Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland stakeholder bulletin #24
14th August 2020 | By Communications Team | Posted in
Issued on behalf of the NHS in LLR
Date of issue: 14th August 2020
Through these bulletins we will keep you updated on the NHS response to Coronavirus in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
We will try to ensure you have the latest information, but as you are aware the situation is rapidly changing. If you have any questions or would like to ask about a topic please email us at: PressOfficeLLRCCGs@leicestershire.nhs.uk
Changes for people who are shielding
New guidance for clinically vulnerable people who are shielding in Leicester will come into effect on Monday. The government is sending new letters this weekend. If you are shielding you should continue to do so until at least 7 September but there are some relaxations from 17 August, including the good news that you will be able to have more contact with friends and family. For more details click here.
Updates to shielding advice for county residents can be found on Leicestershire County Council’s website: https://www.leicestershire.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/how-you-can-help/shielding
The NHS has set out its next stage response to COVID-19
Nationally, the number of hospital admissions has fallen from a peak of 19,000 a day to around 900 today. COVID-19 does, however, remain in general circulation and as we have seen in Leicester, and some surrounding areas, local outbreaks are occurring so remaining vigilante in terms of the need to respond is essential.
Having pulled out all the stops to treat COVID patients over the last few months, the NHS will start to increase its focus on the needs of all patients. It is important to be aware that there will be capacity constraints arising in particular from the need to maintain social distancing and infection protection and control measures set up in response to COVID. The priorities are summed up as:
- Accelerating the return to near-normal levels of non-COVID health services, making full use of the capacity available in the ‘window of opportunity’ between now and winter
- Preparation for winter demand pressures, alongside continuing vigilance in the light of further probable COVID spikes locally and possibly nationally.
- Doing the above in a way that takes account of lessons learned during the first COVID peak; locks in beneficial changes; and explicitly tackles fundamental challenges including: support for NHS staff, and action on inequalities and prevention.
Flu season vaccinations survey
As you will be aware, each year many people are eligible for free Flu immunisation. The Clinical Commissioning Groups across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are keen to maximise the uptake of immunisation and want to understand some of the reasons why people do not have the flu jab when they are entitled to it, free of charge on the NHS.
We also want to understand if the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to influence your decision about the vaccine. All responses are anonymous and we are very grateful for any feedback you can provide.
If we understand the reasons why, we can use the feedback to shape how we promote the vaccine and hopefully answer any concerns people may have. With this we can continue to strive to achieve the best health outcomes for our patients and communities.
Do you want to help with a national study to detect COVID-19 involving very cute dogs?
The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine is conducting a Department of Health and Social Care funded study which looks at whether dogs could be used as a new rapid, non-invasive diagnostic tool to detect COVID-19. They are trying to recruit volunteers who have mild COVID-19 symptoms and are due to have a swab test or have had a swab test conducted in the past 24 hours. Volunteers will need to provide samples of breath and body odour by wearing a mask for three hours and nylon socks and a t-shirt for twelve hours. Everything required will be sent to the volunteer by post so no travel is required. More information can be found here and you can volunteer or find out more by calling 0207 927 2777 or by emailing: email@example.com.
Tackling the health inequalities of COVID-19
COVID-19 has highlighted the health inequalities that persist in our society. Like nearly every health condition, COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on people living in areas of high deprivation, on people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, those with a learning disability and others with protected characteristics.
A central part of responding to COVID-19 and restoring services as part of the Third Phase of NHS Response to COVID-19 letter must be to increase the scale and pace of system-wide action to tackle inequalities. NHS England and NHS Improvement commissioned a national advisory group of leaders from within the NHS and beyond to advise on how to achieve this aim in the coming months and 8 urgent actions were identified.
All parts of the NHS are now being asked to deliver these actions, working in close partnership with colleagues in local government, other public services, the voluntary sector, and with communities.
To read more click here. about the detail and context of the eight actions in the document Urgent Actions to Address Inequalities in NHS Provision and Outcomes and how they will be delivered and monitored.