Help us help you image.jpgA major new initiative has been launched to persuade the public to seek the urgent care and treatment they need. Delays in getting treatment due to coronavirus fears could pose a significant long term risk to people’s health. Findings show that four in ten people are too concerned about being a burden on the NHS to seek help from their GP.

NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens stressed that the NHS is still there for patients without coronavirus who need urgent and emergency services.

NHS staff have worked hard to put in place measures allowing people to access care safely, but attendances at Accident and Emergency departments are so far on course to be one million lower this April than last.
A new public information campaign is being rolled out this week to try and persuade people to contact their GP or 111 if they have urgent care needs, or 999 in emergencies - and attend hospital if they are told they should.
The campaign will also be encouraging people to use vital services such as as cancer screening and cancer care as well as mental health support.

Sir Simon Stevens said: “If you have concerns about conditions such as cancer you should seek help. Ignoring problems can have serious consequences – now or in the future.”
As part of the NHS’ rapid response to the greatest public health challenge in its history, hospitals have freed up more than 33,000 beds, the equivalent of 50 new hospitals, over the last few weeks. An unprecedented deal with the independent sector has also put their 8,000 beds and 20,000 staff at the NHS’ disposal.
This significant increase in capacity, combined with effective social distancing by the public slowing the spread of the virus, has meant that the NHS has so far successfully been able to meet everyone’s need, with capacity to spare.

Professor Carrie MacEwen, Chair of The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, said: “Everyone should know that the NHS is still open for business and it is vitally important that if people have serious conditions or concerns they seek help. This campaign is an important step in ensuring that people are encouraged to get the care they need when they need it.”

The message is clear, do not delay in seeking medical advice and help. You are not a burden, the NHS remains ready to treat you.

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