Whilst the Easter bank holiday weekend is a fun, activity filled few days for most, it can be an extremely pressured period in the NHS. We are asking the public to do their bit to help relatives and use services wisely.

Dr Adrian Clements, executive medical director, said: “As we start to prepare for a busy bank holiday period, we are asking that you prepare too. You can do this by making sure you have ordered your repeat prescriptions and your medicine cabinets and first aid kits are stocked up at home.Dr Adrian Clements 22.jpg

“We are also asking relatives, friends and neighbours to help get homes ready for patients who have been in hospital. Many patients are in a position where they are medically fit to be discharged but can’t go home because of their home is not prepared, even simple things like making sure the heating is on.”

Another way the local community can help the NHS this weekend is by only using A&E if you have life-threatening emergency. Please use NHS 111 if your condition is not life-threatening. 

Dr Clements said:

“No matter how busy our A&E departments are, the most seriously ill and injured patients will always be seen first and as quickly as possible. If it is an emergency please call 999. For non-urgent issues you should go to 111.nhs.uk, go to an Urgent Treatment Centre, contact your GP or go to your local pharmacy.

“We kindly ask that friends and family don’t visit their loved ones in hospital if they are unwell, to protect our patients and our staff. If you are well and visiting, please remember to wash your hands when you enter and when you leave and when necessary during your visit.

“You can check whether the ward you plan to visit has any infection outbreaks on our website ahead of your visit.

“Thank you for your support.”

Here we have some tips and advice as to how you can make life easier for your relative, friend or neighbour to return home:

  • Make sure everything they may need is easy to get to and on the same floor where they will spend most of their time.
  • Make any adjustments recommended by the ward therapy teams in a timely manner, i.e. Set up the bed on the ground floor (or the entry floor) where required.
  • Stock up on canned or frozen food, toilet paper, shampoo, and other personal items.
  • Either buy or make single meals that can be frozen and reheated.
  • Make sure they can reach everything they need without over-reaching or bending down.
  • Put food and other supplies in a cupboard that is between waist and shoulder level.
  • Place glasses, silverware, and other items they use often on the kitchen counter.
  • Make sure they can access their phone. A mobile phone is best. If they have a careline, test this is still working before they are discharged by pressing the button on the pendant.
  • Place a chair with a firm back in the rooms they will use. This way, they can sit when completing daily tasks.
  • If they will be using a walking aid, consider a caddy attachment to hold their phone, a notepad, a pen, and other things they will need to have close by and ensure all walk ways are clear to allow space for the walking aid.
  • Make sure they have appropriate clothing and footwear in hospital with them, especially to wear on the day of discharge.