Families urged to help relatives home and choose the right healthcare service to support the NHS

Date: 02 December 2021

Two hands

People in Oxfordshire are being urged to use the right NHS service for their needs and support their loved ones home from hospital as the John Radcliffe and Horton General Hospitals remain extremely busy during the challenging winter season.

Sam Foster, the Trust's Chief Nursing Officer, said: "Our hospitals remain very busy – especially our Emergency Departments.  Before you come to one of our Emergency Departments, stop and think – is this a genuine emergency?  They are there for instances such as heart attacks, blacking out, and heavy bleeding – there are other options available locally which help you for other, less serious medical conditions.  If you’re unsure of where to go, use NHS 111 online.  The service can also direct you to GPs, minor injuries and first aid units, pharmacies, emergency dental services, mental health support, or other more appropriate local services.”

Families of patients are also being encouraged to help support their relatives coming home from hospital.

Lily O’Connor, Director for Urgent Care in Oxfordshire, said: “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 nursing home beds are being offered as a short-term measure.

“However, when there are difficulties in discharging medically fit-patients from hospital, it leads to further bed shortages and, consequently, 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.

“Nobody wants to spend longer in hospital than they need to, not least around the Christmas period.  Recovery for medically fit patients is often best treated at home in a more comfortable and familiar setting, or alternative environments.

 "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, you may be able to help them to get home more quickly if you and your family are in a position to support them at home.  Please speak to the ward manager or nurse if this something you can help with.

“Thank you for your continued support at this challenging time.”

  • Summary:

    Busy hospitals seek support from families

  • Transformation:
  • Date:
    02 December 2021