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NHS boss: Caution over lifting lockdown

NHS Chief Jeff Ace

THE head of the NHS in Dumfries and Galloway is urging caution over any possible easing of the Coronavirus lockdown. Jeff Ace, NHS Dumfries and Galloway Chief Executive, said: “It is worth reiterating that we remain in a very precarious situation. We are faced with a highly infectious virus that will cause serious illness in a significant proportion of those infected for which we have very limited treatments. "Covid-19 has a high mortality rate, particularly among older adults or those with co-morbidities. At the moment, it is estimated that only a very small percentage of the population has been exposed to the virus and that the vast majority of us have no acquired immunity." He touched on the latest briefing from Holyrood. “The Scottish Government has made clear today that, in Scotland, existing lockdown arrangements will continue to apply. Any minor easing of restrictions will only be introduced when supported by evidence of reduced community transmission of Covid-19. “In this context, it remains essential that we follow Scottish Government's guidance on: · staying at home whenever possible · maintaining effective social distancing when in the workplace, shopping or exercising · practising good hand hygiene “If we do this, we will save lives; lives of our colleagues, friends, neighbours and families. “A huge thanks for everyone's efforts so far. Everyone in Dumfries and Galloway can feel proud of how we have responded, and continue to respond, to the challenges of COVID-19. There is, however, a long way to go yet.” Meanwhile, Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson has offered his support to NHS Dumfries and Galloway as they begin to tackle the backlog of operations that have occurred during the Covid-19 outbreak. The Scottish Conservative and Unionist MSP as written to Mr Ace to enquire what plans the health board are currently exploring in order to carry out operations as soon as it is safe to do so. Mr Carson has also asked the Chief Executive if he feels in the circumstances if the health board would require further resources than they currently have in order to achieve the best possible outcome for patients. Mr Carson also praised the extraordinary work being carried out by NHS staff across the region and says their efforts should never be forgotten during this crisis. Commenting, Mr Carson said: “Our NHS staff on the frontline across Dumfries and Galloway have done an extraordinary job during the Covid-19 crisis and everyone will be forever grateful for their above and beyond efforts in helping to save lives. “Understandably resources were directed away from operations and other programmes in order to tackle Covid-19 in recent weeks meaning many operations had to be cancelled. “As we begin to try and emerge from the lockdown and return to a sense of normality, I have been keen to offer my support to NHS Dumfries and Galloway to carry out operations when it is safe again to do so, both in terms of social distancing and on resources. “I have offered to help support the health board in pushing for greater resources that they require in order to give patients the treatment they need and to return our health service back to some form of normality. “Our health service has continued to be there for people at this time, not only during Covid-19 and I hope that there can be plans put in place soon to carry out the backlog of operations.”

<< back Published: 07 May 2020, 18:34