Spotlight

Help your loved ones to return home from hospital this Christmas

NHS and Council leaders have asked people to help the NHS by supporting people to leave hospital when they are well enough to do so. The NHS are reassuring residents that it is OK to bring relatives home from hospital this festive season and have provided guidance on how to do this safely

Matthew Bryant, Chief Operating Officer (Hospital Services) for Yeovil District Hospital and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust said:

“We are asking families and other carers to help people get home for Christmas.  We are preparing our NHS services for the prospect of a wave of covid admissions.

If you can help provide some care for loved ones it will help us have capacity for those people who are acutely unwell.  Very often simple arrangements of arranging regular visits and some help with meals mean that someone can go home more quickly.

Please talk with those involved in planning the discharge arrangements for your loved one.  You can also get advice on getting support from the voluntary sector and be signposted towards this via Somerset County Council by calling 0300 123 2224.

You can also help make these arrangements safe by making sure you’ve had your booster vaccination, taking regular lateral flow tests and limiting social contact as far as you can.”

Mel Lock, Somerset County Council’s Director and Lead Commissioner Adults & Health, said: “Christmas can be a time of anxiety and pressure and the emergence of Omicron will have done nothing to dimmish general levels of unease.

"However, for many older residents currently in hospital, being back with the family would be the best gift this Christmas. Even if someone is fit and well enough to be able to leave hospital, we understand that family’s might still be concerned about bringing loved ones home. However, a few simple precautions can make it much safer for them to be back in the care of family this Christmas, freeing up NHS services for others in need.”

The vaccination remains the best form of protection that we have in the fight against coronavirus, and scientific evidence shows the positive effects that a third ‘booster’ vaccination has on our immune system. Therefore, anyone who is eligible should book their vaccine or booster via the National Booking Service.

Helpful advice relating to Adult Social Care is available from Somerset County Council on 0300 123 2224 or at Social care and health (somerset.gov.uk).