We have seen a rise in the number of patients being cared for in our hospitals with COVID-19 and so I would encourage anyone who is eligible to have their spring booster as soon as they can.

Yesterday there were 55 patients in hospital with COVID-19. Last Tuesday we had 32 patients with COVID-19 and the week before there were 16 patients. This corresponds with an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases that we are seeing within our communities.

Anyone aged over 75 or anyone aged 12 and over who has a weakened immune system and who has not yet had their spring booster is able to have it. You can book an appointment or pop along to one of the vaccination drop-in clinics. You can book online via the National Booking System or by calling 119. No appointment is required for walk-in clinics. Details of these clinics for first, second and booster vaccinations are available on www.stwics.org.uk.

Across the county there is also an ‘evergreen’ offer for COVID-19 vaccinations meaning anyone who has not yet been vaccinated is able to come forward at any time to start their vaccinations.

Having both your COVID-19 vaccination and booster jab is still the best way to protect yourself and your friends and family, both from contracting the virus and, if you should get it, from serious illness.

Our Emergency Department reception and waiting room at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital has been temporarily relocated for four weeks to allow for essential works to take place. If you need to use our Emergency Department, please approach via the current access and signposting will be in place to redirect you.

Remember if you are feeling unwell, choosing the most appropriate service will make sure you get the best possible care. If you are thinking about attending A&E please consider whether our emergency department is the right place to go for the care you need.

A&E is for genuinely life-threatening emergencies – for example chest pains or severe bleeding or burns. If you have a life-threatening illness or injury please continue to dial 999.

But if your condition is not life-threatening, please think of the different treatment options available and visit your local pharmacy or NHS 111 online which will advise you where to go for advice or treatment. More details are available are on our website www.sath.nhs.uk

We really want to give patients and carers the opportunity to help shape future services by sharing their valuable insight and perspective. So if you would like to share your views please do apply and be part of our Speciality Patient Experience Groups. This is a fantastic opportunity for us all work together to help improve the care we provide to our communities.

The speciality groups include the areas of medicine, emergency, surgery, women’s health, maternity, and children and young people, support services and corporate services. These groups will work with services across the specialities to represent the voice of hospital patients.

If you are a patient or carer who has accessed services within the Trust during 2021 and 2022 then we would love to hear from you. If you can commit approximately three hours a month to support the work and are interested in learning more, please email sath.patientexperience@nhs.net or contact 01743 261000 ext 3032.

This week is World Wellbeing Week – a time when it is more important than ever for us all to look after our mental and emotional health. In our organisation, and across the whole of the health and social care system, we recognise the value of helping our colleagues with their health and wellbeing. Each Wednesday is Wellbeing Wednesday when we touch on a different topic ranging from exercise, nutrition, sleep, financial advice and mindfulness to support colleagues. I hope that you all are able to take a moment to focus on your own physical and mental health wellbeing this week.