The North East and North Cumbria NHS continues to ask the public to avoid using hospital and GP services for minor illness and ailments
The North East primary care computer network was switched back on yesterday afternoon (Monday 15th May) and GP practices opening this morning have access to their clinical systems.
However, practices across the North East are still asking patients to consider delaying contacting their practice unless they really need to for the next few days to allow time to clear backlogs caused by the cyber-attack.
There were no infected computers in North East GP practices and the priority through this international malware incident was to protect the NHS computer network, clinical systems and patient data – and this was done very successfully.
While all GP practices will have access to their clinical systems, not all computers in each practice may yet be back in full operation, however it is anticipated they will by the end of Tuesday.
GP practices will be working to get back to full operational capacity and concentrating on prioritising patients with the greatest needs.
Other NHS organisation across the region are still extremely busy and the message remains – think twice before using A&E, GP practices or calling NHS 111
Accident and emergency services and other walk in services are continuing to report high numbers of people attending, many of those have minor illness and conditions which could be treated easily at home or with advice from a pharmacist. Pharmacists are experts in the use of medicines and can diagnose and offer treatment for a range of minor illness and ailments.
The NHS continues to appeal to the public to help the NHS again and relieve pressure on the system to allow services to focus on those with the greatest needs and allow time for NHS staff to bring services back to full capacity in the next few days.
Please do not attend A&E or dial 999 unless it is a serious or life threatening emergency.
The NHS 111 service is under pressure so please think carefully before accessing urgent medical help.
Remember many common illnesses can be best looked after at home with over the counter medication, plenty of fluids, rest and recuperation – and no need to visit A&E.
Pharmacies are open and can help if you start to feel unwell with a cough, cold or other minor ailment or injury – details of your nearest pharmacist can be found at urgentoremergency.co.uk
Parents and carers of under fives can get medical advice on a range of common childhood illnesses from the ‘NHS Child Health’ app available from Google Play or the App store.
The region’s NHS is keen to reassure people that the majority of services are running, however there has been disruption for some planned patient care.
People should continue to access emergency services in the usual way if there is a genuine need for urgent medical help that cannot wait.
Those attending the region’s emergency departments or calling 999 for an emergency ambulance and have minor health problems should expect to wait given the current pressures as clinical teams must prioritise those with time critical needs.
NHS staff in the region are being thanked for their tremendous efforts to continue providing safe patient care in these difficult circumstances – and brining ICT systems back on-line in a planned and safe way to protect patients and the public.
What you can do to help
The public are being advised that this continues to be a busy week for all. NHS services in the region and to support the NHS in the following ways:
Please think carefully if you feel you need to book a GP appointment and consider if it can be delayed to later in the week.
Please continue to keep A&E and emergency 999 service free for those with serious or life threatening needs
For all NHS appointments including GPs and hospital services please bring with you any medications, letters or paperwork you already have.
If you already have a GP appointment, please attend as usual and please bear in mind that your practice may not be able to access information required to meet all of your needs and you might be asked to return at a later date.
If you feel unwell then contact
• Your GP or
• Community Pharmacist or
• NHS 111
For advice and treatment
Local pharmacies are open, and pharmacists are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of common illness and injury and can provide help, advice and treatment
The NHS 111 service can offer help and advice