East Kent Hospitals Trust is urging people to contact NHS 111 as a first port of call rather than attending accident & emergency departments as hospitals continue to deal with large workloads.
The Trust has declared Operations Pressure Escalation Level (Opel) 4 “multiple times over the last few months.”
OPEL levels are the method used by the NHS to measure the stress, demand and pressure a hospital is under, with Opel 4 representing the high escalation level. Opel 4 is declared when a hospital is “unable to deliver comprehensive care” and patient safety is at risk.
Declarations of OPEL 4 may only last for 24 hours at times as levels are constantly under review.
Public use of other medical services when not an emergency helps to reduce hospital pressures.
As of December 21 East Kent Hospitals – main sites QEQM in Margate and WHH in Ashford – had 53 inpatients due to covid and seven people on mechanical ventilation.
This is much reduced from the same date in 2020 when there were 353 covid inpatients and 29 were on mechanical ventilation.
A spokesman for East Kent Hospitals said “Our staff continue to work hard to care for all patients, both those with Covid as well as prioritising those in need of urgent care.
“Patients in need of urgent but not life-threatening care should contact NHS 111 Online as their first port of call where its trained staff, supported by nurses and GPs, can book you a slot at your local pharmacist, GP, or Urgent Treatment Centre, so you or your family can get the right care in the safest and most convenient way.”
Data up to December 19 shows covid positive rates for Thanet per 100,000 stood at 727.4. The England average is 971.
From today (26 December) people in the UK will receive a text message reminding them to get a booster vaccine.
Almost 32 million people – over 60% of adults in the UK – have now had their COVID-19 booster.
The expansion of the booster programme continues with all adults able to get their jab by booking online through the National Booking Service or by visiting a walk-in vaccination centre.
Walk in clinics in Thanet
The Saga site at Ramsgate – to the rear of Westwood Cross – is open 8am to 8pm (closed 1pm-2pm) each day other than Sunday’s where the site closes at 2pm.
From 27th till 30th of December, open from 8am until 8pm.
On 31st December (New Years Eve) open from 8am until 2pm.
The Ramsgate GP hub is also offering bank holiday walk in clinics on:
Monday 27th December 9am to 3pm – East Cliff Practice, Montefiore Medical Centre
Tuesday 28th December 9am to 3pm – East Cliff Practice, Montefiore Medical Centre
Tuesday 28th December 9am to 1pm –The Grange Practice, Montefiore Medical Centre
Providing 1st, 2nd, 3rd and booster jabs. The Grange can offer vaccinations to 12-15 year olds as well as the other cohorts on the Tuesday.