14 May 2020
Health and care leaders issue open letter to local people: ‘thank you for all you’ve done - and we must keep going’
Health and care leaders in Bristol, North Somerset and South
Gloucestershire have today issued an open letter to everyone across
the area. The letter - signed by NHS, council and community
organisations - thanks local people for observing the coronavirus
advice so far, and urges everyone to continue to follow government
guidelines to protect themselves and health and care staff.
Since the pandemic began, local NHS and care services have had
to radically change the way they operate, in order to provide care
for people in new ways.
Local people have adapted to the new ways of working, with
thousands taking up virtual medical appointments that would
normally have taken place in person. There have been fewer
attendances to emergency departments for minor conditions as more
people use the Minor Injury Units and Urgent Treatment centres in
Yate, Bristol and Clevedon.
This has led health and care staff across the area to launch a
'reverse clap' ahead of tonight's #ClapForCarers - thanking local
people for their support in recent weeks, and for helping to keep
them safe by looking after their own health and wellbeing.
Local leaders are clear that while this represents real
progress, it remains crucial that people continue to follow
guidance - to protect themselves and their local services.
Julia Ross, Joint Healthier Together Lead Executive and Chief
Executive of Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire
Clinical Commissioning Group, said:
"We want to thank everyone across our area for following the
guidance and using local services responsibly.
It's clear that coronavirus will be with us for some time yet,
and we must keep going - by observing social distancing measures,
self-isolating while experiencing symptoms of the virus and
practising good hand hygiene. These continue to be the best ways to
reduce the spread of the virus, which is critical for population
health, as well as ensuring that local services can cope.
In the coming weeks we will be restarting routine services in a
way which is safe for patients and staff. The more we control the
spread of the virus in the population, the better able we will be
to get normal services up and running again.
Cllr Mike Bell, Deputy Leader of North Somerset Council and
executive member for adult social care said: "We are hugely
grateful to everyone in North Somerset for observing the guidance
so far. While our infection rates in the South West are relatively
low compared to other parts of the country, there are some areas -
namely, in our care homes - where we still face real
"Reducing the spread of the virus remains vital to protect our
most vulnerable residents. We need everyone to stay the course with
the guidance, and to continue to get support from the right
The letter sets out a range of support available locally,
including community mutual aid for vulnerable groups and where to
seek support for mental health concerns. You can read the full