Be a good neighbour and look in on the elderly this Christmas say health bosses
Wythenshawe people are urged to be good neighbours and look in on the elderly during the Christmas holiday period to ease pressure on hospital A&E departments.
Health bosses have warned that loneliness and isolation can increase the risk of emergency hospital admissions and people are more likely to report health problems in good time if they have someone to talk to.
Figures show 1966 people visited A&E at Wythenshawe’s University Hospital South Manchester in the week ending December 14 compared 1879 visits in the same week last year – a rise of nearly five per cent.
The figures for Wythenshawe reflect a similar trend throughout the country and it thought health services could be facing a “crunch” period Christmas and New Year, with hospitals and ambulance services are already coming under pressure this winter.
NHS leaders say they want to keep people out of busy A&E departments “as far as possible”.
They are worried that over the festive period the impact of loneliness and social isolation could cause a sharp rise in admissions putting more pressure on services.
Prof Keith Willett, NHS England’s national clinical director for acute care said: “We are calling on the public to think about those people living nearby who might benefit from a visit.
“If they see other people they are more likely to mention a health problem and then are more likely to seek help early.”