Public health chief urges people to safeguard NHS

By Barrie Hudson - 22 November 2020

CommunityHealth

Swindon Director of Public Health Steve Maddern has urged the public to use the NHS if they need to.

  • Mr Maddern said every covid case prevented was a hospital bed kept free

    Mr Maddern said every covid case prevented was a hospital bed kept free

At the same time, however, he wants everybody to do all they can to avoid putting unnecessary pressure on the service.

Mr Maddern said: "Everyone in Swindon depends on the emergency and non-emergency medical treatment provided by our local health services, including Great Western Hospital.

"Hopefully you have not - and won’t be - personally impacted by covid-19. But you and your family may use, or at some point need, emergency or non-emergency medical treatment. 

"We all want to know this vital help is there whenever we need it.

"The Government has been clear that during these national restrictions, we should continue to use the NHS for all our healthcare needs: to get scans, turn up for appointments, operations and collect treatments.

"Which makes it doubly important as a community we do everything we can to minimise the additional burden caused by covid-19. 

"Winter is already a time when our health services come under strain, with demand created by flu-related health conditions.

"By taking personal responsibility for following the guidance, we can reduce the community spread of covid-19. We can avoid overwhelming our health services. And we can maintain access to the vital treatment and advice that our community relies on.

"Every Swindon resident who doesn’t get covid-19 is kept out of hospital or doesn’t place another demand on the NHS, frees up vital resource for other non-covid patients and poorly people who need help. 

"Thank you for playing your part."

Mr Maddern said that anybody recently tested for the virus who receives a negative test result could stop isolating as long as:

- They are well

- Nobody else in the household has symptoms

- If anyone else in the household has symptoms they have also received a negative test result

- They have not been advised to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace

- They have not arrived into the UK from a non-exempt country within the last 14 days

In these circumstances, anybody else in the household who has been isolating because of the person's symptoms can also stop isolating.

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