A VERY serious situation now exists across the health and social care system in Dumfries and Galloway – currently experiencing the greatest pressures in living memory.
Direct requests are now being made to families and loved ones of hospital in-patients to provide whatever support they can to facilitate a speedy discharge, and help address major pressures.
Julie White is Chief Officer of the Health and Social Care Partnership and Chief Operating Officer of NHS Dumfries and Galloway, and she said: “We are in an unprecedented situation.
“Never in the living memory of health and social care services in Dumfries and Galloway have we been faced with such pressures. Not with the move to the new DGRI back in 2017, not in the worst of any winters… this is a whole new level of pressure.
“And we can’t promise that it’s not going to get any worse.
“Our fundamental issue at the moment is the volume of people who genuinely require our help and support and finite staffing resource available to meet those needs. We are doing our best to recruit more staff to support us but the pressure is immediate.
“So today we are not just looking not for the ongoing support of our incredible staff and volunteers, but also from our communities.
“To families and friends of loved ones currently in our care, anything you can possibly do to help support the return of that person to their home environment will assist us in ensuring we are then able to help others.
“Get in touch with our teams, guide our approaches, suggest ways in which we can accelerate their return home.
“For the wider community, anything you can do to help support us at this time will be met with immense appreciation. Help us by following guidance which sets out where to seek the most appropriate source of help if needed, but, if it is needed, please do come forward. Please continue to be tolerant and understanding as we make some really difficult decisions to manage this unprecedented demand.
“To be clear, we will always be here to provide treatment and care – but the limits of what we are able to do continue to be stretched to new degrees, and I am extremely concerned about how much further these resources can stretch.
“As noted, we can’t guarantee that this current situation won’t worsen still, but right now we want everyone to understand just how difficult things are, to help in any way they can, and ask them to be as supportive and polite as possible to the amazing staff and volunteers who remain professional and caring – no matter how difficult and testing the circumstances.”