New helpline for those with health concerns during wintry weather

With the worst of the snow over, the big dig-out begins.
With the worst of the snow over, the big dig-out begins.

While the amber weather warning for the Borders has passed, it will take a few days for the region to return to some semblance of normality.

Meanwhile, Scottish Borders Council and NHS Borders are providing guidance to residents who may require medical and/or Social Care assistance during the ongoing severe weather.

This includes an additional option set up specifically for the current emergency situation.

The advice is as follows:

1. If you think that someone’s life is at risk you should always phone 999 immediately.

2. During normal surgery hours, you should contact your GP practice directly for advice.

3. For urgent health advice out of hours please call NHS24 on 111.

4. The above numbers have information from NHS Borders and SBC, and will advise what action is required.

5. If after using these options your health or care issue is urgent and you urgently require health, care or medical assistance, you can contact 0300 100 1800.

6. For other NHS Borders departments, you can contact the normal NHS Borders number on 01896 826000. If you are unable to get through on this number, please call 0300 100 1800.

Due to the prolonged adverse weather, people are also asked to check on elderly or vulnerable family members, friends and neighbours, assisting wherever possible.

Anyone concerned about a person’s welfare should contact 0300 100 1800.

Anyone able to provide care for family or friends during the severe weather this week is asked to contact the client’s care provider directly, or failing that SB Cares on 01896 662701.

Tracey Logan, Chief Executive of Scottish Borders Council, said: “We have made the 0300 100 1800 number available to provide support to NHS Borders and also ensure that anybody with any concerns for the welfare of family, friends or neighbours can get in touch and our teams can assess what support may be required.

“While the Amber weather warning ends at 10am, there is a Yellow weather warning for snow in place after that and conditions will continue to be difficult for quite some time to come.”

Meanwhile, NHS Borders bosses have thanked their workers for the efforts they have put in to get to work in terrible conditions.

And, in attempting to put in place a rota for the next few days, they have asked staff to give them their availability, and are trying to ferry some to and from the Borders General Hospital.

In an open email to staff, they said: “Firstly we would like to thank, once again, all our staff who are working round the clock to continue to deliver care to our patients both in the community and our hospitals.

“We fully understand the challenges that the current adverse weather poses and are working really hard to get staff in to work.

“With no immediate improvement in the weather forecast we are now urging all staff who can make themselves available for work over the next four days to get in touch.

“This is a call to all staff, both clinical and those who work in support services. Please phone 01896 826904 today with your availability. We will try and help you with your transport needs and are looking to cover shifts at the BGH and in our community hospitals.

“We are also looking for staff members with suitable vehicles who can help us transport staff.”