April 24th 2020

Covid-19: Cheshire health and care update



Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly series of stakeholder 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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Coronavirus testing for key workers in Cheshire

From today (Friday, April 24th 2020) all key workers or members of their household who are experiencing Coronavirus symptoms can book a Covid-19 test for themselves here:

In the North West, this national commitment - announced by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care yesterday - provides access to regional testing centres at Manchester Airport, Haydock and Preston College.

Testing at local satellite sites - currently the Countess of Chester Hospital and Leighton Hospital - is still available, however not via the national testing programme.

Key workers and their families can access testing at one of the local Cheshire sites by contacting

To be eligible for testing, you must be:

  • In the first five days of COVID-19 symptoms or
  • Self-isolating because an adult or child in your household is in first five days of Covid-19 symptoms

Anyone who attempts to turn up at a testing facility that has not followed the correct booking procedure or fits the eligibility criteria will be turned away, with no exceptions.

More detailed information on the types of workers who are now eligible for testing can be found here:

Temporary suspension of home births

This week Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership issued a position statement detailing the decision to temporarily suspend home birth services line with national guidance.
This decision has been made with the agreement of each Trust Executive Board in light of the impact of COVID-19, including the availability of midwives and ambulances.
Women who are affected by this change will be contacted by their maternity provider to discuss their options, agree an individualised care plan and receive ongoing support.

Cheshire system update

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

Key updates from this week include:

  • There are 1262 confirmed cases of Covid-19 across Cheshire. Very sadly, 254 Covid-19 related deaths have been recorded in Cheshire hospitals.
  • All three Cheshire hospital trusts continue to cope well in response to Covid-19, with no current issues around bed capacity.
  • New North West guidance around testing in Care Homes has been published, while guidance around discharges to Care Homes has also been agreed by Cheshire health and care partners.
  • Planning around primary care availability for the May Bank Holidays is underway.
  • Updated guidance around end of life care is now available in primary care.

NHS Volunteer Responders

Millions of vulnerable people and their families will be able to directly call on the army of NHS Volunteer Responders, the NHS and Royal Voluntary Service have announced today.

More than 600,000 volunteers have been approved to help those most at risk who are isolating at home from coronavirus, more than double the original target.

The scheme has been fully operational for two weeks with healthcare practitioners, pharmacists and local authority and social care staff calling on volunteers to carry out around 35,000 tasks to date, including delivering medicines, shopping and other supplies as well as making calls to check in on those isolating at home.

To protect the scheme for those who need it, only those who are clinically at risk or who meet the criteria should refer themselves for support. Referrals can be made by calling 0808 196 3646.

National key messages

Coronavirus is a National Emergency, life threatening for people of all ages, everywhere
in the UK.

To help save lives you must stay at home. This will help protect you and the NHS and frontline staff who are working to save lives. Only go outside for food, health reasons, daily exercise or to work – but only if you cannot work from home.

If you go out, stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people at all times and wash your hands as soon as you get home.

Anyone can get Coronavirus and anyone can spread it. If you go out, you can spread it. People will die. Act like you’ve got it, anyone can spread it.

Coronavirus - Stay home, protect the NHS, save lives.

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. Updates in Cheshire West this week include the delivery of a postcard with key information to all households in the borough and a social care recruitment campaign.

Media coverage

Amazing acts of kindness from people in Cheshire

Coronavirus testing centre opens at Leighton Hospital

Businesses in team effort to ensure hard-working hospital staff receive hot meals

Mayor speaks out about Covid impact on social care

Great-granny one of world's oldest women to beat Coronavirus

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

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