North Lanarkshire families and carers asked to help with recently discharged hospital patients

People in North Lanarkshire are being asked to help where possible if a loved one, friend or someone they care for has recently been discharged from hospital

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Health & Social Care North Lanarkshire (HSCNL) is currently working to ensure patients whose discharge has been delayed are able to leave its hospitals as soon as they are medically fit to do so. The objective is to minimise their potential exposure to Coronaviris (COVID-19) and create vital capacity.

The call comes as COVID-19 is presenting Care at Home services in the area with increasingly significant capacity challenges. Families and carers of those currently in receipt of home care are also being asked to help. Tasks may include dressing, cleaning and cooking.

Ross McGuffie, chief officer, HSCNL, said: "Our partnership with people in communities is as crucial as it's ever been as unprecedented demand on our workforce becomes increasingly pronounced.

"To help us reduce this strain and focus on the most medically unwell, we are asking for the public's help, for family, carers and friends of someone in need of care at home to help out where possible and safe to do so."

Pressures on Care at Home services

Ross also highlighted the current pressures on Care at Home services and underlined how members of the public can assist.

He said: "We are prioritising Care at Home services for the most vulnerable on their discharge from hospital and those with existing packages of care.

"We are therefore asking people to be mindful that you may now be contacted by our staff and asked to care for a family member or friend. If you are approached I would urge you to think about how you can help using a common sense approach.

"It is clear now that we face a challenge which we have not seen before in our lifetimes. Our overriding objective is about protecting and saving lives.We are hugely grateful for the support of communities, working together with us."

How you can help

A simple to follow checklist has been developed to ensure people can safely help loved ones:

  • DO make sure you're well before lending assistance, especially to an older person.
  • DO self-isolate if you're experiencing any symptoms of Coronavirus Covid-19 and look after yourself.
  • DO consider others in your family or neighbourhood network who could offer helpif you're self-isolating.
  • DO phone a member of your care team immediately if you or a family member is in receipt of Care at Home Services and have symptoms. This will allow us to take steps protect the health of our workforce, and help reduce the potential spread of the virus to other service users.

More information on COVID-19 can be found at: https://www.nhslanarkshire.scot.nhs.uk/novel-corona-virus-covid-19/

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