NHS issues highest state of alert for South West

South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust Ambulance

The South West has been place under an Opel 4 alert by the NHS as workloads increase. - Credit: South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust

NHS bosses from North Somerset have placed local systems in the highest state of alert, Opel 4, as it comes under intense pressure and demand.

People have been them not to use hospitals, GP practices, community and mental health services unless it is necessary.

The medical director for the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group told the Mercury and Times that this is the most challenging period staff are working in.

The logo for the new NHS 111 service.

For non-life-threatening injuries or illnesses, call 111. - Credit: Sub

Dr Peter Brindle said: "Workforce challenges, increased demand, the ongoing impact of Covid-19, and a growing backlog of people waiting for planned care make this the most challenging period we have ever experienced.

"The public can really help us here – by checking in on loved ones who might need extra support in the community, and by ensuring they are ready to help out with discharge as soon as we call. At this stage, every hour counts."

People being admitted to the hospital are now being asked to plan their discharge with ward staff straight away, with efforts made to move people on as soon as they are fit to.

For non-life-threatening injuries or illnesses, call 111.