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Help us help you by choosing the right service and supporting your loved ones


This article is from 11 January 2022 - the situation may change with time.

People in Oxfordshire are being urged to use the right NHS service as hospitals in the county continue to be very busy.

It comes following ongoing high attendances at the John Radcliffe and Horton General hospitals, which provide emergency and urgent care across Oxfordshire.

Sara Randall, the Trust's Chief Operational Officer, said: "Our hospitals are still very busy. We would urge the public to help us to help you by choosing the right NHS service because our Emergency Departments at both the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford and the Horton General Hospital in Banbury are experiencing high levels of demand. We are also experiencing increased staff absences, which too has an impact.

"Unless it is an emergency, please use the NHS 111 online service which offers patients quick advice on the best option for them to get the care they need, including getting a call back from a trained clinician or nurse, booking them an appointment in an Emergency Department, or providing advice on how to help them recover.

"Our teams continue to work exceptionally hard and we would like to reassure our patients and the public that in spite of the challenges faced, essential services remain open for anyone who needs them so if you require urgent medical help, please continue to come forward."

We are also asking families to help their loved ones home from hospital if they are able to.

Lily O'Connor, Director for Urgent Care in Oxfordshire, said: "When there are difficulties in discharging medically-fit patients from hospital, it leads to further bed shortages and lengthy ambulance waits at the 'front door' of our Emergency Departments, which means that paramedics are unable to respond to other 999 calls in the community. It can also lead to delays in treating people in our hospitals who really need it.

"If you have a relative or loved one in hospital who is well enough to go home, but is waiting to be discharged with home care and community health support, one of the best ways to support both them and us is to help at them home if you and your family are in a position to support them.

"We are working hard with our social care colleagues to try and get as many of our patients home safely from hospital as soon as possible. Priority is being given to our most vulnerable patients, and alternative health and care packages such as transferring patients to interim beds are being offered as a short-term measure.

"We will always support people to get home with appropriate care packages if needed - there is criteria in place to make sure care is given to the right people."

Thank you for helping to support our staff and people who genuinely need emergency care at this challenging time.