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Covid-19 Update from Cheshire Health & Care

12th April 2020 @ 6:06am – by Cheshire Health & Care team
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April 9th 2020 Covid-19: Cheshire health and care update

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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.

Primary Care update

Easter
In light of the national Coronavirus (Covid-19) challenge, all Cheshire GP practices will open for their normal hours (8am-6:30pm) on both Good Friday and Easter Monday 2020.
Practices will be contactable on their usual phone number and will continue to focus on priority work. In almost all cases patients will continue to be assessed remotely.
GP Out Of Hours will open as normal in the evenings and on Saturday and Sunday.
Nationally, pharmacies have been asked to open at least between 2pm-5pm on both Good Friday and Easter Monday. As soon as it's available, further detail about pharmacy opening times will be published on the NHS Cheshire Clinical Commissioning website.

Hot-hubs

'Hot-hubs' are to be set up in a number of locations across Cheshire to support the treatment of patients who have Coronavirus (Covid-19) symptoms.
The appointment-only clinics are being set up and staffed by local GPs to provide a more effective way of seeing patients.

They are not walk-in clinics. Patients will be booked into them by GPs who will assess patients by telephone or video consultation when needed. More here

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 487 confirmed cases of Covid-19 across Cheshire. 83 Covid-19 related deaths have been recorded in Cheshire hospitals. Yesterday (April 8th 2020) 25 people returned home from hospital after recovering from Covid-19.
  • There remain significant workforce pressures due to staff needing to self-isolate, however in Primary Care there are signs of an improving picture.
  • Swabbing of frontline hospital staff has begun. More testing is required across all health and care partners.
  • Hospital trusts continue to reconfigure to enable routine attendances to be managed separately from suspected Covid-19 patients. Cheshire and Wirral Partnership has done likewise – Cherry Ward at Bowmere Hospital in Chester is now designated a Covid-19 positive ward.
  • Similar work is ongoing in General Practice with designated "hot" and "cold" sites being identified across Primary Care Networks.
  • An updated Standard Operating Procedure for general practice outlines that "shielded" patients -- who have been advised to self-isolate for 12 weeks -- should be treated via home visits, not in health centres.

Support for vulnerable people

Dedicated helplines have been established by Cheshire West and Chester Council and Cheshire East Council to support vulnerable people who are at higher risk of serious complications from Coronavirus. Both helplines provide advice and support, and where necessary make arrangements for food, medicines and social contact.

Cheshire West -- 0300 123 7031 (8am-7pm -- 7 days a week)
Cheshire East – 0300 123 5034 (9am-5pm -- 7 days a week)


Mental health helplines

Cheshire and Wirral Partnership (CWP), has launched a new mental health helpline for residents of Cheshire and Wirral.
Open 24 hours a day, seven-days a week, it is open to people of all ages including children and young people who need urgent mental health support.
The helpline -- 0300 303 3972 -- is part of the NHS Long Term Plan to improve access to mental health support. Originally due to go live next year, it has been fast-tracked to support local people during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Separately, the NHS has launched a mental health hotline as part of a package of measures to support the NHS' 1.4 million staff as they help people deal with the coronavirus. Manned by specially-trained volunteers, the helpline -- available only to NHS staff -- offers support and advice for the pressures they face every day during the global health emergency.

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.

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. Headlines from this week include changes to a number of hospital services and a temporary suspension of all visits to patients on Cheshire and Wirral Partnership wards.

Find out more on the following two Healthwatch webpages:
Cheshire West
Cheshire East
Both local authorities have also developed Covid-19 specific webpages to outline the advice and support available to residents -- including support around mental health and wellbeing and domestic abuse:
Cheshire West and Chester Council
Cheshire East Council

Media coverage

Live coronavirus updates in Cheshire
Stay home save lives says Councillor
200 carers and support workers urgently sought
School making protective masks for care workers
Campaign to raise £2m for Cheshire support groups

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