Act as One – the health and care partnership for Bradford District and Craven – is urging local people to be patient as the NHS responds to the Omicron variant.
The health and care partnership is asking people to do all they can to reduce the risk of wider transmission, with the greatest line of defence being vaccinations.
Adults aged 18 and over who have had their first and second dose are being urged to have their booster dose.
People aged 16 or over and living with someone who has a weakened immune system (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis) should also come forward for their booster if they’ve had two doses already.
Without the added protection from this booster dose, there are fears that NHS beds could fill up quickly affecting the NHS as it looks to recover from the pandemic and there are wider concerns on how Omicron could impact wider society including businesses.
Dr James Thomas, Clinical Chair at NHS Bradford District and Craven Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The NHS is experiencing significant demand on its services and staff are going over and beyond to make sure our sickest patients are seen.
“Your GP practice is still here for you and GPs remain open as we have throughout this pandemic. However, you may experience a delay for some services or find other non-urgent appointments and treatments postponed. This is so that we focus all our efforts on delivering the vaccination programme as per government guidelines in response to the omicron variant.
“We know these are difficult and challenging times, we as a district and as a country have shown our resilience since the virus reached the UK back in January 2020 and have worked alongside you, and we’re calling on your support once again.
“Please be kind to our NHS colleagues and treat them with the same level of respect you’d expect from others towards you, they’re working as hard as they can.”
Dr Louise Clarke, GP in Bradford and Director of Strategy at NHS Bradford District and Craven Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We are focusing on answering the national call to deliver the ramped-up vaccination programme.
“This means some NHS staff will need to be redeployed away from non-urgent services to support the vaccination programme or other urgent services and treatment. GP practices across our district and up and down the country will be focussing on urgent clinical needs and delivering the covid-19 vaccine. This means non-urgent appointments may be postponed whilst we vaccinate adults across our district.
“Please be kind to our NHS staff, they are working round the clock during these challenging times and need you to be patient with us.”