Appeal for ‘family support and flexibility’ as pressure on Lanarkshire’s hospitals continues

People across Lanarkshire are being asked to help where necessary if a loved one, friend or someone they care for is being discharged from hospital.

Sustained pressures continue to be experienced across health and social care systems in Lanarkshire, impacting significantly on every service.

These pressures have been exacerbated by continuing high levels of demand along with challenges around staffing availability/sickness, compounded by the ongoing impact of COVID-19.

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Ahead of the Easter weekend, Marianne Hayward, program director for discharge without delay in Lanarkshire, has made a public appeal.

She told Lanarkshire Live: “Our collaboration with people in communities and unpaid carers is as crucial as it’s ever been.

“We are appealing for families and carers – particularly of those coming out of hospital – to be as flexible, responsive and supportive as possible at this time.”

Ms Hayward added: “As has been well-publicised, pressures are particularly pronounced in our three acute sites, University Hospitals Hairmyres, Wishaw and Monklands.

“Despite the challenges on the system, patients will only go home when it is safe to do so. This means our hospital teams have assessed them as being medically stable.

Hairmyres Hospital in East Kilbride

“Ongoing support will depend on needs of the individual and hospital teams will assess and discuss with patents and their families what this will look like and arrange the services accordingly.

“To help us reduce ongoing strain on resources and focus on the most medically unwell, we may ask for the public’s help, for family, carers and friends of someone in need of care at home to help out.

“Tasks may include dressing, cleaning and cooking.”

A letter has also been distributed to hospital patients, and their relatives, outlining the current position, and setting out options for those who require care after their hospital stay.

Ms Hayward added: “The letter explains current pressures mean there are challenges in meeting care needs across the area and also reiterates that, following an assessment of needs, our teams will work with patients to ensure they have a safe level of care.

“Overall, the crucial point is that we are asking for flexibility and support to help achieve a safe and appropriate discharge.

“We are hugely grateful for the public’s understanding at what continues to be an exceptionally testing time.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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