NHS Cheshire and Merseyside December 2022 Blog

Graham Urwin - Chief Executive
Graham Urwin - Chief Executive

With temperatures dropping and winter starting to bite, the NHS and all health and care partners are braced for several extremely challenging months.

It has arguably never been more important for people to ensure that their vaccinations - such as flu and COVID-19 - are up to date and to follow simple self-care advice.

If you do need to access a health service, where possible please try NHS 111, your local pharmacy or GP practice first. However, in an emergency you should always call 999.

The Royal College of Nursing and several trade unions representing ambulance workers have announced that members plan to join a number of strike dates in the coming weeks.

Detailed local planning to ensure that emergency care is maintained throughout any industrial action is well underway, while any strike involving ambulance workers will affect non-life threatening calls only.

Ultimately, NHS pay is a matter for the Government and trade unions. We respect the right of union members to take part in this planned industrial action.

Anyone who needs to access healthcare services on a day of industrial action should continue to do so. If you have a healthcare appointment, please attend as normal unless advised otherwise.

National headlines around Group A Strep is understandably causing considerable concern currently - particularly among parents of young children. Please appraise yourself with the main signs and symptoms.

Among other issues currently facing the health and care system across Cheshire and Merseyside is the number of people who remain in hospital despite being medically fit for discharge.

To help tackle this, additional national funding of c£29m - £19m via the NHS and £10m direct to local authorities - has recently been confirmed for Cheshire and Merseyside. This will be used to support smoother discharge processes and ensure more care packages are available.

Separately, good progress is being made to reduce long waits for people awaiting planned care procedures and we are now delivering many more diagnostic tests than we were pre-pandemic.

This has led to a sharp increase in the number of cancer referrals and, as noted by our Trust Board member Ann Marr OBE at our Board meeting in November, the conversion rate remains the same.

This means more cancers are being discovered across Cheshire and Merseyside and more people are entering treatment, which can only lead to better patient outcomes.

Graham Urwin - Chief Executive

Full December 2022 update available here