Norfolk and Waveney’s health and care system experiencing high demand for services

29th December 2022

With health and care services in Norfolk and Waveney extremely busy caring for some very sick patients, people are being urged to use services wisely and to look after themselves.

It is really important people do not delay seeking help from the NHS if they feel unwell. However, with local health services experiencing high demand, people are being urged to only attend an Emergency Department if it’s absolutely necessary. The best way to get the medical help you need is to think NHS 111 first. Visit or call 111 for anything that feels urgent, or if you are unsure what to do. They can direct you to the most appropriate place. In life-threatening emergencies dial 999.

There is very high demand for all health and care services at the moment and it is vital we keep as many beds as possible in our acute hospitals free for people needing urgent and emergency treatment, our community hospitals free to provide continuing care, and our ambulances on the road able to respond to emergency calls.

Other things which everyone can do to help the NHS right now, include:

  • Only call 999 or attend accident and emergency departments for serious accidents and for genuine emergencies, like chest pain, breathing difficulties, signs of a stroke or bleeding that won’t stop.
  • Most common ailments like coughs, colds and flu can be treated at home with a well-stocked medicine cabinet.
  • When needing urgent medical care but it’s not an emergency, visit NHS 111 online or call NHS 111 for advice on how to get care at any time of day or night. If you need urgent mental health help, call 111 and choose the mental health option.
  • For non-urgent cases when needing medical advice and it’s not an emergency, speak to your GP practice or a pharmacist, or attend a minor injuries unit (Cromer) or walk in centre (Norwich).
  • Help loved ones who are well enough to leave hospital to recover at home or in another suitable care setting, meaning that hospital beds are freed up for patients needing emergency care. No-one wants to stay in hospital longer than they need to so if you are a family member or friend and feel you can help, please speak with the nurse in charge.
  • Please continue to treat all NHS and care staff with the respect they deserve. Our hard-working staff and volunteers are doing all they can to keep patients safe and supported.
  • If you have an appointment with your local hospital and are not contacted directly, you should continue to attend for your appointment. If unable to make any NHS appointment, please contact the number on appointment letters so that it can be reallocated to another patient.