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Please show restraint - health bosses message for July 4

PUBLISHED: 12:47 01 July 2020 | UPDATED: 17:18 01 July 2020

Marcus Bailey, chief operating officer at East of England Ambulance Service, has issued a message to the public ahead of July 4. Picture: EEAST

Marcus Bailey, chief operating officer at East of England Ambulance Service, has issued a message to the public ahead of July 4. Picture: EEAST

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Enjoy yourselves safely and sensibly this weekend - that is the message from health bosses who are preparing for a surge in demand at Norfolk’s A&E departments.

The A&E department at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn. Photo: The Queen Elizabeth HospitalThe A&E department at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn. Photo: The Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Marcus Bailey, chief operating officer at the East of England Ambulance Service, has issued a message urging those heading out to pubs and restaurants this weekend to show restraint, drink responsibly and remember social distancing.

The Health Service Journal reports hospitals have been told to prepare for a surge in A&E on Saturday evening similar to that on New Year’s Eve after seeing an email from NHS England officials.

Mr Bailey said during the lockdown period the trust had dealt with around 25pc fewer alcohol related incidents usually reported on Saturdays compared to the same period last year.

He said: “As an ambulance trust we are always planning ahead and risk assessing.

A person was taken to hospital after a crash at Terrington St Clement. Picture: Simon FinlayA person was taken to hospital after a crash at Terrington St Clement. Picture: Simon Finlay

More: How Norfolk has changed since lockdown began

“With pubs and restaurants reopening, there is clearly potential for increased call outs and we are asking the public to drink responsibly and respect the guidelines put in place by businesses and the government, such as social distancing and regular hand washing.

“We have put in place contingencies to deal with the increased activity but are hopeful they will not be needed and our staff will be left to deal with urgent cases.

More: Three weeks since coronavirus related death in Norfolk’s largest hospital

“The safety of our patients and staff is of paramount importance to us and we hope the public will enjoy themselves safely and sensibly.”

His message is echoed by the county’s main hospitals, which hope the public will continue to support the NHS, continue to wash their hands and if the weather is warm wear sun cream and drink plenty of water.

More: 100 days of lockdown: Six people whose lives have changed

Joanne Segasby, chief operating officer at the James Paget University Hospital, said: “We have been working with our system partners in planning for this weekend, so that we have the capacity needed should we see an increase in demand for our services.

“However, we are hoping that people will play their part and continue to support their NHS by following social distancing guidelines at all times, taking sensible precautions if the weather is warm, such as wearing sun screen and keeping hydrated – and enjoying themselves sensibly and safely.”

A Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital spokesman added: “It is essential for people to continue to follow the social distancing and hand hygiene guidance to help limit the spread of coronavirus and protect the NHS.”

Denise Smith, chief operating officer at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in King’s Lynn said the first weekend in july has usually been a busy time for the department and urged people to make the right decisions when seeking medical help.

Denise Smith, the Chief Operating Officer for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn, said: “The first weekend in July is usually busy for our emergency department so we are fully prepared with additional staff and capacity. I would ask people to continue to respect the Covid-19 rules that remains in place even though lockdown will be easing from Saturday.

“We urge people to make the right decisions about where they seek medical attention.

“Throughout the pandemic we have run two separate ED units, one for patients with Covid or suspected Covid and one for non-Covid patients and they are here to provide urgent and emergency care for anyone who needs it. For less serious conditions please consider NHS 111, your family doctor or a pharmacist. “

More: How Norfolk has changed since lockdown began


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