Winter plan working despite health service 'pressures'

Cllr David Riche, chair of the council's health and wellbeing boardCllr David Riche, chair of the council's health and wellbeing board
Cllr David Riche, chair of the council's health and wellbeing board
THE Winter Plan for Rotherham's healthcare services is working successfully – despite an “extremely challenged” system.

Speaking at Rotherham Council's health and wellbeing board meeting, Chris Edwards, executive place director at South Yorkshire Integrated Care Board, said “It is extremely pressured but we are not as pressured this winter as we were the previous year.”

Describing the borough's winter plan as “successful”, he said: “The system is extremely challenged but we are coping and it is going as well as it could be.”

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Presenting the Rotherham Place Winter Plan at the previous board meeting in November last year, Mr Edwards said the borough was the “best prepared going into winter since before the pandemic,”

with more resources to free up GP time as well as additional beds and consultants in Rotherham Hospital's Urgent and Emergency Care Centre.

Updating the board at last week's meeting, Mr Edwards said: “The winter plan is working for us.

“The (Rotherham NHS Foundation) trust is operating at OPEL 3 most of the time, the same as the rest of (the trusts in) South Yorkshire.”

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Operations Pressure Escalation Levels – ranging from one to four – is a method used by the NHS to measure the demand and pressure a hospital is under.

Opel 4 is the highest escalation level when a hospital is “unable to deliver comprehensive care”.

Health and wellbeing board chair Cllr David Roche (pictured) added: “There are always going to be issues at this time of year with flu etcetera, so it is good we are coping better.”