North East health chiefs urge public to take steps to prevent 'avoidable accidents' this May Bank Holiday weekend

Dr Neil O'Brien and Professor Chris GrayDr Neil O'Brien and Professor Chris Gray
Dr Neil O'Brien and Professor Chris Gray
Health chiefs across the region are asking the public to take steps to prevent 'avoidable accidents' which could be caused by drinking too much alcohol, attempting difficult DIY tasks and making non-essential car journeys.

Health chiefs are urging the public to remember social distancing, by keeping two metres apart, keep their hands extra clean and use services sensibly.

All of which, they say, will play a vital part in protecting the NHS as it embarks on phase two of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic and planning which is underway to re-start more elective activity for people who need to come into hospital for planned care or treatment.

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Dr Neil O'Brien, a local GP in County Durham and accountable officer for South Tyneside, Sunderland and County Durham Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) says everyone has a part to play in tackling the pandemic.

He said: "The public have been amazing in responding to the lockdown measures so far and it is really important that we all continue to adhere to these rules, especially as we head into a sunny bank holiday.

“Please take sensible steps to avoid accidents and to look after yourselves, both physically and mentally - there are lots of resources out there so if you are struggling with negative feelings during isolation, please do seek help. We also know that drinking too much alcohol, attempting difficult DIY tasks, or taking unnecessary trips in the car could all end up causing avoidable accidents which take up precious NHS resources at a time when we are busy treating very sick patients."

There has been a stable reduction in the number of Covid-19 cases in the North East's hospitals as the UK comes out of it's first peak.

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Professor Chris Gray, clinical lead for the integrated care system for the North East and North Cumbria added: “Over the coming weeks, individual organisations will be contacting patients to re-book some planned appointments and treatments. We will be doing this safely and as quickly as we can but it will take time and will be managed in a phased way – so please bear with us.

“I also want to re-assure people that at the heart of all this planning is ensuring we keep patients safe - whether they are being cared for at home, in the community or in our hospitals.".

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