Message from Dr Whiteman, Chief Medical Director

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With Group A STREP, flu and Covid-19 infections circulating in our communities, we are seeing an increase in the number of very sick people who need urgent care in our area.

This means that all organisations from primary care to social care, mental health, community care, hospitals and ambulance services are working hard to meet the growing demand. It also means that people are waiting longer to access health and care services locally.

Our dedicated teams are working hard, but we are asking everyone in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes to help us by checking 111.nhs.uk (NHS 111 Online) first if you need help, so you can access the right service for you, like a consultation with a pharmacist. If you need to speak to someone at 111, this will include some waiting time, but it is still the quickest way you will be able to access the treatment you need. The order that people will be called back, will be based on clinical need.

Hospital and social care teams are working together to discharge patients when they are ready, so we can continue to treat very sick patients. We are calling on our communities to ask for their support in managing this. If a friend or family member is in hospital and ready to go home, please work with hospital staff to get them home as soon as possible.

Preventing ill health during the winter is equally as important as caring for those who are sick and so you can help protect yourself and your family by booking your flu, Covid and pneumonia (over 75s only) vaccines and ensuring that children in your care have received all their childhood immunisations.

More information about vaccines and how to get your jabs is available on the Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Health and Care Partnership website www.blmkhealthandcarepartnership.org

Our people are working hard to care for you and your family this winter. Please help us to do this by using 111.nhs.uk to get assessed and directed to the right place for you. 

Message from Dr Whiteman, Chief Medical Director, BLMK Integrated Care Board

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