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June 19th 2020

COVID-19: Cheshire health and care update

Contents

Welcome


Welcome to the latest edition of our 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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COVID-19 testing in Cheshire

Satellite testing centres
There are two satellite testing centres in Cheshire at the Countess of Chester Hospital and Leighton Hospital in Crewe.

Cheshire's satellite testing centres can now test children as young as 2 and the teams can also support outreach swabbing on a case-by-case review.

To arrange a test at one of Cheshire's satellite testing centre, please email:
cheshireccg.covid19@nhs.net

Regional testing centres
In the North West, regional testing centres are already well-established at Manchester Airport, Haydock Racecourse and Preston College. This week a further regional testing centre opened at Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

Click
here to apply for a test at a regional testing centre. Testing at these sites are available to over 18s only.

NHS Test and Trace
The NHS Test and Trace Service is aimed at identifying and advising people who have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

Close contact is defined as:

  • Having face-to-face contact with someone (less than 1 metre away)
  • Spending more than 15 minutes within 2 metres of someone
  • Travelling in a car or other small vehicle with someone (even on a short journey) or close to them on a plane.
NHS Test and Trace contact tracers will always:
  • Call from 0300 013 5000
  • Send text messages from ‘NHS’
  • Ask people to sign in to the NHS test and trace contact-tracing website
  • Ask for your full name and date of birth to confirm identity, and postcode to offer support while self-isolating
  • Ask about any coronavirus symptoms
  • Ask you to provide the name, telephone number and/or email address of anyone you have had close contact with in the two days prior to symptoms starting
  • Ask if anyone you have been in contact with is under 18 or lives outside of England
They will never:
  • Ask for bank details, or payments
  • Ask for details of any other accounts, such as social media
  • Set up a password or PIN number over the phone
  • Call from a premium rate number, such as those starting 09 or 087
More information about NHS Test and Trace is available here

Antibody testing
Antibody testing - to check whether someone has had the COVID-19 virus - is being rolled out across Cheshire, initially prioritising NHS staff. Patients who are already having blood taken as part of other tests may be asked whether they would like an antibody test.

At this stage, antibody testing is primarily useful to understand the spread of the virus. There is no strong evidence yet to suggest that those who have had the COVID-19 virus develop immunity which would prevent them from getting the virus again.

Cheshire system update

Key updates from this week include:

  • There are 2,544 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Cheshire. Very sadly, 528 COVID-19 related deaths have been recorded in Cheshire hospitals and 293 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.

Help Us Help You get the treatment you need

The NHS in Cheshire is urging people not to allow coronavirus (COVID-19) to stop them getting the care they need.

This week, Cervical Screening Awareness, Men's Health and Learning Disabilities have all been a key focus.

Next week the focus will be on reiterating the importance of anyone with signs of stroke accessing emergency care without delay.

Dial 999 immediately if you or someone you know shows the following signs of stroke:

  • Face - is the face drooping or has it fallen on one side? Can they smile?
  • Arms - can they raise both arms and keep them there?
  • Speech - is it slurred?
  • Time to call 999 if you see any of the above signs.

Find out about local services and have your say


NHS Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is committed to hearing from local people and communities and continuing to give you the opportunity to shape the future of local healthcare. We want to better understand how the work we do feels in reality for our local communities. 

Following positive feedback from our first virtual Cheshire Chat held in May 2020, we want to invite you to join us at our next online event which you can register for
here

When:  Thursday, June 25th 2020
Time:   6.30pm - 7.30pm

The focus of this round of Cheshire Chat events will be :
  • Community Services
  • Prescribing
  • Care Homes

Local authority updates
Cheshire West and Chester

As we start to enter the recovery phase of the coronavirus pandemic, we will experience change and will need to adapt to a new norm.

Taking steps to look after our wellbeing can help us deal with pressure, develop resilience and reduce the impact that stress has on our life. Building greater self-awareness and developing coping mechanisms can help us all get through the pandemic and help us deal with future challenges. 

Councillor Gareth Gould, Leader’s Mental Health Champion at Cheshire West and Chester Council said: “Times have been difficult for all of us under different circumstances and having resilience is key to helping us bounce back and adapt in the face of adversity. Resilience can help you manage stressful situations, protect you from mental ill-health and improve your overall health and wellbeing.

"Support is also available for anyone struggling or finding it difficult to cope. There is a 24/7 mental health helpline available for people of all ages, including young people who need urgent mental health support, 0300 303 3972 (Cheshire and Wirral). For more information and support, go to Kind to your Mind or YoungMinds.”

Some key steps to becoming more resilient include:
  • Review your lifestyle, make time for family and friends, develop interests and hobbies and use relaxation techniques to help reduce stress levels.
  • Look after your physical health, eat healthily and get enough sleep
  • Be kind to yourself, by taking a break and rewarding yourself
  • Build a support network of friends, family and work colleagues.
Cheshire West and Chester Council has been highlighting the five ways to wellbeing over the last few months:- connect, keep learning, be active, take notice and give to help support residents during the coronavirus pandemic. Useful information and tips on improving your mental wellbeing are also available via the following sites: You can also share your ideas on how our communities can emerge from the pandemic even stronger than before and what you would like the new norm to be, by visiting the Council's Stronger Futures web page.

Cheshire East

A bus service used by key workers and people travelling to Macclesfield, Poynton and Stepping Hill Hospital, has been reinstated - thanks to Cheshire East Council.

The 391/392 service between Macclesfield and Stockport was suspended when its operator – Manchester Community Transport – ceased trading earlier this year.

During the lockdown, Cheshire East Council provided its Flexilink bus to carry key workers who were left stranded with no transport to and from work.

Now the council has sourced a new operator – Go Goodwins – to run the service from Monday (22 June). 

It will be hourly from Monday to Friday and every 90 minutes on Saturdays. The route will take in Bollington and Poynton and pass close to Stepping Hill Hospital.Craig Browne Pantlin

Councillor Craig Browne, Cheshire East Council deputy leader, said: “I am pleased that we are able to support this service and facilitate its reinstatement.

“I am aware that a number of people, including key workers, were seriously affected by its loss during the lockdown period and that the council – through its transport company Transport Service Solutions – was able to assist several key workers with their travel to and from work using the Flexilink bus.

“I am hopeful that during these challenging times the new service can be sustained and is well used. It is important that as lockdown measures are eased, residents are given the opportunity to support local businesses and attend urgent appointments.”

Healthwatch Cheshire survey


A reminder that 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 https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/M338XBK

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. Included this week are updates around plans for the safe reopening of local schools:

Media coverage

Coronavirus live - latest updates

Funding aid scheme delivers £500k to good causes

Student pen pals reach out to vulnerable people living in lockdown

Call for country-wide thank you to the NHS on its 72nd birthday

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