HEALTH leaders today issue a heartfelt plea to people across Hampshire and Isle of Wight - help us protect you and your families this Christmas and New Year.
Dedicated health and care teams are doing all they can to support patients and drive up vaccination rates as COVID-19 cases rise across the area and services across the board are put under greater pressure.
Now clinicians are urging our communities to take action to support themselves, friends, family and their NHS:
Top Five Tips
- Grab a COVID-19 jab if you are eligible
- Socialise safely
- Support loved ones to leave hospital in time for Christmas when they are ready to be discharged
- Only call 999 or visit the Emergency Department for life-threatening emergencies. For urgent, non- life-threatening illnesses or injuries visit 111.nhs.uk
- Don’t suffer in silence – seek support if you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis
Dr Derek Sandeman, Chief Medical Officer of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care System (ICS), said:
“We know that numbers of Omicron cases are rising across our area and we want to ensure we protect as many people as possible, and prevent our health and care services being put under additional pressure.
“Our health and care staff have been phenomenal and we are hugely grateful for all of their efforts, particularly after another challenging year, but we can’t do it alone. That is why we are appealing to our communities to take a few simple steps to support us this Christmas and New Year.”
Dr Matt Nisbet, GP and Clinical Lead of Hampshire and Isle of Wight COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, said: “Adding a booster to the initial course of the COVID-19 vaccine greatly increases our protection against Omicron. Our local NHS has done an amazing job in expanding vaccination capacity in the run up to Christmas. Now it’s your turn to do your bit to protect yourself and others by booking in or attending a walk-in. Don’t put this off - the sooner you get a booster, the sooner you’ll increase your protection against the wave of Omicron which the scientists tell us is coming in the new year.”
Health and care teams continue to ramp up services to ensure every adult across Hampshire and Isle of Wight is offered a COVID-19 booster by 31 December.
In the last three days alone 102,700 jabs have been delivered across our communities – an average or more than 4,270 an hour. This is a tremendous achievement and health and care teams are incredibly grateful to everyone pulling out all the stops to support local delivery of the programme, from colleagues to partners and volunteers.
Anyone eligible who has not yet taken up the offer of a first, second or booster dose is strongly encouraged to do so as soon as possible to ensure they are as protected as possible from the virus this Christmas and beyond.
The Omicron COVID-19 variant remains highly transmissible. However health leaders are backing UK Health Security Agency’s calls for communities to help reduce the spread of infection in their household by:
- Limiting close contact with others and spend as little time as possible in communal areas
- Cleaning frequently touched surfaces and shared rooms like kitchens and bathrooms regularly
- Washing your hands regularly with soap and water, particularly after coughing and sneezing
- Getting help where possible from those you live with. Ask for help with cleaning and being brought food safely to avoid unnecessary contact
- Using a face covering if you need to spend time in shared spaces
- Keeping rooms well ventilated
- Catching coughs and sneezes in disposable tissues and putting them straight in the bin
Notes to Editors
Details on how to access the COVID-19 vaccine in Hampshire and Isle of Wight are available here and are regularly updated.