Fylde coast health professionals work together to help patients tackle winter illnesses

Fylde coast healthcare professionals have already seen an increase in patients as the cold weather hits.
Fylde coast healthcare professionals have already seen an increase in patients as the cold weather hits.
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As the cold weather grips the Fylde coast, health services have joined together to ensure residents are kept well this winter.

In winter, people are at increased risk of slipping and falling on the ice or wet leaves, along with the threat of Flu and Norovirus, which spreads rapidly.

Heart and lung conditions can also be made worse due to the cold.

Blackpool Victoria Hospital had already seen an increase of 34 per cent of people going to hospital with breathing difficulties brought on by the cold in September and October this year, compared to June and July when it was warmer.

Capacity for more doctors and nurses have been added to the evening and weekend appointment services, so more appointments are available to book for people needing to see a GP or practice nurse.

The Psynergy vehicle, which provides help to 999 callers with mental health conditions, was used to ensure they receive the most appropriate support without the need to go to the emergency department.

Police officers, mental health services and ambulance workers man the vehicle.

The Vic also reported success with its home first initiative, which allowed medically stable patients to go home for assessment and get social care support.

The initiative allowed the Red Cross to take the patient home, and they were met at the door of their house by a member of a hospital team who checked to make sure they were able to cope with every-day activities.

Berenice Groves, Interim Director of Operations at Blackpool Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: “Staff are continuing to work above and beyond.

"They were recognised in our CQC inspection for the level of care and commitment they make and this is really shining through now.

“Across the whole health system all partners including the Hospital Trust, ambulance service, primary care and social care have been planning since April to come up with innovative projects that will help avoid unnecessary hospital admissions and reduce length of hospital stays.

“As with every year the demand for health services is likely to increase but as always we are doing all we can to deliver high levels of quality care.

“We do need to ask people to help us by using the right services including local pharmacies, looking after themselves and being patient with the staff that are trying to help.

"If you are not sure what to do please call NHS 111.”

For more information and tips on staying well this winter, visit www.fyldecoastccgs.nhs.uk/winter.