Devon Pressures – NHS Devon statement on Enhanced Response Area designation

The current high Covid rates in Devon are adding to pressures on the health and care system locally, due to increased numbers of patients in hospital with Covid-19 and the number of staff off because they or a close family member has the virus.

Devon’s health and care system is currently under severe pressure, and the additional support being provided under the Enhanced Response Area to combat the spread of Covid-19 is welcome. Everyone across the county can play a part in reducing transmission and the impact the virus is having on health and care services.

On behalf of the NHS in Devon, Dr Paul Johnson, Clinical Chair of NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We still need to take Covid seriously. Many people who are very ill in our hospitals with Covid are not fully vaccinated and some of them are young adults.

“Most people here in Devon will have friends or family who work in the health and care system, and you know how hard they have been working throughout the pandemic and how tired they are.

“You can help them by choosing the right service for your needs, only using Emergency Departments for emergencies, getting vaccinated, having both jabs if you’re eligible, social distancing and maintaining good hygiene.”

We urge everyone to follow current public health advice to:

  • Have both vaccinations when you are eligible
  • Test regularly and isolate if you have symptoms or test positive
  • Follow social distancing and wear face coverings indoors in public places
  • Maintain good hygiene including hand washing
  • Meet people outside or in well ventilated areas

Additionally, you can support the NHS and local care providers by:

  • Keeping the Emergency Department (Accident and Emergency) for emergencies. If your condition isn’t an emergency, choose a different service. You may have to be prepared to wait a bit longer for treatment if it isn’t urgent.
  • Using your local pharmacist for minor conditions such as insect bites, ear ache, skin rashes.
  • Using the HANDi paediatric app for advice on common childhood illnesses
  • Using NHS 111 – online or by phone if you need advice or medical treatment quickly and can’t wait to see your GP. If you need to be seen by a Minor Injuries or Emergency Department they can book you in.
  • Collecting friends or family members from hospital as soon as possible when they are ready to leave. It means their bed can be given to someone who needs it.

For further information the pressures currently facing the NHS and how the public can help, click here.