Orkney Local Emergency Co-ordination Group (OLECG) is supporting efforts to encourage people with non-coronavirus health concerns to seek help as they would have done before the outbreak.
The group involves representatives from a broad range of organisations, including the emergency and public services, transport providers, the utilities and voluntary sector, and met this week to consider latest developments in the pandemic.
The meeting, which was held virtually, was chaired by Orkney Islands’ Council’s Head of IT and Facilities, Hayley Green.
She said: “As a group we felt it important to lend our support to NHS Orkney’s campaign to remind us that health services remain open for all of us at all times.
“It is vital that anyone with non-coronavirus health concerns doesn’t ignore the warning signs. If you notice a deterioration in your health or of someone in your household, call your GP in normal hours, 111 out of hours, or in an emergency dial 999.”
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OLECG also praised the efforts of the team assisting vulnerable people in Orkney at the Coronavirus Community Support Hub.
The hub offers support for people who have received NHS letters advising them to shield themselves during the Covid-19 crisis – who can get in touch on 01856879900 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org from 9:00-17:00, seven days a week.
In addition, the hub can help people who are over 70, disabled, require the support of mental health services, or are pregnant or receive a flu jab for health reasons – and are without family or existing community support and cannot get online. People in these at-risk categories can use a new helpline number to contact the hub - 0800 111 4000 from 9:00-17:00, seven days a week.
The hub team assists vulnerable people in accessing the services they need – whether essential food and medication; links to social work services for vulnerable children or adults; emotional support; or contact with local volunteer groups.
This week, the hub provided 220 food deliveries and is taking around 70 calls a day. It will be open as usual on the Bank Holiday on Friday 8 May.