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Health leaders reassure communities that services are still open

Health and care leaders in Morecambe Bay spoke out today to reassure communities that despite the current high demand on health and social care, services continue to pull together as a partnership to deliver great local care.

Across Morecambe Bay, health and care professionals working in primary, community and acute, ambulance, social care and in mental health services continue to provide care following a torrid 18 months dealing with the pandemic and the recovery from its effects.

Social distancing, masks and hand hygiene continue to be the 'front line' of defence against the spread of infections and the changes to how you receive care are still in place, to keep you, your family and the health and care workforce safe.

You can also help by thinking about where's the best place for you to find an answer to your health query. Many common conditions can be treated through a quick trip to your skilled local pharmacy, by looking for answers at 111 online or by visiting an Urgent Treatment Centre instead of accident and emergency.

In some places, you may need to wait a little longer to be seen and you will be asked to keep wearing a surgical mask and stay socially distant from others; all these measures are to keep you safe and reduce infection.

Vaccinations are now available for young people aged 12 - 17 years old and parents will receive a form from their child's school to confirm when this will happen. Appointments for booster vaccinations, sometimes combined with a flu vaccination, are also being offered now and you will be invited by your local NHS for these shots.

Dr Geoff Jolliffe, Chair of the NHS Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "While for some patients their experience may involve a video or phone call, where someone clinically needs to be seen face to face, they will be. The mixture of face to face and remote consultations allows more appointments to be made than was the case before the pandemic.”

Dr Shahedal Bari, Medical Director at UHMBT, said: "Our hospitals remain very busy and we would urge people to call NHS 111 or use the www.111.nhs.uk service to get advice about where to seek help for any illnesses or ailments if it is not an emergency. Our hospital and community colleagues are working so hard and want to help as many people as possible. By choosing the right care at the right time, you will be able to help us to look after people as efficiently as possible."

Please be kind to health and care staff that you speak to. From the receptionist taking your call, who is trained to ask you appropriate questions to make sure you receive help from the right health and care professional, or the staff in accident and emergency who are working quickly to get you treated, or the care worker you are relying on to look after your loved one, each staff member is striving to give you the best service they can provide.

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