RCoA and FICM Warn Get Your Vaccinations and Follow the Guidance or Risk Overwhelming the NHS

The Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA) and the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine (FICM) would like to voice our support for the introduction of new measures to help combat the risks of the Omicron variant.

With the NHS facing the worst winter in memory, staff and resources are being pushed to the limit. It is paramount that the government and the public do everything they can to help protect the country from increasing rates of COVID infections and curb pressure on critical care services. We are grateful for everything people are already doing

We encourage all eligible members of the public to get their vaccinations and their booster jabs to reduce the risk of severe illness from COVID, and to follow the new guidance. This includes wearing face masks in public indoor settings and working from home if possible.  It has never been more important to reduce the risk of infection and we also urge everybody to get a free NHS test if you develop symptoms, to protect yourself, your loved ones and the NHS.

The pandemic has placed significant strain on all services across the healthcare sector and with some ICUs already at maximum capacity there is a substantial risk that services will become overwhelmed within weeks. This will impact not only patients in the ICU but also the millions of patients currently waiting for surgery. It is a sad truth that if infection rates and hospitalisations increase, we will see elective services suspended in many areas, as hospitals struggle to cope.

We know the sacrifices people in this country and across the world have made throughout the pandemic, but it is important that we don’t become complacent. Help us to provide the best care for our patients and maintain services across the NHS. Protecting yourself and your family this Christmas is the best gift anybody could give.

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