Coronavirus (COVID-19) – latest information for Doncaster patients and public

 

All the latest information and guidance is available on the gov.uk website here

Advice and guidance for shielded patients

From 6 July:

  • You may, if you wish, meet in a group of up to 6 people outdoors, including people from different households, while maintaining strict social distancing;
  • You no longer need to observe social distancing with other members of your household;
  • In line with the wider guidance for single adult households (either an adult living alone or with dependent children under 18) in the general population, you may from this date, if you wish, also form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household. All those in a support bubble will be able to spend time together inside each other’s homes, including overnight, without needing to socially distance. This is a small advisory change that brings those affected a step nearer others in their communities. However, all the other current shielding advice will remain unchanged at this time.  the guidance for the clinically extremely vulnerable will be relaxed to allow shielded individuals to meet up to 5 people from other households outdoors, socially distanced, and to form support bubbles if they live alone or are a lone adult with a dependent under 18.

From 1 August:

The advice to ‘shield’ will be paused. From this date, the Government is advising you to adopt strict social distancing rather than full shielding measures. Strict social distancing means you may wish to go out to more places and see more people but you should take particular care to minimise contact with others outside your household or support bubble.

  • You can go to work, if you cannot work from home, as long as the business is COVID-safe;
  • Children who are clinically extremely vulnerable can return to their education settings if they are eligible and in line with their peers. Where possible children should practise frequent hand washing and social distancing;
  • You can go outside to buy food, to places of worship and for exercise but you should maintain strict social distancing; and
  • You should remain cautious as you are still at risk of severe illness if you catch Coronavirus, so the advice is to stay at home where possible and, if you do go out, follow strict social distancing.
  • The food and medicine boxes facilitated by the National Shielding Service will stop as of 1 August as individuals are advised they can visit shops and pharmacies. However, other forms of support – such as priority supermarket delivery slots and the NHS Volunteers Scheme, amongst a range of local volunteer schemes – will continue. If an individual is concerned about support after 1 August, they should contact their local authority.
  • The categorisation of ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ will remain in place and people in this cohort should continue to follow the guidance specific to them. After 1 August we will continue to maintain the Shielded Patient List. We will monitor the virus continuously over coming months and if it spreads too much, we may need to advise this group to shield again.
  • Shielding guidance has been and continues to be advisory.
  • Everybody in the ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ categorisation will be written to from today outlining these steps.

Wearing face coverings

From Monday 15 June you must wear a face covering on all public transport and also if you attend any hospital site. Further details about staying safe outside your home are available here.

Domestic Abuse

Anyone can suffer domestic abuse. Domestic abuse is not just about violence. Controlling behaviour (known as coercive control) can be just as dangerous and difficult to cope with. It’s important you take action and find support if this is happening to you or someone you know. Lockdown is making things difficult for some people and there is always help if you are suffering. Please do not wait to get help. You can report domestic abuse or controlling behaviour to South Yorkshire Police here.

How to spot the signs of domestic abuse

  • Injuries – a victim may have bruising, cuts or other injuries. A victim may excuse their injuries by claiming they are clumsy or give the same explanation each time.
  • Stress – a victim may display physical symptoms related to stress, other anxiety disorders or depression. They may have panic attacks, or have strong feelings of isolation and an inability to cope. In more extreme cases the victim may talk of suicide or have even made attempts.
  • Absent from work – a victim may be late for or off work on a regular basis, or take time off without notice.
  • Withdrawal from social activities – this will be harder to spot in the current Coronavirus situation, but this could be a sign of domestic abuse
  • Personality changes – you may notice personality changes when a victim is around their partner. They may appear to ‘walk on eggshells’, or be jumpy and nervous
  • Low self-esteem – a victim may express or display low self-esteem or lack of confidence regarding their relationship or life in general.
  • Lack of money – a victim may never seem to have any money because their partner is withholding it from them to control them.
  • A victim’s partner might display irrational behaviour – they might be jealous, aggressive or possessive. He or she may accuse them of having affairs, flirting or may read their emails, check their phone or constantly phone to check up on them.
  • Unwanted pregnancy/termination – pregnancy often triggers the start of domestic abuse. This may lead a female abuse victim to be unhappy at being pregnant, not wish to continue with the pregnancy, or be forced into having a termination by her partner.
  • Substance abuse – victims may use alcohol, illegal drugs, or prescribed drugs like tranquillisers or anti-depressants to cope.
  • Damage to property – there may be damage to the home or even harm to the pets of victims.

Guidance on Coronavirus and those suffering domestic abuse is available here.

Details on how to contact Doncaster Women’s Aid are available here.

Information from Doncaster Council including a domestic abuse self-referral form is available here.

If you are in danger please ring 999 immediately.

 

Update to guidance for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable (shielding)

You will have seen that the Government has updated the guidance for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable to Coronavirus and have been advised to shield. The update from Government comes into effect from today. In summary the changes are:

  • The advice for people identified as clinically extremely vulnerable is that they should continue to shield until at least the 30 June but from 1 June, they can spend a short period of time outdoors each day with members of their household, still maintaining 2m distance from others.
  • If the shielded person lives alone, the Government is advising they can meet one other person from a different household, maintaining strict social distancing. The advice is that this be the same person each time.
  • Important aspects of Government’s policy and guidance remain the same. Apart from going outside once per day, a shielded person should continue to avoid all non-essential face to face contact. This means they should still not go shopping or to pharmacies.
  • The support for shielded people remains in place and unchanged.

The Government has also confirmed that it will be reviewing shielding guidance alongside wider changes to social distancing, including plans to write to those on the shielding patients list with information about next steps on shielding after the next review on 15 June.

  • From Monday, 1 June you can meet members of your family and friends in gardens and open spaces – up to 6 people in total but you must still maintain physical distancing and stay 2 metres apart
  • Dentists will re-open on 8 June 2020
  • Test, Track and Trace programme is now live – pulling information from .gov.uk and NHS England and NHS Improvement, read the guidance here.

If NHS Test and Trace calls you by ‘phone, the service will be using a single phone number 0300 0135 000. The only website the service will ask you to visit is https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk.

Contact tracers will never:

  • Ask you to dial a premium rate number to speak to us (for example, those starting 09 or 087)
  • Ask you to make any form of payment
  • Ask for any details about your bank account
  • Ask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts
  • Ask you for any passwords or PINs, or ask you to set up any passwords or PINs over the phone
  • Ask you to purchase a product
  • Ask you to download any software to your device or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet
  • Ask you to access any website that does not belong to the Government or NHS.

Please share this information with family and friends, protect yourself and others.

It is still vitally important to wash your hands regularly.

Latest government Coronavirus advice can be found here.

The government issued new guidance on May 11 2020: Staying alert and safe (social distancing)

New Lockdown Advice – Easy Read Version

Following the government issuing new advice for the lockdown on 11 May 2020, there is an easy read version (with pictures) available for you to download here

‘Stay Alert’
Please continue to be aware of the threat of Coronavirus and continue to do what you’ve already been doing to stay safe: keep 2 metres apart from other people and only go out for medicines, treatment, daily exercise or essential food.

‘Control the virus’
Keep away from others, avoid crowds of people and be careful; doing this will try and avoid a second spike of cases.  

Should you go back to work?
Only if you cannot work from home and it is safe to do so. No-one should feel pressured into going back to work until it’s absolutely safe to do so – your employer has a legal obligation to make sure the workplace is safe,  and you need to know how you can commute safely too.

Walk, cycle or take the car if you can; public transport is available with safety measures too. 

Should we be going outside?
Yes you can, but there are still rules in place. You are allowed to leave your house for walks, jogs and you can sit in public places (at a safe distance from other people). There is no restriction on how many times a day you exercise, but please be sensible. 

If you go into enclosed spaces then you are advised to use a face covering – it doesn’t have to be a face mask, just something that covers your face and mouth.

When can you see your family?
There is still a big risk of a second spike in coronavirus cases, so you cannot visit your family for the time being.  You can meet one person from outside of your household, as long as you keep 2 metres between you and are outside.

Keep your distance from others, use your common sense and only leave your house for essential shopping and daily exercise. Remember also to keep washing your hands regularly for twenty seconds with soap. 

Advice for Adults on how to keep active

Public Health England has issued advice to help older adults stay active during the current situation.

The ‘Active at Home’ booklet has been produced to provide practical guidance to older adults on home-based activities to maintain their strength and balance during the coronavirus pandemic. It is aimed primarily at older adults for use by local authorities and others who support them. You can download a copy of the booklet here.

    

If you have Coronavirus symptoms…

If you have been tested for Coronavirus and have a positive result, or have symptoms (as per those below), you must self isolate for 7 days.

If you can, use a separate bathroom and do not mix with others in your household. Family members in your house must also self isolate for 14 days.

As a reminder, the symptoms are as follows:

  • a new continuous cough
  • fever
  • loss or change in your normal sense of smell or taste

Do not go to your local practice or hospital with symptoms, further information is available on gov.uk/coronavirus and nhs.uk.

Like the common cold, coronavirus infection usually occurs through close contact with a person with novel coronavirus via cough and sneezes or hand contact. A person can also be infected by touching contaminated surfaces if they do not wash their hands.

Everyone is being reminded to follow Public Health England advice to:

  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell. You can find the latest information and advice from Public Health England at www.gov.uk/coronavirus

The public has a crucial role to play in containing the spread of the virus. Washing your hands more often, for 20 seconds. Use soap and water or a hand sanitiser when you: get home of into work, blow your nose, sneeze or cough, eat or handle food. Protect yourself and others.

So in summary, you should only leave your home:

  • to shop for basic essentials – when you really need to
  • to exercise – such as a run, walk or cycle, alone or with other people you live with
  • for any medical need – for example, to visit a pharmacy or deliver essential supplies to a vulnerable person
  • to work if it is safe to do so and you cannot work from home

And always stay 2 metres apart.

You can follow our Coronavirus Doncaster updates on social media – for the latest information from all organisations in Doncaster:

Other useful information

 

NHS Volunteer Responders

Health and social care professionals in England can refer any vulnerable patients who are self-isolating to NHS Volunteer Responders for help with tasks such as collecting shopping and prescribed medicines, driving patients to medical appointments or transporting supplies between sites.

The scheme is already helping thousands of people every day and hundreds of thousands of volunteers are available to help. Health and social care professionals, including GPs, pharmacists, midwives and social prescribing link workers can make referrals. Some voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations that work with people who are clinically high risk or vulnerable may also now make referrals. You can make referrals through the NHS Volunteer Responders referrers’ portal or by calling 0808 196 3382.

The scheme is now open for self-referrals for people who have been advised to shield and those most at risk who are isolating at home from coronavirus. These people can ask volunteers for short-term help by calling 0808 196 3646 between 8am and 8pm. Please pass this number on to patients who could benefit from this support.

You can find more information about the programme at www.nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk.

You can make referrals directly if you have an nhs.net or gov.uk email address. We will approve requests from alternative addresses as quickly as we can within 72 hours, or they can make referrals through their local authority.

You can also use the portal to track when a patient receives support, or to remove someone from the scheme if they no longer need assistance.

The service, commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement, is being delivered by the Royal Voluntary Service. All approved volunteers have undergone appropriate ID checks, with an enhanced DBS check for those volunteering as patient transport drivers.

Please continue to make use of your local schemes where they exist and please talk to your patients if in doubt about whether they require support. Priority will be given to those identified as most at risk and asked to self-isolate at home for an extended period, and to those who health practitioners and local authorities consider to be especially vulnerable.

Volunteers can also support organisations by transporting supplies by car, such as equipment, medicines or personal protective equipment.

Doncaster Community Hub for Coronavirus Support

You can find out about help and support available from the Doncaster Community Hub here.

Every Mind Matters

Are you or someone you know worried about coronavirus? You or someone you know could be lonely, anxious or stressed. Here are 10 ways you can help to improve your mental health and well-being. You can find further information here

Information and advice for Carers

Further details on information, advice and support for Carers in Doncaster can be found on our Carers website page here

Support from Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)

For further information and advice including details of the telephone helpline, please click here

Latest updates from the NHS UK are available here.

The NHS in Doncaster and Public Health England (PHE) are well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal.

As per the current advice, the most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves remains washing their hands more often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water. Make sure you cough or sneeze into a tissue, put it in a bin and wash your hands.

Accessing NHS services

If you need medical help, the NHS is still here for you.

If you need medical help from your local practice, contact them either online, by an app or by phone to be assessed.

If you need urgent medical help, use the NHS 111 online service. If you cannot get help online, call 111. If it’s a serious or life-threatening emergency, call 999.

If you are told to go to hospital it is important that you go to hospital; you also should continue to attend your appointments, unless you have been told not to attend.

 

Prescriptions

You can order your repeat prescriptions on the NHS App and through your local practice or pharmacy’s online service, where available.

Local pharmacies

Pharmacists and their teams are an essential part of the NHS and need your help and support during the coronavirus pandemic. Always treat our staff with respect, they are doing their best to provide you with the medicines and advice you need.

Important information on prescriptions during the Coronavirus pandemic

  1. Order repeat prescriptions in your usual quantities at the usual time. Over ordering of your medicines may mean someone else has to go without their medicines.
  2. Order your usual prescription online or by an app. Do not go to your local practice or pharmacy to order prescriptions and only phone them if you cannot order online or by an app. You can order repeat prescriptions on the NHS App and through your local practice or pharmacy’s online service, where available. You can find out about ordering medicines online at www.nhs.uk
  3. If you have a prescription to collect:
  • If you are 70 or over, have a long-term health condition or are pregnant you should arrange collection by a relative or friend, or ask your pharmacy for help with delivery
  • Ask any relatives and friends who are delivering your medicines to make sure they have seen you pick up the bag
  • If your medicines are being delivered make sure you keep a safe distance when you receive them.
  • For everyone else, if you are going into a pharmacy in person, follow social distancing rules and the rules put in place by the pharmacy to protect you and their staff
  • Pharmacies may have altered opening times to manage their workload
  • Sales of some medicines may be restricted in quantity by pharmacies to ensure that there is enough for everyone.

Volunteer medicine delivery services from the Doncaster Hub are ending. Please ask someone to collect your prescription for you. If your pharmacy does not offer a delivery service, you can contact the NHS Volunteer Responders.  The number for people to call to make a self-referral is 0808 196 3646. This is a free service which can help you by collecting prescriptions and shopping and having someone to talk to regularly.

Please allow 7-10 days from ordering your prescription to collection, to make sure your medicines are in stock and available. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.

Routine vaccinations

It is important that you or your baby or child still have routine vaccinations. They protect against serious and potentially deadly illnesses and stop outbreaks in the community.

If the person needing vaccination has coronavirus symptoms or is self-isolating because someone in the household is displaying symptoms, please contact your local practice for advice.

End of Life Care

Information on what you can do to practically care for someone  who is in their last days and hours of life is available here.

Further information and guidance

 

Guidance on social distancing and for vulnerable people:

Guidance on social distancing for everyone in the UK, including children, and protecting older people and vulnerable people is now available in a range of community languages, including Arabic, Bengali, Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin), French, Gujarati, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Urdu and Welsh. Please click here for further details.

Advice and practical tips for people affected by Dementia

Living with dementia at any time brings everyday challenges for the person and the people around them. Coronavirus is making daily life much harder. During the coronavirus pandemic the Alzheimer’s Society have advice and practical tips for people living with dementia and those supporting them – either in the same household or from a distance. You may feel anxious, scared or lonely. But you are not alone – help is available. Please click here for further details

The government has now published its guidance document for the public on mental health and wellbeing throughout the Coronavirus outbreak.

In summary it has advice across 9 key areas:

  1. What can help your mental health and wellbeing
  2. Staying at home
  3. Where to get further support
  4. Additional advice for groups with specific mental health needs
  5. People with a learning disability
  6. Autistic people
  7. Older people
  8. People living with dementia
  9. Dealing with a mental health crisis or emergency

You can access the full document here.

Coronavirus symptom self-management

The Palliative and End of Life Care team have partnered with NHS Digital, and trusted partner organisations to host links to Coronavirus symptom self-management information, from the NHS UK website. People will be provided with expert information and advice on how Coronavirus impacts their specific palliative or long-term condition and how they should manage it during the pandemic.

As the UK’s biggest health website, with over 50 million visits every month, a large volume of people will now be directed to trusted external resources from partner organisations.

Here are some of the conditions below and this will be expanded as information becomes available.

Resources

A series of posters are available and can be accessed below:

And finally, please watch this video of Doncaster staff, residents and local community organisations as we fight against Coronavirus, together…