'Be kind' plea from NHS bosses in Leeds as demand for GPs and hospitals services continues to soar

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Health chiefs in Leeds have urged people to ‘be kind’ as demand continues to soar for GPs and hospital services across the city.

Health and care organisations have come together to call for kindness, consideration and for patients and residents to support their local NHS providers at this “unprecedented and busy time”.

The demand for GP practices, hospitals services, A&E departments and local community services is at an all-time high.

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Last week, the Yorkshire Evening Post reported patients in Leeds have been facing some of the longest average ambulance response times last month, with calls to category 1 - the most serious - incidents taking 11 minutes and four seconds, compared to a target of seven minutes.

File image of Leeds General Infirmary.File image of Leeds General Infirmary.
File image of Leeds General Infirmary.

More patients are also visiting A&E at Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust, with the departments seeing 50 per cent more patients in October 2021 than in October 2020.

It comes amid rising numbers of Covid-19 patients, the long-term physical and mental impact on health of the pandemic as well as health and care staff also suffering from Covid-19, exhaustion and illness.

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City health leaders in Leeds have spoken out to stress they understand people’s concerns and disappointments with access to face-to-face-appointments and long waiting times and said all organisations are working together to find solutions, address the backlog as well as rolling out the Covid-19 booster programme, the flu ja and the seasonal winter illness demands.

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And they urged people across the city to take this into consideration and “be respectful” to staff.

Dr Sarah Forbes, GP and associate medical director, NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We are aware of the constant media coverage on the pressures on the NHS and myself and my colleagues are continuing to work extremely hard to meet our patients needs and ensure that people who need to be seen face-to-face are able to.

"It has been an intense 18 months in the health and care industries and as parents, carers, residents, daughters and sons, we are all human.

"Please be kind.

"Please be respectful and please consider that the person on the end of the phone is a human being too.”

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Sam Prince, senior responsible officer, Leeds Vaccination Programme, said: “I have been fortunate enough to work in a role over the last 18 months that has shown me most parts of our wonderful health and care services in Leeds.

"Every single agency, practice, hospital I have worked with are going above and beyond to ensure patients get access to the diagnosis, treatment or vaccine they need.

"As a Leeds resident I am proud of what our colleagues have delivered and alongside my colleagues, I ask for all people to be understanding of the pressures on us all at the moment, and most of all, be kind.”

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