CATHY SHAW: Rising Covid cases puts pressure on several services
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The rising Covid-19 cases continues to put pressure on our health and social care services across Highland.
Although almost all Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted, we are still feeling a considerable impact on our staffing levels. This is having a knock-on effect on our wards, care homes and GP practices.
We can all do our bit to reduce the pressure on our NHS by seeking the Right Care in the Right Place for our health needs.
Our emergency departments are open 24/7 for emergencies, such as a suspected heart attack or stroke, and we always prioritise those patients with the greatest clinical need. Unfortunately, this means some patients may have to wait longer than we would like to be treated.
If you go directly to our emergency department and it is not the most appropriate place for your care, we will safely direct you to a more appropriate service.
We have minor injuries units and urgent care centres across Highland that also deliver out-of-hour care.
Community pharmacies across our area should be your first stop if you have a minor illness such as a cold, upset stomach or general aches and pains.
General practices are open and available for your health and wellbeing needs, however, they will be working differently as a result of Covid-19.
If you think you need emergency care, NHS 24 is available by calling 111. NHS 24 can also help if your GP or dental practice is closed and you cannot wait until they reopen.
The NHS Inform website provides accurate and reliable information to help you make informed decisions about your health needs.
Further information on where to access the right medical care is available at www.nhsinform.scot/right-care
Please do not present to any healthcare setting if you, or anyone you live with, has tested positive for Covid-19 or have any symptoms. If you have symptoms, self-isolate immediately and book a PCR test.
Cathy Shaw is NHS Highland’s advanced practice lead in its remote and rural support team (west).