NHS in Wakefield 'constantly firefighting' and 'struggling' to keep up with demand

The NHS in Wakefield is struggling to maintain normal service in the face of huge demand, local health chiefs have admitted.

Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 12:31 pm
Updated Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 12:34 pm

Jo Webster, from Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said all parts of the health service were "constantly firefighting" a "tide" of pressures.

The CCG, which oversees healthcare in the district, said a combination of rising Covid cases, more demand for frontline treatment and a backlog of cases postponed during the pandemic was putting the service under strain.

Figures released earlier this week suggested medics in Wakefield were the 11th busiest anywhere in the country at the moment.

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The local health service is under strain.

And bed-blocking at Pinderfields Hospital, where more than 100 patients are medically fit to be discharged but can't leave, is causing issues there.

Speaking at a CCG board meeting on Tuesday, Ms Webster, the organisation's chief officer said: "There's not one part of our system that's not incredibly busy through demand at the moment from our local population.

"Primary care, social care, the hospital and our community services are all incredibly busy.

Ms Webster said that, "All parts are struggling to maintain usual operational services", while the NHS tries to treat new patients and, "Also recover from what was a very long period of stopping some services and catching up with that."

Bed-blocking is continuing to cause problems in local hospitals.

"That alongside the challenges Covid continues to present, means we're constantly firefighting against that tide of demand."

The CCG has again defended its record on GP appointments, having this week responded to concerns raised from local councillors about a perceived reliance on telephone calls, at the expense of face-to-face appointments.

Ms Webster said all surgeries were offering face-to-face care, and that a "significant number" of requests for a same-day appointment were being granted.

In better news, the meeting was told that 500,000 Covid jabs have been administered to people in Wakefield.

The number comprises first and second doses.

Ms Webster also indicated that there had been strong take-up of the vaccine among care home staff, with a legal requirement for those workers to be jabbed soon to take effect.

Local Democracy Reporting Service