01:51PM, Tuesday 26 January 2021
The Royal Borough and the NHS have urged residents to ‘stay at home and save lives’ amid rising infection rates in the community.
A letter, signed by chief executives from Frimley Health and other regional NHS representatives, alongside councillor Stuart Carroll, lead member for health at the Royal Borough, warns that 'the community has high levels of infection and cases are still rising'.
"The pressures we are experiencing now are greater than anything we have experienced so far with an increase in the number of local people dying from the virus," the letter adds.
“This is not the start to 2021 any of us wanted but with your help we can change that. Now, more than ever, we all need to follow the new national guidance to stay at home, save lives and protect the NHS.
“Everyone – you, your family, your friends – can play a part in the effort in keeping our communities safe and supporting local services.
“Most people are catching the virus while out locally, but then bringing it home and infecting their families. You must stay at home, except in those limited circumstances where you have a legitimate reason to go out.
“If you do need to leave your home you should make sure you follow the simple rules all of the time.
“With the rollout of vaccines we now have hope that we can beat this virus but this will take time."
The letter added a plea for residents to wait for the NHS to notify them when it is their turn to be vaccinated, not to reach out.
“Local GP surgeries are reporting their phone lines being blocked by patients and their family members calling to ask when they will get the vaccine,” the letter stated.
“This means that practices are being hindered from making outgoing calls, booking appointments, or taking calls from those who need urgent care.
“Please do not call the practice to ask why you haven’t been invited, or assume that you’ve been missed because your neighbour has already had their vaccine.
“At this time please only contact your GP practice for minor illness if your local pharmacy has been unable to help, or for symptoms that won’t go.
“We fully recognise that this third lockdown is difficult for everyone and the toll that this can take on the wellbeing of all of us – patients, carers, staff, family and friends.
“Thank you again for all of your support, and to everyone working to make a difference, whether in hospitals, in the community, in mental health, as a volunteer, supporting COVID testing or delivering the vaccine.”
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