Should the council spend an extra £300,000 on adding microchips to bins? (See full story on this page)

Free Press Commercial Print Stair Estates

Welcome for NHS restarts

Jeff Ace

NEWS that NHS Dumfries and Galloway is restarting some services and clinics which were stopped due to the Covid-19 crisis has been welcomed by MSP Colin Smyth. However, he has expressed continued concern about the consequences of postponed operations and clinics, as well as those people who did not attend health care to have problems investigated out of concern about catching Covid-19 or not wanting to burden the NHS. NHS Dumfries and Galloway chief executive Jeff Ace said a plan for restarting clinics and services had been submitted to the Scottish Government but he warned that it would be a gradual process and dependent on the continued suppression of the virus. Colin Smyth said: “I welcome the news that NHS Dumfries and Galloway is slowly restarting some services and clinics which were stopped due to Covid-19. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our wonderful local NHS staff, as well as all health and social care workers for their dedication, professionalism and hard work through this unprecedented and very frightening time. “Our NHS and health and social care workers have stepped up the mark and ensured we are as safe and as well cared for as possible. As lockdown measures are slowly lifted, it's more vital than ever that people continue to follow government advice about what they should and shouldn't do, the last thing anyone wants is a second wave of the virus. “However, I do still have concerns about the consequences to the NHS in the future of so many non-urgent operations and procedures which were rightly cancelled or postponed during the pandemic. There will also be many people who decided not to visit their doctor to get something investigated because they did not want to burden the NHS or catch Covid-19. “I am worried this will cause our NHS problems in the future and I would like to once again urge anyone with a health query or concern to call their GP in the first instance or 999 in an emergency.” Meanwhile, a virtual meeting of NHS Dumfries and Galloway Board featured updates on the implementation of national directives around Covid-19. Board members agreed new governance arrangements aimed at restoring some committees as much as is possible within the current coronavirus epidemic. As part of those discussions, it was confirmed that a Public Health Governance Committee will be created. Discussion took place around strategic planning, with members agreeing the need for NHS Dumfries and Galloway to have its own operational, strategic framework. NHS Dumfries and Galloway Chief Executive Jeff Ace then provided an update on the approach to Covid-19 in which he identified four main strands of work. The first of these is the management of Covid-19 cases throughout the various services. Noting that the numbers of Covid patients has been declining, he described this as stable, manageable and one of the most straightforward aspects of current work. Secondly, Mr Ace noted work to support care homes and pointed to a new national directive received last Monday. This sees NHS Boards taking on new responsibilities in relation to care homes. Mr Ace acknowledged the resources required to support this across the region's 31 care homes, but hailed good progress. Local implementation of the national 'test and protect' programme was highlighted as the third strand of work. Mr Ace spoke of significant progress, and a confidence that the programme can be maintained – but with a reliance on numbers remaining manageable. The fourth area of work is the expansion of non-civid services. Mr Ace noted that there were still services which had continued to operate throughout the epidemic, particularly around cancer treatment and mental health. He said that work was taking place to look at how, across a wider range of services, a model of care can be developed. Mr Ace noted challenges around any care models which require people to share confined spaces and that work is taking place to create a safe model while monitoring activity around Covid flow. NHS Dumfries and Galloway Chief Operating Officer Julie White and Interim Director of Public Health Valerie White then also delivered an update. They said a Care Home Oversight Group has been established and is now meeting daily, in line with national directions. Covid-19 -19 testing arrangements are in place. This includes surveillance testing at care homes where no confirmed cases of Covid-19 are currently identified. Towards the end of Monday's meeting, discussion turned to concerns around mental health amid the effect of the epidemic and lockdown. It was agreed that more needs to be done to promote the support which continues to be available locally during this time.

<< back Published: 28 May 2020, 08:33

COVID-19 News

How financial support is helping firms adapt


Financial support helping companies adapt and innovate


Government action at home and abroad helps cope with Covid


Protecting jobs and supporting business




The news you can trust


Extraordinary kindness across our communities




Click for your Local Tide Details