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Region’s healthcare system in ‘unprecedented’ situation

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By Euan Maxwell
Region’s healthcare system in 'unprecedented' situation

NHS bosses have warned that the health and social care system in the region is currently experiencing the greatest pressures in living memory.

Direct requests are being made to families and loved ones of hospital in-patients to provide whatever support they can to facilitate a speedy discharge, and help address major pressures.

Julie White, who is chief officer of the Health and Social Care Partnership and chief operating officer of NHS Dumfries and Galloway, called the situation “unprecedented”.

“Never in the living memory of health and social care services in Dumfries and Galloway have we been faced with such pressures. Not with the move to the new DGRI back in 2017, not in the worst of any winters… this is a whole new level of pressure.

“And we can’t promise that it’s not going to get any worse.

“Our fundamental issue at the moment is the volume of people who genuinely require our help and support and finite staffing resource available to meet those needs. We are doing our best to recruit more staff to support us but the pressure is immediate.

“So today we are not just looking for the ongoing support of our incredible staff and volunteers, but also from our communities.”

Ms White has asked family and friends of loved ones currently in the NHS’ care if there is anything they could possibly do to help support the return of that person to their home environment which could assist the NHS in ensuring they are then able to help others.

She added: “Get in touch with our teams, guide our approaches, suggest ways in which we can accelerate their return home.

“For the wider community, anything you can do to help support us at this time will be met with immense appreciation.

“Help us by following guidance which sets out where to seek the most appropriate source of help if needed, but, if it is needed, please do come forward. Please continue to be tolerant and understanding as we make some really difficult decisions to manage this unprecedented demand.”

Ms White stressed that they will always be here to provide treatment and care but the limits of what they are able to do continue to be stretched to “new degrees”.

She said: “I am extremely concerned about how much further these resources can stretch.”

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