Hospital flu cases double in a week as NHS answers near record 111 calls - The Evesham Observer

Hospital flu cases double in a week as NHS answers near record 111 calls

Evesham Editorial 9th Jan, 2023   0

FLU cases in the region’s hospitals have doubled in just a week, as staff in NHS 111 answered a near record number of calls nationally.

New figures for the week leading up to New Year’s Day, showed there were 1,465 patients with flu in general and acute Midlands hospital beds, up from 708 the previous week.

In the same week last year, there were 38 flu cases nationally in general and acute beds and two in critical care beds.

Amid levels of demand not seen since the start of the COVID pandemic, NHS 111 nationally answered the second highest number of calls ever in a week, with 410,618 calls answered, up from 365,258 last week and 382,021 last year.




Despite unprecedented pressure and demand on services, the NHS planned extensively for winter, recruiting hundreds of extra 111 and 999 call handlers and establishing around the clock system control centres in every area to manage demand as effectively as possible.

Dr Vijay Rawal, Regional Medical Director for Primary Care (including Public Health Commissioning) at NHS England in the Midlands, said:


“Winter illnesses are on the rise because we’re mixing more and being close to others aids the spread of flu, norovirus and COVID-19. Anyone who is unwell should try to stay at home, but if they do need to go out for urgent items like medications or food then wearing a mask will reduce the risk to others.

“Flu can be very unpleasant and, in some cases, can lead to more serious illness. Getting yourself and your child vaccinated protects you and others you may come into contact with, and it’s still not too late to get protected. The flu vaccination is still available for all eligible groups and is the best protection against the virus.

“It remains vital that people make the most of services like 111 online and as ever, only use 999 in an emergency. Everyone can take action to stop the spread by regularly cleaning hands and wearing a mask if on NHS premises. Anyone who is feeling unwell can take care of themselves by resting, keeping hydrated and avoiding spreading illnesses to others such as friends and family in hospital who may be vulnerable.”

You can have the NHS flu vaccine if you are eligible at:

  • your GP surgery
  • a pharmacy offering the service – if you’re aged 18 or over
  • some maternity services if you’re pregnant
  • Sometimes, you might be offered the flu vaccine at a hospital appointment.

For full details on the flu vaccine visit the NHS website.

People can book their latest COVID-19 dose through the national booking system or by calling 119. You can also get a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from a walk-in site without an appointment. People can find their nearest walk-in sites on the NHS website.

 

 

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