North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust has issued a stark warning to the public to not become ‘COVID complacent’.
Staff at the Trust have welcomed the relative drop in infection and death rates in the UK but have warned that this not the time to relax and bend the rules.
On the contrary, more vigilance than ever is required.
Hemal Mohan, Consultant Anaesthetist and Intensive Care Unit Lead, said: “The risk remains high and we need to stick to the rules and observe the lockdown.
“The vaccination programme is starting to have an impact in the community, however, the decrease in infections is likely down to the latest lockdown. We must maintain it.
“We’re a long way from normality and we all need to do our part to drive the infection rates even lower.
“By seeing this through, we can avoid a later increase in infections and further lockdowns.”
Intensive care unit
As rates steadily fall in the community, the intensive care unit at the University Hospital of North Tees is still seeing regular admissions of very ill patients.
Hemal continued: “Our intensive care unit is still dealing with a high number of patients of all ages. These are real people not numbers, they are mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, friends, colleagues, sons and daughters. Many of them are desperately ill.
“The sad reality we are facing is that some of these patients will not survive.
“We’re dealing with this every day and it’s heart breaking. Our thoughts are with the relatives of those who have lost loved ones and we’re asking everyone to pull together to drive the infection rates even lower.”
The Trust is asking everyone:
• Stick to the lockdown
• If you must leave the house, keep a distance, wear a mask and wash/gel your hands regularly
• Take your vaccine appointment as soon as it’s offered
• Make use of the community testing facilities and always isolate if needed