Community nursing teams have still been seeing patients over the Christmas period.
Teams across North Tyneside, part of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, are also prepared to work through all types of weather to get out and visit elderly and housebound patients.
Lee Ranyard, a district nurse based at Shiremoor Resource Centre, said heavy snow makes the job more difficult but there are plans in place to treat the patients who need a home visit.
“We do our best to deliver the care that is necessary, but in bad weather our home visits may have to change to manage demand and prioritise the patients who need us the most,” he said.
Janet Kelly, community chief matron, said: “With many people living in more rural settings, delivering care to these people can often prove difficult in winter so we are fully prepared for adverse weather.”
“We are encouraging our elderly and housebound patients to protect themselves against flu with the NHS flu jab and to act quickly and get in contact with their community nursing team if they feel under the weather.”
Meanwhile Lee, who co-ordinates the four community nursing teams in the Whitley Bay area, is also encouraging those elderly and housebound patients who are over 65 or have an underlying health condition particularly heart or respiratory disease to get the NHS flu jab from their GP practice and prevent themselves becoming ill.
“Anyone in these risk groups is more likely to develop potentially serious complications of flu, such as pneumonia – which is a lung infection, so it’s recommended that they have a flu vaccine every year to protect themselves.”