East Kent Hospitals urges people to use NHS 111 for non-emergencies to help reduce hospital pressures

Hospital trust

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

Dr Ash Peshan (centre) and vaccination staff from the GP hub at Saga

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.

Ramsgate team members

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.


  1. This clearly is a load of nonsense. We have been told over and over that Covid is just like flu. No problem. No need to flap.
    I expect it the bone-idle over-paid NHS staff just blagging a few extra days off.

    • Phyllis, it’s people like you spouting dangerous comments that cost people their lives but I would imagine that just because you believe it can’t be pointed back at you , you’re justified and innocent. I just hope that anytime you become ill, you steer well clear of the nhs but shove another dead slug in your caldron.

      • 🙂
        It was a rather clumsy attempt. Sorry.
        Too many people on here have too often posted complete nonsense about Covid being a mild disease that hardly affects anyone.
        This includes our MP Craig Mackinlay, who is all for letting it rip.
        What he and others fail to factor in is that if just 1% of infected people need hospital treatment because of Covid, then if 50,000,000 get infected (which might well be the case with Omicron), 500,000 people will need hospital beds. Plus people ill from other causes.
        Meanwhile, tens of thousands of medical staff, paramedics and so on will be off work, either sick themselves or self-isolating.
        Letting it rip is most decidedly not the thing we should be doing, despite what our MP and his crazy back bench mates say.

        • But back in the real world

          Total hospital admissions for covid ( includes those that caught it in hospital) from the very start.
          Total number of recorded covid infections to date
          So about 5% go into or catch covid in , hospital. Some estimates suggest 25% of covid hospital admissions cought it within the nhs.
          We’re told that Omicron has about a 70% reduced chance of going into hospital.

          In earlier waves nhs staff weren’t tested and so just comtinued working unless physically to ill to do so. Now they can self test and so isolate as necessary.

          Nothing wrong with your viewpoint but at least use some halfway realistic numbers.

          Plus of course given the evidence over the course of the pandemic, people will obviously be keen to lose excess weight and get a bit fitter. In doing so, improving their outcome from covid if they catch it, reducing the chance of needing to go into hospital with covid or a host of other weight related conditions, help protect the economy as a result of their being less need to close the country down.

        • If anything Phyllis you proved some people have a had a humour by pass! I have been keeping a record of how many weekly cases of Covid have been recorded as shown on the TDC website, and as at 25th November there were 578, this has grown steadily, and last week there were 1,029 cases! This means weekly cases of Covid in Thanet have nearly doubled in 5 weeks!

          Worse, it was reported, 90% of those people in hospital being treated for the virus were not vaccinated! It proves that vaccinations work, but more importantly, should hospitals become overwhelmed again, and there is another Lockdown, then its due to people who have not been vaccinated! So, the two chocolate teapot MP’s representing North and South Thanet, why aren’t you out there encouraging people to be vaccinated?

          • https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/healthcare

            Scroll down to the admissions data and click on cumulative , total just over 600k, this for the whole of covid. So roughly an average of 27k a month


            Scroll down and look at admissions where obesity is a primary or secondary factor ( just as people are in hospital with as well as because of covid). In 2019/20 1020k , which equates to 85k a month, more than 3 times as many as are admitted for covid.

            So when it comes to lifestyle chices overwhelming the nhs , which group presents the greatest problem. Just because we’re a nation of fat people , its ridiculous to look at covid and those that choose to remain unvaccinated as being the crux of the nhss issues. We’d be much better off shouting at fat people in the cake aisle . But that would be denounced as fat shaming and stigmatising, yet apparently it’s perfectly acceptable when it comes to covid vacinations, surely if people are free to be fat and have the nhs deal with the issues that arise , ( same for drink, tobacco, drugs etc) they should also be free to choose when it comes to vaccines.

          • Dumpton it was one doctor saying it for his hospital without any actual proof-which is in London where only a third are vaccinated-mostly due to the racial make-up of it & reluctance on those races. Would you not expect it to be higher?

            This somehow became 90% everywhere(lazy journalism) which is total bs-most doctors say it is around 50-50 from their observations & once again of those non-vaccinated in hospital how old are they? What other health problems do they have & very importantly how long are they in there for-a few hours? A day? Weeks? See how meaningless these statistics-even media created fake ones are without any real data or the media questioning it?

          • You are so boring dumpton. Doctors have said it’s lies and actually people who have had one or two jabs have been counted as unvaccinted. Keep going on about cases. How many of them have actually died directly from it? How many of them wouldn’t have rang an ambulance in the first place if they wasn’t scaremongered everyday with the word covid? You have literally been hypnotised by mainstream media. You need to snap out of it or you will enjoy and call for lockdowns and misery for the rest of your days. I know several nhs staff refusing to get the jab and willing to give up their jobs because they say the problems people are coming with from side effects of the vaccine are far worse than what they are dealing with from covid currently

        • You must still be ignoring the evidence Phyllis-Omicron is a 70% reduction in people needing hospital treatment than Delta, far less deaths, doubling rate gone from 2 days down to 9 in SAF-despite these clowns telling us over 3 times as many people will die a day from it than they did from the far more severe Delta strain-which also never got anywhere near the deaths these same Mystic Mogs precicted.

          Covid itself does not mean the person is in hospital for that reason-a lot go in every winter due to pneumonia-often from being unable to heat their homes, Noravirus & other stomach bugs that rampage at this time of year, long term ill, those who have serious health issues-alcoholism, smoking, drug addiction, obesity issues etc & they have Covid on top. Just like those who die of Covid are in reality often dying with Covid-but would have died of their condition anyway.

          Of course you are taking that 90% mark as gospel-when there is no evidence for it & is just more propaganda from the government & media-as it was when Dr Hilary said it back in the summer. This was one doctor in a hospital in London(where only roughly a third of people are vaccinated)who said it-without any actual evidence from anybody else at the hospital & then the lazy/bought off national media reported it as fact for every hospital in the country. Other doctors say it is more a 50/50 split from their observations & of course we have no idea what age the non-vaccinated mostly are, what other comorbitities etc they have-most likely the elderly, obese, those with serious health problems etc. It is still 83 plus for the average death age, not fit people in their twenties-fifties.

          On the contrary-it has become clear that people like Whitty & Van Tam are enamoured with their celebrity status & thus keep pushing imaginary worst case scenarios so they don’t go back to being anonymous. There has long been talk of a 2 week ‘circuit breaker’ next month-what for exactly is unclear, as deaths remain steady or fall & aren’t rising. These things are more to do with political expediency-such as the hastily bought in rules that weren’t on the table on the Tuesday morning when cabinet members were being interviewed, yet by the end of the day after a certain video emerged were-funny that. There is no scientific basis for lockdowns now-they do insane damage & there is nothing seen either here or in SAF which says they need to happen.

        • Letting it rip is what the experts in SAF are amazed we aren’t doing-as it is so mild that this is the perfect way to build natural immunity among the population, but of course Pfizer, Moderna & the politicians who have shares in those companies cannot allow that to happen.

          The 100 or so Tories who rebelled deserve medals for their bravery & upholding people’s rights. Labour & Lib Dems-the supposed working people’s parties & left wing socialists fighting for human rights voting for Covid passports & supporting an Apartheid/Stasi state where you have to show papers should hang their heads in shame. Never thought I would see the day these protectors of human rights voted to trample on people’s basic rights-no opposition, no spine & they are basically champagne Tory socialists like Blair.

  2. The highest-paid manager in the health service collected a salary of £478,000 last year. That is almost three times as much as Boris Johnson, who receives just under £160,000. In total, 23 are getting more than £250,000 while another 351 receive between £150,000 and £250,000.

    The latest figures from the NHS – which is run by chief executive Sir Simon Stevens- reveal these 374 managers were paid a total of £64.4million last year.

    Chief medical officer Chris Whitty is paid between £205,000 and £210,000, while chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance is on up to £185,000. These salaries are separate to the NHS managers’ pay.

    By comparison, a new hospital doctor gets paid around £35,000, while nurses average £33,540.

    The pay statistics show there are now more than 2,000 managers within the NHS in England who are being paid six-figure salaries.

    Info (Google) above correct at March 2021. Amanda Pritchard was appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer of NHS England in July 2021.

    “The rewards-for-failure culture in the health service costs patients dear and must be stamped out once this pandemic is over.”

  3. “Rewards for Failure”. Hmmmmm…

    Maybe it’s nigh on impossible to change a dinosaur system plagued by beaurocratic ministers hell bent on keeping the status quo, and unwilling to foster change from within, or breaking the connection between class and money when it comes to healthcare.

    It is also easy to put the finger of blame on a senior execs on a six figure salary, which in itself is not a huge stipend when you compare it to the power and influence of those that have benefitted from a corrupt system of money, nepotism, and clandestine grace and favour activities going back centuries.

    Successive governments have rendered its populace puerile, weak and cowardly by design, fostering subservience and fear. And, too much selfish attention is being paid to one’s own health, and not the collective prosperity of all those around us, so for those that hope for a revolution from everyone else but themselves, you will be sadly disappointed.


  4. If only doctor surgery’s would do their jobs and answer their phones the problem would not be so acute I tried every morning for three weeks to make an appointment and never once was the phone answered

    • Why would they? They are getting paid their full salary for refusing to see people in person & are paid £15-£30 for every jab they administer.

      The NHS has become about greed & self interest-a grab what you can before it goes under/sold off to private industry, not about helping those in need. All the talk for nigh on two years has been about ‘Saving The NHS’ yet the NHS is letting people die waiting for operations they keep cancelling/postponing, hooking people on pain pills rather than operate, not even diagnosing people who need treatment.

      At some point everybody needs to ask what is it we are supposedly protecting, something that we all pay for so it protects us-which it has failed to do for 2 years odd now.

    • The phone was being answered. The surgery was being swamped by people who’d got a bit of a headache or tummy upset or ingrown toe nail.
      If people only phoned the surgery when it was medically necessary, it would make life easier all round.

  5. Getting on for two years soon, and nothing seems remotely safe or effective – including the testing with the large false positive rates (the CDC in the States is withdrawing emergency use of the PCR test shortly after it failed its full review). Blackrock, Vanguard and big pharma executives and shareholders are making a killing – as are some of the behavioural scientists who have sold their souls. Meanwhile, many needing medical treatment for non covid issues continue to be ignored or die, and there is no effective advice for actually maintaining good health naturally. As more statistics are revealed to be just plain dodgy (lead story yesterday Telegraph online), more and more appear to be waking up to the fact this is the opposite of how a functional country or world should operate. And that’s without mentioning civil rights abuses on an industrial scale! Doesn’t add up does it.

  6. What on earth is the matter with you, Democrat? Why are you so obsessed with all this?

    The English government does not seem to have a clue about how to deal with this pandemic. The contrast between its approach and that of the Welsh, Scottish and Irish ones is striking- and depressing for people who live in England and are stuck with it.

    • Yes, the response from them has been totally out of proportion & any sense of reality, as bad as our leaders have been at least they actually waited to see the full SAF evidence & any restrictions put on us are purely for ego, power & to distract from government lies.

      It is quite clear that Omicron is a fantastic way to infect the entire population with something incredibly mild that unlike Delta is effectively a heavy cold/winter bug & build natural resistance to Covid & the only ones who need protection are the elderly, immune compromised/long term serious health issues & the obese. Instead to keep us in permanent fear it is more needles in the arm & the ‘need’ for more jabs every time a new strain emerges. Wonder how long it will take for the sheep to wake up.

      I am seeing most here who defended endless jabs & lockdowns for 18 months or so have now changed their minds, as they see what it is-they played the game & followed all the advice/rules & yet are still being punished & most have now seen through the boo-hiss/blame the non-vaxxed pantomime villains ploy, as again if these jabs are so so good & the vaccines don’t stop you from either spreading or contracting it, then it really doesn’t make any difference if a minority aren’t jabbed.

      • I think the English parliament is getting things very wrong. As for the rebellious backbenchers,they seem to have no common sense at all.

        • But you have to bare in mind that parliament is trying to look after a populace that have no real regard for their own wellbeing when it comes to their health, there has to be a balance between crashing an economy ,running up huge debts, the other healthcare effects to non covid patients, education etc etc and protecting those that have bought the need for restrictions to protect them from their lifestyle choices.

          • Your “ quite a lot” being more important than the “ vast majority”? It’s increasingly starting to look as though omicron ,is as many believed ,of no great danger to people. Many of those in hospital who have it i, do so incidentally when tested in hospital. Very few are admitted with it as the main diagnosis.
            The time is long past when covid should have been seen as another bug thats with us for the long term and be included in the same way as all the other seasonal bugs.
            There is no lack of knowledge at this point as to who is at risk and what both they can do personally to look after themselves and the state needs to do to protect those with conditions they have no control over.
            I recently overheard a conversation, the teller of the story was relating how they’d benn in really good health all their lives until an injury healed badly that left them in pain requiring strong pain relief medication the taking of which had led to the copd that plagued them now and meant they relied on the nhs, they then (as an aside ) said they’d given up smoking (after 40 years of heavy smoking) as they’d been told that if they didn’t they’d not have lasted a year.
            Not ,seemingly, a jot of comprehension of the damage the smoking will have done their lungs or their bodies ability to maintain itself. Such willfull ignorance of the realities of smoking ,despite the many years of public advertising and health messages, just goes to show how deluded people can be as well as willing to pass the blame to other factors for their current predicament ( not that the injury or recovery and subsequent medication may not have played a part , but all would have been complicated by the smoking).
            At which point does the nation stop whining about the inadequacies of the nhs whilst bemoaning the lack of money available for the nhs , then look at its own actions and habits and how they can both lift some of the burden from the nhs and at the same time improve their own quality of life?
            The nhs is not underfunded it is overly abused by the ignorant hordes that have chosen to ruin their health. Covid has merely exposed the extent to which people have Let themselves go and how they’ve become incapable of making rational decisions instead wanting the state to protect them from everything both physically and financially.
            The state is there to protect those that are truly incapable/unable to do so for themselves , not be the fallback position for the multitude millions for whom its the easy option. All paid for from the taxes of the ever dwindling tax base. The nation is going backwards , apparently from its own choosing. Fortunately a few in parliament are willing to stand in the path of the nations idiocy.

  7. People still falling for this garbage after nearly 2 years of ‘saving the NHS’ rhetoric. As those figures show they are around a seventh or so of the pressure they were a year ago & many have finally woken up to the evidence on Omicron-70% less people in hospital, far less deaths, doubling rate goes from 2 days to 9 pretty quickly etc.

    The NHS is there to serve the taxpayer-not to leave people waiting years for life saving operations-letting people die of treatable cancers while they throw everything at something that gives nearly everybody who gets it a cold/winter bug symptoms they can deal with at home like every other bug. What are we protecting exactly? Something that has for 2 years now been ignoring people who actually need it-what use it that?

    This nonsense needed to stop last year & it certainly needs to stop now-GP’s need to stop being paid to stick needles in the arms of fit healthy people, while Africa & other poor places with terrible sanitation who need the jabs go without thanks to our stockpiling greed & get back to seeing patients in person, so they can get those diagnoses for people & get things moving, save them from strokes, heart attacks, cancers etc.

    The NHS needs to start doing the procedures/operations required. Covid needs to be managed at specialist detached centres & staff need to work with Covid-like they do with every other bug they & everybody else pick up yearly, unless their side effects are of the rare severe variety.

    Most people are jabbed, the booster themselves start to lose serious levels of efficacy after 2-4 weeks & pretty much are useless after a few months-so every few months there will if we carry on this insane path continue drawing all medical staff away to do this mass jabbing of something only a few really need in reality, cancelling operations, procedures & appointments.

    • “doubling rate goes from 2 days to 9 pretty quickly etc.”.
      Yet again you have failed to understand the information.
      The doubling rate is still 2-3 days (If you think about it, that’s quite scary. If there are 120000 confirmed cases today, how many would there be by next Monday?)
      The 9 days you mentioned is the time between getting infected and winding up in hospital – and it’s (relativly) good news. It means that people are sicker for a shorter period of time than they were for the Alpha, Delta etc variants.
      (To help you with your sums, if the number of infections carries on increasing exponentially without some sort of intervention, then by next Monday over 15,000,000 a day will be contracting Covid.)

  8. Steve your portrayal of the issues are succinctly put and accurate of course. I myself have run out of patience with these folk, you appear to have the patience of a Saint, well done you.

    The sheeple will wake up – probably, when it’s too late.

    • Luckily I haven’t needed them, but I have seen relatives nearly be put onto Covid wards when they didn’t have it & turned away with serious health problems-that were only discovered at another hospital later.

  9. Also we need to point out that 111 is totally useless & like the current NHS totally unfit for purpose. People get so fed up not getting call backs, getting pointless call-backs at 2 or 3 AM from some untrained muppet starting their shift-12-15 hours after your initial call when you are trying to sleep, or being passed around for hours-only to eventually be told to go to your A&E anyway that most just go directly there to start with & bypass this waste of time.

  10. “Sheeple”-0 I don’t think so. Stop insulting people who disagree with you .Write something with real scientific proofs.

  11. Steve you really are a yuletide a**e.
    Answer the following questions:
    1.Are you a doctor or have any demonstrable medical skills?
    2.Are you a scientist and not just any old scientist but one with an epidemical background?
    3.Are you a statistician?
    If the answer is no to all the 3 questions will you and the authoritarian democrat please shut up!
    Even on the Govt figures, 147,000 people have died because of or covid was a contributory cause.
    If people were dying on our roads or railways at the rate of 150 per day there would be questions asked in the house, so why ignore what is in front of your nose.
    Do you really think Chris Whitty, Jennie Harris and Jonathan Van Tam are wannabe media stars? You can see from the Whitty Covid videos, that he clearly feels uncomfortable before the camera, so why suggest that this is all some got up plot by scientists to put us all in their thrall?
    From your sector of society (that is the key board warriors and know alls), we have had Covid does not exist, then we had the Great Barrington declaration, then we had, we should all get on with life now that jabs are available, and now it is all a ‘Doctors plot’ (yes, remember Stalin, he suggested something similar).
    This is not the Great Terror of 1937, or locking up and sterilising the Uighers as in the PRC,or even Hong Kong with its PRC form of democracy.
    All that is being asked is to go careful, take precautions and live life with some care towards others, as well as yourself.Is that too much to ask?

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