Wednesday, May 22, 2024

There’s no place like home – help get your relatives back home for Christmas 

THE NHS is calling on friends, families and carers of relatives who are ready and safe to be discharged from hospital to lend a helping hand in getting them out of hospital and back home in time for Christmas. 

The call comes as local health services face increasing pressure with high levels of demand in local hospitals. 

Dr Ronan Fenton, Medical Director for the Integrated Care System in Mid and South Essex said: 

“In many cases, patients in our hospitals are ready and well enough to be discharged. However, they cannot leave as the support is not in place at home – which is where friends, family and carers could step in by providing appropriate, temporary support – and anyone who could provide this is very much encouraged to make contact with the nurse in charge of their loved-one’s care. 

“Hospital teams and social workers will liaise with those able to provide this support, to ensure that they too are supported and to deliver a long-term solution for the patient’s welfare and recovery. 

“Hospital staff are doing an incredible job during this challenging time. If we could discharge those medically fit patients who remain in hospital only because the support they need at home is not yet in place, it would really support our doctors and nurses. 

“No one likes being in hospital and we know that recovery is better and speedier at home. So, I urge anyone who could offer support to a loved one who is well enough to go home to come forward – they’ll not only be helping that patient on the road to recovery, they’ll also be giving a big boost to the staff at our local hospitals, meaning they can focus all their efforts on the very sickest patients who need their care. 

“We want to reassure everyone that the NHS is open, staff are working tirelessly, and anyone needing life threatening help must always come forward. We have to prioritise urgent care, so people may have to wait longer than any of us would like for less urgent issues, and that could include longer waits in emergency departments or for an ambulance.” 

As the weather becomes colder, there are more chances of people becoming ill.

Please visit for information on how you can keep yourself and loved ones well this winter and ensure you receive the right care in the right place, in a timely and safe way.  

All communities are also urged to protect themselves, their families and the NHS by having COVID boosters and flu jabs if they are eligible. 

Many ailments and illnesses can be treated at home such as coughs and colds, sore throats and minor cuts and grazes.  Please visit for a useful health A-Z on with a complete guide to conditions, symptoms and treatments, including what to do and when to get help. 

Local pharmacies can also help with minor health problems or advice. Pharmacists are also trained medical professionals who can advise on the best treatment for common heath conditions. Providing you do not have symptoms of coronavirus, you can walk in without an appointment

A list of pharmacies across Essex is available – Find a pharmacy – NHS ( 

Visit for more information on how people can stay well this winter.  


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