health and care services
Photo by Hush Naidoo Jade Photography on Unsplash

“We need you more than ever,” plea from health leaders as we go into the weekend

Local people are being urged to play their part and support health and care services following an incredibly difficult start to 2022.

Norfolk and Waveney’s health and care system remains in a ‘critical incident’ having earlier this week announced this status, following sustained and unprecedented pressure on services.

The system is still experiencing high levels of demand for health and care services and it is important that help is available to those who need it most over the coming days.

As local health services do all they can to help people requiring treatment for Covid-19 and other illnesses, while dealing with increasing rates of Covid-related staff absence, those in charge of running our hospitals and other health services have said local people can really make a difference by:

•  Helping loved ones who are well enough to leave hospital to recover at home or in another suitable care setting, meaning that hospital beds are freed up for those who really need them.

•  Only visiting Emergency Departments or calling 999 in the case of a genuine life-threatening emergency.

It is really important people do not delay seeking help from the NHS if they feel unwell. Our NHS remains open for business and it is vitally important that if people have serious conditions or concerns they seek help and in a serious medical emergency, such as symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, that they call 999.

Please continue to attend any pre-booked appointments unless you hear otherwise.

The best way to get the medical help you need is to think NHS 111 first. Phone NHS 111 or visit for anything that feels urgent, or if you are unsure what to do. They can direct you to the most appropriate place. In life-threatening emergencies dial 999. Pharmacists can give expert and speedy help with minor ailments. They can also provide over the counter remedies for minor health conditions.

Our health and care workers across Norfolk and Waveney continue to work tirelessly together to keep services running to support us all, our loved ones, our neighbours, and our communities.

To continue to keep well it is important that you can do all you can to stay well during these coming days. Getting your COVID-19 vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and reduce the risk of hospital admission as we move into January when respiratory infections often peak.

Cath Byford, Chief Nurse at NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said:

“Our health and care colleagues across Norfolk and Waveney have worked incredibly hard this week and we know we still have some way to go. We have faced enormous pressures, but we need to keep going. We thank our phenomenal staff and the public for their understanding and support to date.

“As we head into the weekend, we need you more than ever. Please continue to use our services in the most appropriate way and help us to help you so that you over the coming days. Our priority is helping those who need us urgently. Those who can seek an alternative, then please do.

“We ask you to protect yourself by doing what you can to help us. Getting your COVID-19 vaccination is the best way to keep well and reduce the risk of staying out of hospital. We ask that you continue to wear face coverings as per the national guidance.”

Chief Nurse Professor Nancy Fontaine at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said:

“I would like to thank each and every colleague in health, care and in the emergency services for their commitment and dedication during this incredibly busy time. I would also like to thank each member of the community for their understanding during this unprecedented NHS challenge.

“The NHS still remains open for those who need it. If you have any health concerns please do seek help first through NHS 111 online or by phone.”


The NHS Walk-In Centre at Rouen House on Rouen Road, Norwich, is open between 7am and 9pm every day. The nurse-led centre can help with a range of minor illness and injuries, including minor cuts and wounds, strains and sprains, skin complaints etc. You will be triaged at the front door and then treated or signposted elsewhere if necessary.

The Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) based at Cromer Hospital on Mill Road is open seven days-a-week, including Bank Holidays, from 8am to 7.45pm. Patients can receive treatment for minor injuries such as minor wounds, burns or simple fractures. The unit is able to advise over the phone if your injury is suitable for the MIU, please call 01603 646230.

Emergency Department services in Norfolk and Waveney are available for the following conditions:

​loss of consciousness

acute confused state and fits that are not stopping

chest pain

breathing difficulties

severe bleeding that cannot be stopped

severe allergic reactions

severe burns or scalds


major trauma such as a road traffic accident

suspected sepsis 

If you or any member of your household has coronavirus symptoms, please do not attend any NHS services in-person – call NHS 111 or visit if you need urgent care or don’t know what to do.

To book either your first, second and booster vaccination appointments can be booked through the national booking service by visiting or telephoning 119.

Alternatively, search for a walk-in vaccination site here:

Under the NHS England Emergency Preparedness, Resilience and Response (EPRR) framework a critical incident is defined as “any localised incident where the level of disruption results in the organisation temporarily or permanently losing its ability to deliver critical services, patients may have been harmed or the environment is not safe requiring special measures and support from other agencies, to restore normal operating functions.” See guidance here.