Health and care leaders in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin are warning that services are under extreme pressure due to high levels of demand.

This is impacting all health and care services, especially A&Es and waiting times in those departments.

How you can help:

  • Get your covid and flu vaccinations, including the booster jab if you’re eligible. 
  • If you have norovirus (vomiting and diarrhoea), stop it spreading by washing your hands regularly. If you or a family member have been sick with norovirus, you should avoid visiting hospitals and care homes and not return to work or school until 48 hours after your symptoms have stopped. Also avoid visiting elderly or vulnerable people.
  • Visit NHS 111 Online or call NHS 111 if you or someone you’re with has a medical problem that isn’t life-threatening but requires immediate help.
  • If you need to see a GP, they will see you, but you could also be signposted to other clinicians or health professionals who can see you quicker and give you the help you need. 
  • If you can, consider using a local Minor Injury Unit which on average have much shorter waiting times. These can provide rapid treatment for urgent, non-life-threatening injuries such as cuts, burns and sprains.
  • Local pharmaciesare open seven days a week to offer advice and over the counter medications for minor ailments such as upset stomachs, earache, skin rashes and relief from coughs and colds.
  • If you have a relative or loved one in hospital waiting to be discharged with homecare and community health support, you may help them get home quicker if you and your family can support them at home. If you feel that this is an option that you could consider, please speak to their ward manager or social worker to explore further.
  • Only call 999 or attend A&E departments for genuine life-threatening emergencies.

Dr Nick White, Chief Medical Officer for NHS Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin, said: “We are already seeing high levels of demand for services at the start of this winter period.

“Health and care staff are doing all they can to provide the best care possible, but we can’t do this without the public playing their part to help our health and care services over the coming months. We strongly encourage residents to take the actions highlighted in the letter to help reduce pressure and ensure everyone can access the services and support they need”.

Leader of Shropshire Council, Lezley Picton, said: “This is the start of what will be another long and extremely difficult winter for health and social care staff. They need our support and we can all play a part.

“We all need to do what we can to protect ourselves, our most vulnerable members in our community, as well as our health and care services. Getting vaccinated against covid and flu if you are eligible is one very simple way you can protect your family and loved ones.”