The NHS in Swindon and Wiltshire is working with its partners from across the region to support frontline medics in caring for patients. 

A sustained increase in seriously ill coronavirus patients, set against a backdrop of Covid-related staff absences, reduced clinical space due to social distancing rules and a need to continue providing safe urgent and emergency care, have added up to huge pressure for staff

Health leaders have activated emergency response protocols, which include enlisting a heightened level of on-the-ground support from local public sector colleagues and those working in charity and voluntary organisations. 

These support measures come after health and care leaders made the decision to postpone pre-planned and routine operations – with the exception of surgery for cancer and other urgent conditions – in an attempt to allow staff to focus on those people most in need, and to expand services for Covid patients, such as intensive care facilities.  

Minor injuries units in Paulton and Trowbridge have been temporarily closed to allow for staff to be redeployed to other health and care settings that are in need of extra support.

Clinical chair of the Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire CCG Dr Andrew Girdher, said: “Local partners have answered our request for support and, thanks to them and the selfless efforts of our own NHS staff, we are still able to provide round-the-clock care for coronavirus patients, and those needing treatment for cancer and other life-threatening conditions. 

“However, to help us continue doing this, we’re appealing for everyone to get behind us and play their part, whether it’s being there to take relatives home from hospital in a timely manner, using NHS 111 for non-life-threatening emergencies instead of going straight to hospital, or just following the latest social distancing guidelines. 

“Now is also the time for people to think twice about how their own actions, such as exercising outdoors in icy weather or carrying out DIY without the correct safety equipment, could inadvertently put avoidable pressure on the NHS. Even when you are fit and healthy, you can still play your part.”