April 10th - Seek Medical Help When Unwell

April 10
Press Statement

Seek Medical Help When Unwell

 A Message to the Shetland Community

If you have symptoms which are causing concern, or are already being treated for a serious health condition, please do seek help from a member of the clinical staff at your health centre.

While the COVID-19 emergency is serious it is very important that patients continue to seek assistance for other health issues.

In a statement this week the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges said that the risk of developing other serious or life-threatening conditions remained unchanged.

“People must be fully confident that they can and should seek medical assistance if they are worried about themselves or a relative,” the statement said.

The Academy said that the NHS had, understandably, undergone changes to accommodate the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Which means that routine or non-urgent appointments are likely to be postponed – but this does not apply to urgent or emergency illnesses, the management of poorly controlled or unstable long-term conditions or the provision of palliative and end of life care.”

NHS Shetland Interim Medical Director Brian Chittick said he understood patients were hesitant to add to the burden of doctors and nurses at this difficult time or that they were afraid of catching COVID-19.

“We need to stress this very important message: Please do call your health centre and speak to a member of the clinical team if something is worrying you. We don’t want serious conditions to be left untreated because this can lead to a serious medical situation that places your health or even your life at risk.”

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges message is:

  • Seek NHS help through your GP, NHS111, 999 or A&E if you or your family become acutely unwell and believe that you may be suffering from a serious or life threatening condition;
  • You should continue with ongoing treatments for all your medical conditions and attend any hospital or GP appointments that are requested. Routine care is being carried out, where possible, through ‘phone calls or video links so you will not be asked to attend unless absolutely necessary;
  • Hospitals are safer than your own home if you are in need of emergency care. The reorganisation of services includes protecting patients who are being seen for conditions other than COVID-19.