Welcome to my May blog which continues to chart our local battle with the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe. These are truly unparalleled times which have tested our powers of resolve as a nation as well as our health and social care community.
In Rochdale we are continuing to respond to the challenge in typically robust fashion and the effective partnership working we have built up over the years has paid off. Together we have been able to react swiftly to the needs of our community in fighting this evil virus by tailoring our responses to covid and non-covid patients in their own homes, those requiring GP services, supporting patients in the community and at our hospitals. An example of this is how the CCG has worked with the council to support staff who work in the community, especial care homes as they cope with covid-19. A video showing staff how to take on and take off PPE (personal protective equipment) correctly has been created and shared. You can read more here.
Our thoughts are again with the many families who have lost loved ones, including tragically our colleagues in health and social care who have caught and been lost to coronavirus whilst serving in their jobs.
There are some beacons of positivity in this situation as we see the appreciation of our NHS and other key workers during the weekly ‘clap for carers’. There are an abundance of local volunteers who are selflessly spending time helping our vulnerable and shielded residents which is pleasing to see. Locally we have also had a great response to the widely reported lack of PPE as schools and businesses in the borough have created and donated pieces for use in primary care. Thanks to all of you who are making some contribution, however small, at this time.
In last month’s blog I stated that we have seen a steep downturn in the amount of activity that we have seen, especially in hospital A&Es during the lockdown period. We shared some essential guidance for parents to remind them of when and where to seek medical attention if their child becomes poorly. You can see it here There are some new important messages about seeking help if you are suffering from any symptoms that may be a stroke or cancer. Check these and out on our social media channels, Twitter @NHSHMR and Facebook NHS HMR CCG and please share them if you can.
As you’ll know the PM introduced some new guidance on Sunday and although we are all keen to see the country get back to normal, we must not forget that we are still in the midst of a very serious situation for the country. We must continue to wash our hands, observe social distancing and stay at home as much as we can.
Enjoy the second bank holiday of May with your families by staying supported and safe.
Until next month, thanks for reading.
Dr Chris Duffy