Increase in abuse and pressure on Norfolk's NHS staff

Melanie Craig, chief officer of NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group. Picture

Melanie Craig, chief officer for Norfolk and Waveney CCG, says there is no place for abuse for NHS staff - Credit: Archant

Staycations have driven up demand for urgent and emergency services across Norfolk's hospitals, as staff are facing increasing pressure and abuse. 

The Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (N&WCCG) board met on Tuesday and said services are under "immense pressure" including emergency care, GP services and mental health. 

In addition, Norfolk and Waveney has 12,143 people waiting more than a year for treatment. Plans to tackle this include the creation of a single patient treatment list. 

The James Paget University Hospital has seen the biggest impact of staycations driving demand for urgent and emergency care, with the Queen Elizabeth Hospital also experiencing high demands, with both reporting their busiest days ever in recent weeks.

Rising Covid admissions remain below the national average but have increased from 24 to 44 as of July 25, with the number of patients in critical care rising from three to eight.


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Melanie Craig, chief officer, said there was "no place" for abuse following a rise in reports from NHS and care staff. 

Doris Jamison said she had received a "disturbing email" from a GP practice about the abuse they received, and told the meeting: "I accept sometimes patients could be a bit aggravated because it is difficult to get through on the phone. We should not really be taking it out on practice staff, they are there to provide us with a service.

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"I really urge the public to be mindful they are human beings and they should not be going home crying." 

On Tuesday, NHS Providers released a letter reporting many trusts are experiencing the overall level of pressure seen in January. 

It said hospitals are currently running enhanced infection control measures, leading to "significant loss of capacity", which a report to the CCG indicating this has impacted urgent and emergency services in the region's hospitals. 

The CCG plans to tackle this across five areas including increasing pre-bookable slots at emergency departments, primary care, same day emergency care, and urgent community response. 

Calls to 111 have seen a 20pc increase with the CCG looking to expand the clinical assessment service and provide an option for people to call 111 to access mental health services. 

A spokesman for the NHS in Norfolk and Waveney, said: "We are currently experiencing very high demand in our emergency and urgent care departments and teams are working hard to catch-up on patients who had treatments and procedures postponed during the pandemic."

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