NHS urges people to do their bit as COVID-19 patients increase

Published: 6 October 2022

The number of patients in Devon’s hospitals with COVID-19 has risen substantially over the last month. Around 250 people in hospital have tested positive for the virus, roughly five times the number in early September.

Higher covid rates add to the pressures that already exist in the local health and care system. People across Devon are being urged to support the NHS by helping to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 and flu viruses.

NHS Devon Chief Medical Officer Dr Nigel Acheson said: “Many people will be well aware of the pressures affecting the NHS and will want to do their bit to help. We really appreciate their support and also their patience with staff at this very busy time.”

There are four main ways in which you can support the NHS.

  • Have the seasonal COVID-19 and flu vaccinations, if you are eligible.
  • Stay away from hospitals, care homes and other healthcare facilities if you have symptoms of a contagious illness such as Covid-19, flu or norovirus.
  • Use the most appropriate service for your needs; your local pharmacy can help with minor ailments and NHS111 online with urgent needs.
  • If a family or friend is ready to be discharged from hospital, please pick them up as quickly as possible after you have been contacted.

COVID-19 autumn boosters can be booked through the National Booking Service or by calling 119 if you are unable to use the online service.  You can find your nearest walk-in clinic on NHS England’s site finder here. Please check that your local clinic is offering walk in appointments or booked appointments before attending.

You can find a pharmacy near you offering the NHS flu vaccine online

If you are not eligible for a free NHS flu vaccine, you can still pay for one privately through your local pharmacy.