Cruise Arrivals


‘Community support’ called for as NHS Orkney prepares for winter patients increase

Sam Thomas is NHS Orkney’s director of nursing, midwifery, and AHPs, and chief officer of acute services.

NHS Orkney is braced for an uptick in patients within all healthcare settings, as we get into the thick of winter.

The health authority has shared details of its winter plan, emphasising the message of “right care, right place” to the community. This means that folk are being asked to make sure they are using the correct health setting for their needs, so as not to unnecessarily put pressure on already busy services.

Sam Thomas, NHS Orkney’s director of nursing, midwifery, and AHPs, and chief officer of acute services said: “We are seeing increased pressure on all of our services as we would expect in the winter months, by keeping ourselves well, seeking support from the right services and only attending the Emergency Department when necessary, we can all play our part in protecting services over the winter.”

As a community NHS Orkney has emphasised that can all work together to keep one another as well as possible.

The best way to do this is:

  • Basic hand hygiene and cough etiquette are vital to ensure we are staying well.
    Washing your hands and remembering to cough or sneeze into a tissue then dispose
    of it will help us all from spreading germs.
  •  If you do have respiratory or vomiting/diarrhoea symptoms, please do not visit
    elderly, vulnerable or loved ones in hospital and healthcare settings.
  •  If you need medical help, please think who might be best placed to help, the right
    care, right place campaign (pictured below) should help. There is a wealth of advice
    and guidance on NHS Inform.

The health authority has also asked the community to be co-operative this festive season when it comes to discharge times from the hospital.

A spokeswoman explained: “We need the community’s support to help us get your loved ones home in good
time after a stay in hospital.

“Hospital discharges should take place by lunchtime to allow us capacity to admit others and not lead to delays in emergency care.

“We understand family members may have other commitments, but we hope by working together with the community we can aim to discharge at lunchtime, especially in these winter months.

“Once again, we appreciate the community’s support as we navigate another busy, winter period.”