To everyone in Dorset:

Thank you for continuing to help us help you.

Easy Read Letter

2020 has been the most challenging year in the history of the NHS and we would like to thank you for your continued support of our hard-working staff. We’d also like to thank all health and social care staff, and all key workers for everything that they continue to do in serving our community.

The NHS has changed how it works to respond to COVID-19. Some services look very different, and will continue to do so. We all have a role to play, whether looking after our own health or accessing services wisely and safely.

Receiving the treatment you need

In the coming weeks, people who need planned treatments are urged to take up their re-scheduled appointments in Dorset’s hospitals. Our hard-working staff are working their way through the backlog of patients who had their elective treatments postponed at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Please rest assured that we will prioritise the most clinically urgent patients. It is a worrying time but we have rigorous safety measures in place to protect both our staff and patients. As a result of these safety measures, some planned treatments are taking longer to perform than they did before and we thank you for your patience. If you need urgent help or advice for a problem which is not life-threatening, visit www.111.nhs.uk or call 111 in the first instance – please don’t just turn up at a minor injuries unit or GP surgery.

Primary Care is here for you

General practitioners (GPs) treat all common medical conditions. You can get in touch with your GP via telephone or e-consult, practice staff will advise you on what to do or make a face-to-face appointment if you need one. It’s really important that parents make sure their children still get their vaccinations and for women to take up their cervical screening invitations to help spot any pre-cancerous changes. If you are invited for an appointment please make sure you attend.

Improving the way NHS is providing services

Almost all services have been developing in the way people access their support, while some new services have been created. Many people have had GP and out-patient appointments by video-call or are being supported by new forms of care in mental health. The NHS doesn’t want to lose these advances. So not only are we restoring services, but we’re also aiming to make them better than before.

Staying alert

Thank you for your continued support in staying alert. The risk from COVID-19 is still here so it’s important we all continue to follow social distancing guidelines and stay 2m away from people where we can, wear face coverings where necessary and regularly wash our hands. Through the Dorset COVID-19 Health Protection Board we are monitoring data, like numbers of cases, so we can take quick action to tackle and contain any outbreaks. People in Dorset have done a great job so far, and we’d urge everyone to keep doing their bit to help keep their family, friends and local communities safe; and protect the NHS.

Thank you from your local NHS in Dorset.

Signed by:

Patricia Miller

Chief Executive, Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Professor Alastair Hutchison

Medical Director, Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Nicky Lucey

Director of Nursing & Quality, Director of Infection Prevention & Control, Dorset
County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Tim Goodson

Chief Officer, NHS Dorset CCG

Dr Forbes Watson

Chair, NHS Dorset CCG

Dr Karen Kirkham

Assistant Clinical Chair, NHS Dorset CCG

Paula Shobbrook

Director of Nursing and Midwifery, The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Eugine Yafele, Chief Executive

Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust

Dawn Dawson

Director of Nursing, Therapies and Quality, Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust

Debbie Fleming

Joint Chief Executive, Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Matt Thomas

Consultant Physician, Acting Medical Director, Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Alyson O’Donnell

Medical Director, The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Vanessa Reed

Director of Nursing & Quality, NHS Dorset CCG

Patricia Reid

Director of Nursing, Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

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