Health and social care organisations in Derbyshire have been working closely together for some time, to improve care and services for people and make them as efficient and effective as possible.
The NHS has been responding to the Coronavirus pandemic and is very grateful for the support it has received from the public. The support is overwhelming, in fact. However, whilst it is not business as usual for the NHS, the NHS is still very much open for business.
The Covid-19 pandemic has seen the number of patients on Derbyshire's waiting lists for NHS operations and other treatments increase. In June 2021 there were 84,427 patients waiting for treatment, compared to 62,899 in June 2019. With waiting lists having increased by 20,289 since September 2020, NHS staff are continuing to strive to return to pre-pandemic levels as soon as possible.
Before the pandemic, our waiting lists for NHS operations were in line with the national position. In March 2019 Derbyshire was treating 82% of patients within 18 weeks (the target is 92% but nationally only 79.7% was achieved). At this time, the total waiting lists across all forms of treatment was at 61,434 patients. Patients requiring urgent surgery, including patients with a cancer diagnosis, were seen much quicker than 18 weeks, usually in line with the shorter cancer treatment targets.
The pandemic had a huge impact on NHS surgery. Although there was a downturn in referrals into hospitals, the waiting lists have grown as operating theatres and theatre staff were used in different ways to care for the large numbers of patients who had Covid-19. Temporary Intensive Care Units took over theatres to utilise their access to oxygen and other critical services. Having returned many of our theatres to their main purpose during the autumn and early winter and restarted our surgery programme, we then again had to postpone more surgery during the first two months of 2021 as a further wave of the pandemic hit.
Planning our recovery
Following the first wave of the pandemic in 2020, we were already in a position where the numbers waiting over 18 weeks had almost tripled in the space of four months (from 11,075 in March 2021 to 32,404 in July 2021), and we set ourselves challenging targets to restart our surgery programme and reduce the number of patients waiting.
In line with national recovery plans, Derbyshire set a target to be performing 85% of the number of pre-pandemic operations by July 2021. The increase in Covid-19 cases and hospitalisations in January and February 2021 was a significant challenge to our surgery recovery and led to us having to once again postpone all but the most urgent surgery while we converted theatres and recovery suites back to ITUs and dealt once again with an influx of patients who were very poorly with Covid-19.
This resided during the spring, but we also had to be very mindful of not pushing our staff too hard, given the incredibly challenging and exhausting time they have had throughout the pandemic; our staff are amazing, but there is only so much we can expect of them.
Reviewing patients on our lists
Throughout the pandemic period, our clinical teams have been continuously reviewing waiting lists to understand their current position and treatment wishes and prioritise those patients who require appointments, due to the severity of their condition or to limit the long-term impacts of further delays. Unfortunately, patients who have been waiting a long time but who do not fall into these most urgent categories have seen their waits extend, often well beyond the time when we would usually have wanted to treat them.
We now have 6,199 patients who have been waiting for more than 52 weeks in Derbyshire (as at June 2021), compared to only 1 patient waiting that long in February 2020 and we are determined to bring patients in for their treatment at the first opportunity. We are working hard to limit these really long waits and will reach all our patients, but it is important that we continually assess the referrals and waiting lists to treat the most urgent cases first.
Patient notes are being reviewed by the appropriate clinical teams and we are keeping everyone informed of the current situation. If you haven’t been contacted and are wondering what is happening, please contact the Clinical Administration Officer for the Consultant who is looking after your care to get an update. The overwhelming priority continues to be to provide safe care for both patients and staff.
What can patients do?
We understand that seeing a clinician at hospital or having surgery will provide the desired outcomes for most patients on our waiting lists. If symptoms are getting worse, then patients can visit the Help Us to Help You section of our Joined Up Care Derbyshire website or can contact their Clinical Administration Officer for the Consultant who is looking after their care and let them know as this may make a difference to when they are listed for surgery.
We are also very conscious that while on a waiting list, patients may become anxious about their condition getting worse, and may experience an increase in symptoms related to their condition.
In these circumstances, there are some steps that patients can take to help to manage their condition before surgery. This will vary depending on the type of surgery you have been referred for, but there are some common steps that can help.
Living with pain whilst waiting for surgery can feel exhausting. Everyone is different and will manage pain in different ways, through over the counter painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, as well as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) which may require a prescription. Other things to try which can help to ease pain, include, using a heat pad or hot water bottle, or alternatively an ice pad or cold compress, self-massage to stretch and ease tight muscles or using a foam roller helpful to relieve stiffness and tension. Speak to your local pharmacist or clinician for advice on ways to manage pain appropriately for your condition.
Exercising regularly (even for a short period of time) can help to ease pain, it will make your muscles stronger and help your body to recover post-surgery. It will also improve mobility which can help with everyday movements around the home - from washing to getting dressed.
If your doctor or physiotherapist has given you specific exercises to help you prepare for surgery, try to stick with these.
Listen to your body and if walking is painful, try something else which feels more doable, for example swimming or chair yoga.
Eating well and managing your weight is one of the best ways to prepare for surgery improve your recovery after surgery. Eating a healthy, balanced diet will also help to boost your wellbeing and minimise the strain on your joints. Information on healthy eating is available from the NHS. Also, stopping smoking with assist you with feeling able to get more exercise and increase your body's ability to cope with illness or injury.
Being in pain can have an impact on mental health and wellbeing. There is a wide range of resources available to help with this on our website.
A new NHS 111 service for Derby and Derbyshire residents is helping you get the right urgent care for your needs.
If you need medical help THINK NHS 111 and NHS Urgent Treatment Centres first when your health need is not life-threatening.
Urgent Treatment Centres can accessed by a bookable appointment by calling NHS 111. Patients can also walk in to the centre if needed.
Anyone with difficulties communicating or hearing can:
• Tell the call handler that they need an interpreter
• Use NHS 111 online (for enquiries about patients
age 5 and over only)
• Call 18001 111 on a text phone
• Use the NHS 111 British Sign Language (BSL)
The Buxton Hospital UTC, Ilkeston Hospital UTC, Ripley Hospital UTC, Whitworth Hospital UTC and Derby UTC are open from 8am until 8pm.
Here are just some of the conditions that can be treated at your local UTC:
Your assessment will be carried out by a team of highly experienced staff, led by Emergency Nurse Practitioners giving you quick access to health information, advice and treatment.
Monday - Friday: 9am - 5pm
Please note there are no X-ray facilities at Derby UTC.
To find your nearest ones:
Parking is free and accessible at Buxton, Ilkeston, Ripley and Whitworth Hospitals.
Derby UTC has limited parking on site but there is parking available on the street opposite Derby Urgent Care Centre at a cost of £1.30 for 4 hours. Alternatively, you can park within the hospital grounds and walk through to our centre. Download our car parking map below.
Click here to download a UTC Leaflet
Worried about your health but worried about coronavirus? Our NHS in Derbyshire is here to help you.
Read the latest guidance from Derbyshire GPs to patients here.
The NHS in Derbyshire is doing everything possible to make using services safe for you. To find out more and the importance of seeking help and advice please watch this short video clip from Dr Avi Bhatia, local GP and chair of Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group.
Watch Dr Avi Bhatia - click here To find our more about how our acute hospitals are working to do everything they can to make essential services available and also to ensure your safety:
View the Chesterfield Royal Hospital video.
Visit the University Hospitals Derby and Burton website. A useful guide to accessing services during the coronavirus outbreak is available from NHS England.
If you need medical help from your GP practice, do not hesitate to contact them either online, via an app or by phone to be assessed. If you have a symptom that you are worried about, for example, signs and symptoms associated with cancer, you must contact your GP immediately. You can find further useful local information (see primary care section).
If you need urgent medical help, use NHS 111 online. If you cannot get help online, phone 111, for example if you are really worried about the health of your baby or child. If you do not have internet access you can ring 111, or if you are deaf you can contact the NHS 111 BSL Interpreter service or call 18001 111 on a textphone.
If it’s a serious or life-threatening emergency, call 999, for example if your child is seriously injured, if you think you or a family member are suffering with the symptoms of a heart attack (symptoms include heavy or tight chest pain that may spread to your arms, neck or jaw, or make you breathless, sick, sweaty or light-headed and that doesn’t go away) or symptoms of a stroke:
If you are told to go to hospital it is important that you go to hospital. NHS organisations having been working tirelessly to ensure that essential services are as safe as possible for people needing treatment for non-Covid-19 related conditions. You can find out more information about how hospitals have responded to Covid-19 here (in the hospital section).
You should continue to attend your appointments, unless told otherwise. You can find information about service changes here.
More than 200,000 people are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes every year – and that means the risk of serious health complications and early death. Modern life can make it hard to be healthy but for many people, Type 2 diabetes can be prevented by making small lifestyle changes. For more information please read this leaflet (opens document).
For dentistry, you should call your normal dentist and they will tell you what to do. More information can be found here (in the dentists section).
Your NHS services in Derbyshire are still here for you during the coronavirus outbreak. This winter look after your physical and mental health by eating well and exercising regularly. If you have any health concerns, illnesses or injuries, get help and advice.
Find out more how you can self care during the pandemic. Read more
You can order your repeat prescriptions on the NHS App and through your GP surgery or pharmacy’s online service, where available. You can find more information here (under the section on primary care). To help us in supplying medicines to everyone who needs them, please only order repeat prescriptions in your usual quantities at the usual time.
If you need to collect a prescription and have coronavirus symptoms or are self-isolating at home – please arrange for a friend, relative or volunteer to collect for you. If you do not have any support you can contact the Community Response Hubs in either Derby or Derbyshire. The details can be found here in the section on local authorities (scroll down to community response hubs).
It is important that you or your baby/child still have routine vaccinations. They protect against serious and potentially deadly illnesses and stop outbreaks in the community. Contact your GP to arrange this.
If the person needing vaccination has coronavirus symptoms or is self-isolating because someone in the household is displaying symptoms, please contact your GP practice for advice.
If you are pregnant it is important that you still attend your ante-natal appointments and continue to seek advice from your midwife or maternity team.
If you are worried about your health or the health of your unborn baby, please contact your midwife or maternity team.
The information here (in the hospital section) explains how each hospital is responding to Covid-19 including maternity services.
Mother Hub Derbyshire is a dedicated website that has lots of information ranging from pregnancy right through to the early years - visit Mother Hub Derbyshire for Derby and Derbyshire information.
NHS England has an information leaflet on maternity during the time of Coronavirus. NHS England has information available in different languages on planning your birth and looking after yourself and your baby.
The NHS is here to support your mental health during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as your physical health.
If you are concerned about the mental health of your child, please contact your GP or you can find useful resources here (in the section on mental health). A particularly useful resource around emotional health and wellbeing can be found here.
If you are facing mental health issues contact your GP or key worker, if you have one, and continue to access your mental health services as usual, although some of these may now be online. There is a mental health helpline available – details here.
If you are facing a mental health crisis you can phone the mental health helpline, use the NHS 111 online service or call 111.
Dementia Support in Derbyshire during COVID-19 for people living with Dementia and their families
Dementia Palliative Care Patient leaflet
Dementia Palliative Care Professional Leaflet
If you need medical help, reasonable adjustments will be made so you get the right care and support. People aged 16 years and above can find advice and support information here. Support for children and young people can be found here.
Coronavirus is making life hard for people in lots of different ways. An NHS Trust has produced several videos to help people with learning disabilities cope with the changes and stay safe. There are lots of good ideas to help make life easier when you can’t go out and meet people. There are also numbers to call if you need any more help.
Healthier You: Self-referral to the NHS Diabetes Prevention programme
NHSE have changed the eligibility criteria for patients to fast-track onto the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme. The programme no longer requires a blood glucose reading but rather a Diabetes UK risk score of 16+ through the preventing diabetes/know your risk website detailed below. Please note that this is a separate route of referral and remains separate to the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme that is commissioned by NHS England.
Know your risk - check your risk and register here
The programme is open to those with a risk score of 16+, are aged between 18-79, are not pregnant, and don't currently have diabetes.
The free Healthier You programme provides guidance on improved quality of diet, increase in physical activity and successful weight loss, and is currently being offered over telephone, group video conference, or online through apps and websites.
Eligible participants can sign themselves up to the programme online – as well as being referred by a healthcare professional. The first thing they need to do is find out if they are at high risk of developing the disease by using the Diabetes UK risk tool.
Cardiovascular Information for Patients
People affected by heart and circulatory conditions can't get coronavirus off their minds. We have information for you to help you during this difficult time. Read more here.
Help us to Help You – Be Clear on Cancer
Due to coronavirus, fewer people are contacting their doctor. Your local surgery is ready to help you safely. They can talk to you over the phone, or by video link, and can arrange for further tests. Whatever happens, tell your doctor if your symptoms get worse or don’t get better. Early diagnosis saves lives. Read more here.
Here you can find more information about how manage your condition during Covid19 with useful links for advice and support. Read more here.
During these challenging times, patient care, safety and compassion have been at the forefront of health and care staff who have been working above and beyond during the pandemic. We wanted to share some feedback from local people.
Delivering community care during coronavirus – part one
As part of our series looking at how the NHS has continued to offer care across a wide range of settings during coronavirus we caught up with community physiotherapist, Becky Mead to find out if coronavirus has affected the way she has delivered her role. Read the full story here.
This feedback has been collected first hand from patients who were leaving Derby hospital during the period 31 March to 25 May 2020. The Royal Derby Hospitals' discharge lounge which during that period was located in the Kings Treatment Centre proudly displayed a rainbow of positive messages from patients who had experienced healthcare during lockdown.
Delivering community care during coronavirus – part one
As part of our series looking at how the NHS has continued to offer care across a wide range of settings during coronavirus we caught up with Community Physiotherapist, Becky Mead to find out if coronavirus has affected the way she has delivered her role. Read the full story here.
Delivering community care during coronavirus - part two
As part of our series looking at how the NHS has continued to offer care across a wide range of settings during coronavirus we caught up with advanced support worker, Lisa Bufton, to find out if coronavirus has affected the way she has delivered her role. Read the full story here.
Delivering cardiovascular care during the coronavirus pandemic
As part of our series looking at how the NHS has continued to offer care across a wide range of settings during coronavirus we caught up with Dr Damian Kelly, consultant cardiologist at University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust, to find out if coronavirus has affected the way he has delivered his role. Read his full story here.
Delivering GP services during the coronavirus pandemic
As part of our series looking at how the NHS has continued to offer care across a wide range of settings during coronavirus Simon Towers caught up with GP and Chesterfield Royal Hospital staff governor, Dr Ruth Bentley, to find how coronavirus affected the way she delivered her role. Read more here.
Post Intensive Care Syndrome
· Post Intensive Care Syndrome | ICU Steps
NICE guidelines | Obesity Management
General function and wellbeing
Speech and Language Therapy Referral Form
How to manage post viral fatigue following Covid-19
Adult malnutrition, use the resources finderto help find the right information
British Dietetic Association general information
NHS | physical activity guidelines
Tune in to 10 today (10 minute workouts)
Chartered Society of Physiotherapy | Being active with a long term condition
Royal Osteoporosis Society | Videos for people with osteopenia, osteoporosis, or previous spinal fractures
Age UK | Looking after yourself physically and mentally
Age UK | Keep active and reduce your risk of falling
Impact + | Pulmonary rehabilitation
Lungline | Pulmonary rehabilitation
British Thoracic Society (BTS) | Home rehabilitation
ARTP | Spirometry not available until patients can be seen face to face
Long Term Conditions
Long-term conditions Patient update
Please find attached the long-term conditions update to practices which includes updates regarding:
Students and young people
This section outlines resources and information that students and young people can utilise during the Coronavirus pandemic to stay up to date with the latest news and how they can manage their mental health, physical health and wellbeing during this time.
Information from the University of Derby and Derby student union
Tips from your educational council on adapting to the current situation
Top tips for student parents to balance important university work and keep kids entertained!
COVID-19 and private housing rights
Stay connected with fellow students and the union by following the Derby union Facebook page.
University of Derby | coronavirus
University of Derby | coronavirus | applicant information
University of Derby | coronavirus | community information
More resources and guidance
NHS UK guidance on looking after children and young people during the coronavirus outbreak
Youth Employment has put together a series of articles and information for young people and students and what they can do during this time
Government guidance on how parents and educational providers can support young people and children during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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