While we need to celebrate the positive roll out of the Covid-19 vaccination programme, the festive period is still going to be challenging, with significant pressures on NHS services.
It is important that we all continue to play our part in following guidelines to reduce the risk of infection.
Of course you want to see your family and friends over the Christmas period, but we would urge everybody to be as careful as they possibly can.
Winter is always a challenging time for the NHS and wider social care services. This year, as we continue to respond to Covid-19, it will be harder than ever.
In response to this, all hospitals within Lancashire and South Cumbria continue to work together and have plans in place to manage increased demand on our services.
Anyone with concerns should continue to come forward for help and treatment. It is important that unless you are contacted, you should continue to attend appointments as planned.
2020 has been an incredibly challenging year and staff working in NHS, local authorities, police, fire service and the voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise sector have responded magnificently to support and care for local people and to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who works across the partnership, particularly those who continue to be working over the festive period.
It is crucial that we all understand our own individual role in reducing the spread of Covid-19 in our local communities: limiting social interactions as much as possible, adhering strictly to local restrictions and continuing to follow national guidance, which is proven to help reduce the spread of the virus – by washing hands regularly, wearing face coverings, and following social distancing measures at all times. This will protect both our loved ones and the NHS and health and care staff who are working tirelessly to provide care for local people over the winter months.
We are very pleased to be at the start of what will be the largest vaccination programme in our history. Local teams across primary and secondary care, with support across the partnership, are working hard to put arrangements in place that allow us to start protecting the most vulnerable people in our communities, while also providing care to COVID and non-COVID patients. To date we have already been able to vaccinate more than 12,000 people. Being able to start offering Covid-19 vaccinations means that we can look forward to 2021 with greater optimism.
Dr Amanda Doyle OBE, Chief Officer for Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System
Kevin McGee, Chief Executive of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, speaking on behalf of hospitals in Lancashire and South Cumbria
For more vaccination programme information click here → COVID-19 vaccination programme