Following the article that has appeared today on the front page of The Lynn News, we would like to reassure local people that there will always be safe and high quality care provided for them in West Norfolk.
All the healthcare organisations across the region work in close partnership to make sure we can provide the right care, at the right time and in the right setting to meet the individual needs of patients in our care. When they are acutely unwell this will be provided in a hospital setting until they are well enough to return home. If they are medically fit to go home, but may need some additional care and support, their needs will be assessed and the appropriate package of care identified and put in place for them. This is achieved through a range of community health and social services working closely with the hospital. In West Norfolk the services commissioned by the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to strengthen this include a 7 days-a-week community matron service, providing expert care to support patients ready for discharge. The community matrons can admit patients to a number of nursing and residential care homes in West Norfolk if they are not quite ready to go home. These beds are also used to prevent patients being admitted to hospital if their care could be provided in the community with the support of the community nursing team.
The region has been under pressure over the last few weeks and this is also the case for the NHS nationally. This is caused by a number of factors, including the weather and seasonal illness, and is nobody's fault. Please be assured that locally we have a very good system in place to manage these pressures and appropriate care will always be provided. The public can help us to manage these pressures by only using Accident and Emergency (A&E) for serious or life-threatening conditions. People who go to A&E when they could have received effective treatment elsewhere slow down a service that needs to concentrate on seriously ill patients requiring urgent attention.