People across Leicestershire are being asked to help, where possible, when a loved one, friend or someone they care for is ready to be discharged from hospital.
The county council is looking to support the work of partners in health, who are ensuring that patients can leave Leicester’s hospitals as soon as they are medically fit to do so.
The council acknowledges the need to stay home and stay safe, to protect others and the NHS, and to follow the social distancing advice set out by the Government.
However, some people being discharged from hospital will need a bit of care and support, from a nominated relative or carer.
The council says that if families and friends can be on hand to provide care and support to a loved one, where they can, it eases the pressure on severely stretched services, freeing up beds when they are most critically needed during the coronavirus pandemic.
Family members or friends may need help on the day of discharge itself to get settled back home, or help with shopping, getting prescriptions, or other care needs for a period of time afterwards.
It is a difficult time but there are ways that people can play a part to help the NHS.
It is vital that family and friends are ready to respond to help their loved ones. It is important now for people to play their part in order to help the NHS navigate its way through this pandemic.
Providing immediate support to loved ones as they leave hospital and, in the days and weeks which follow, will reassure them as they return home and will help our hospitals continue to retain critical space for those in need of urgent care.Person:Councillor Lee Breckon, cabinet member for health
University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust says the call to action among family and friends is “another way for everyone to help.”
Debra Mitchell, acting chief operating officer at Leicester’s hospitals, said: “It is everyone’s priority during the coronavirus emergency to protect ourselves, our families and the communities we live in and I am proud to say that, during the recent days and weeks, we have demonstrated our ability to unite in order to protect our NHS.
“For the safety of our patients and staff, we’re not currently allowing visitors to hospitals, except, when agreed in advance, for exceptional circumstances.
“However, we are absolutely relying on loved ones to provide support to patients when they are ready to return home. This needs to be carried out safely by paying attention to hand-washing advice, social distancing guidelines and other practical guidance that is being issued by the government.”
To ensure people can safely help loved ones, follow the guidance at www.gov.uk/coronavirus
For the latest county council updates on coronavirus, visit: www.leicestershire.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19