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Health / Health board reminds people not to neglect serious medical issues during pandemic

Lerwick Health Centre. Photo: ShetnewsLerwick Health Centre. Photo: Shetland News

NHS Shetland is reminding people not to let serious health issues go untreated during the coronavirus pandemic.

The health board says that if you have symptoms that are causing concern, or are already being treated for a serious health condition, then continue to seek help from your local health centre.

It follows a message from the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, which said that people must be fully confident that they can and should seek medical assistance if they are worried about themselves or a relative.

While NHS services have been affected during the coronavirus pandemic, including routine or non-urgent appointments, this does not apply to urgent or emergency illnesses, the management of poorly controlled or unstable long-term conditions or the provision of palliative and end of life care.

NHS Shetland interim medical director Brian Chittick said he understood patients were hesitant to add to the burden of doctors and nurses, or that they were afraid of catching Covid-19.

“We need to stress this very important message: please do call your health centre and speak to a member of the clinical team if something is worrying you,” he said.

“We don’t want serious conditions to be left untreated because this can lead to a serious medical situation that places your health or even your life at risk.”

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges message is:

Seek NHS help through your GP, NHS111, 999 or A&E if you or your family become acutely unwell and believe that you may be suffering from a serious or life threatening condition;

You should continue with ongoing treatments for all your medical conditions and attend any hospital or GP appointments that are requested. Routine care is being carried out, where possible, through phone calls or video links so you will not be asked to attend unless absolutely necessary;

Hospitals are safer than your own home if you are in need of emergency care. The reorganisation of services includes protecting patients who are being seen for conditions other than Covid-19.

The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Shetland, meanwhile, remains unchanged at 43.

As of today (Friday) there have been 5,275 positive tests in Scotland and 495 patients who tested positive who have died.