outdoors
The letter is signed by health leaders including Dr Linda Collie, Clinical Leader, NHS Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group, and Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust’s medical director Dr John Knighton and chief nurse Liz Rix.