May 15th 2020

COVID-19: Cheshire health and care update



Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly series of bulletins designed to keep you up-to-date about Cheshire's response to Coronavirus (Covid-19). Developed by NHS Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group in partnership with NHS partners, Cheshire West and Chester Council, Cheshire East Council and Healthwatch Cheshire we aim for this to be a one-stop-shop for key updates.

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Cheshire GPs back pioneering research into COVID-19


Cheshire GP practices have signed up for crucial national research to protect people from Coronavirus (COVID-19) – and they are urging patients to get involved.

Thirteen Cheshire GP practices answered a call to enrol patients onto a study called PRINCIPLE, or the Platform Randomised trial of Interventions against COVID-19 in Older People.

The study – one of three public health research studies prioritised by the Department of Health and Social Care – will enable researchers to evaluate treatments to prevent the progression of COVID-19 in older people.

Dr Andrew Wilson (pictured), Chair of NHS Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “I’m extremely proud of the way primary care colleagues in Cheshire continue to care for patients despite the COVID-19 outbreak. Practices are showing remarkable flexibility in their approaches to support local people.

“This research could prove pivotal in enabling those who are most vulnerable to COVID-19 to recover more quickly.”

Shining a light for Cheshire's nurses

Health and care leaders encouraged the people of Cheshire to "shine a light" to mark International Nurses Day to recognise the extraordinary work that nurses are doing in the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19).

Tuesday, May 12th 2020 marked International Nurses Day on the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, who founded modern nursing and pioneered infection control – but is also famous for her lamp.

Activity to mark the day included the lighting up of Chester’s famous Eastgate Clock.

Paula Wedd (pictured above right), NHS Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s Executive Director of Quality, Patient Experience and Safeguarding, said: "I welcome International Nurses Day as an opportunity for us all to reflect on the outstanding care provided by our nursing colleagues across health and care services, not only during the coronavirus crisis but at all times. Their energy and commitment to the wellbeing of others is remarkable."

Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council and Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board, Louise Gittins (pictured above left), said: "Our nurses are carrying out extraordinary work, especially during the pandemic and we are all so proud of the work they are doing to help save lives.

"Lighting up Eastgate Clock to mark International Nurses’ Day and on Thursday, alongside the clap for carers, was just one small act to show the council’s support for our nurses. I want to say thank you as they are all doing an amazing job in such challenging times."

Cheshire system update

Senior leaders across all Cheshire health and care partners regularly update on the latest position with the COVID-19 response. This enables issues to be flagged and system-wide solutions to be identified and agreed.

Key updates from this week include:

  • There are 2,023 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Cheshire. Very sadly, 405 COVID-19 related deaths have been recorded in Cheshire hospitals and 205 in care homes.
  • The number and percentage of care homes reporting a suspected or confirmed outbreak of COVID-19 to Public Health England by local authorities is available online here.

COVID-19 testing

National guidance around testing - including who is eligible and the various testing options - is available here:

This route provides access to regional testing centres - such as those at Manchester Airport, Haydock and Preston College - home testing and mobile testing units.

Locally, satellite testing sites are also in place at both the Countess of Chester and Leighton Hospitals. Access to testing here is managed by the CCG's co-ordination team. Those eligible are able to request a test via email to:

What to do if you have a dental problem during COVID-19

If you have a dental issue during lockdown, it is important that you know how to access help when you need it. All high street dental and orthodontic practices can give advice, guidance and prescriptions, which you can collect from your local pharmacy. 

If you are in pain or in need of support and need help or advice, please telephone your dental practice in the usual way.  If you are not registered with a dentist you can go to or call the Cheshire and Merseyside dental helpline - 0161 476 9651.

This may be because you have severe toothache or a dental infection, or you have noticed other changes inside your mouth such as a white or red patch, a lump or an ulcer that won’t heal.

You will be assessed and given advice over the phone, which may result in a remote consultation with a dentist or referral to one of a number local urgent dental care hubs (if you are assessed as requiring a face to face appointment).

In addition, the Liverpool University Dental Hospital is also operating an Emergency Dental Care service for patients registered in Cheshire and Merseyside.

To access this service, please call 0151 706 5307 / 0151 706 5309 Monday to Friday 8.30am–4.30pm, Saturday 8.30am-midday.

To support NHS services, it is important that you do not visit hospitals or GP practices with dental problems.

Keeping in touch

Despite the current restrictions and social distancing requirements, health and care partners across Cheshire are working to ensure that engagement with key stakeholders, including members of the public, continues via virtual means.

Upcoming opportunities include:

Healthwatch Cheshire survey

Healthwatch Cheshire are conducting a survey about health and wellbeing during Coronavirus. The survey asks how you have found accessing advice and support, how you have been affected by changes to health and care services and about your mental health and wellbeing during the Coronavirus outbreak.

This is designed to find out what has been good, what lessons could be learned and what other support you may need during this time. The survey will be ongoing and people are encouraged to complete it more than once as the situation develops.

Click here to complete the survey

Partner updates

Healthwatch Cheshire is supporting the Cheshire health and care system by leading on the collation of public updates from all partners.

Find out more on the following two Healthwatch webpages:
Both local authorities have also developed Covid-19 specific webpages to outline the advice and support available to residents:

National key messages

Following the Prime Minister's announcement on Sunday (May 10th) the Government has published more detail about its plans to move move to the next phase of its response to the virus, including the strategy Our Plan to Rebuild.

Further guidance and support around a range of COVID-19 related issues including testing for coronavirus and working safely can be found on the Government website here:

Media coverage

Hospital ICU staff make tear-jerking video for families

Call your doctor now if you're worried about your health

New service launched to help hospital patients get home sooner

New Cheshire East service supports unpaid carers

Cheshire GPs back pioneering research into COVID-19

Copyright © 2020 NHS Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group, All rights reserved.

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