HEALTH bosses are prepared for a surge in demand as lockdown eases.

David Walker, chair of Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, which runs mental health services and the county's community hospitals, posted a video update following a meeting of the trust board.

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On mental health referrals, he said these were still below pre-covid levels 'but all the indicators suggest' there would be an increased demand for services.

He added: “Other trusts report a high incidence of mental illness among men, and we expect a bigger call on our psychological therapy services.

Oxford Mail:

Screenshot of David Walker's video update on Oxford Health

"We are doing what we can to anticipate those and we are keenly aware that some services, especially for children and young people, fall well short already of what we want to provide and what parents and young people need."

He also explained how the trust was looking ahead to the winter with coronavirus 'still around', with hopes of increasing flu vaccination rates.

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Mr Walker said despite the pandemic Oxford Health was breaking even financially and the trust had aspirations to expand mental health services in line with increasing demand.

The trust’s response to Black Lives Matter was also discussed, especially for staff, with progress made but 'a long way to go'.