Together we’re better Stakeholder Update

On Saturday 31 October the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, addressed the nation and expressed his intentions of moving England into a second national lockdown. On Wednesday this week that intention was confirmed, as MPs voted in agreement with the plans. From 00.01am yesterday morning (4 November) England is now once again in a national lockdown.

This lockdown comes with a very clear set of messages; as a country, we must:
• Stay at home, except for specific purposes
• Avoid meeting people you do not live with, except for specific purposes
• Close certain businesses and venues.

These new national restrictions are in place to reduce the growth rate of the virus, in order to prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed, ensure schools, colleges and universities can stay open and to ensure that as many people as possible can continue to work.
As before, you can still leave the house for individual exercise and to buy essential items. You can also leave for work (where you cannot work from home) and for education and childcare. You will not be able to meet in groups anywhere but can meet with one other person from another household for exercise or to visit and outdoor public space (this does not include private gardens). If you do meet up with another person who you do not live with, you must maintain social distancing.

Single-adult households are still able to form a support bubble exclusively with one other household.
Weddings can no longer go ahead until further notice but funerals with up to 30 people can still take place.
The full set of restrictions, including what you can and can’t do and what will be open and what businesses and venues will have to close can be found here.

Please take a few minutes to read through this guidance and familiarise yourself with these restrictions, which have subtle differences to the first lockdown. We would ask you to help support us in promoting the restrictions and encourage everyone to follow them so we can control the growth in numbers of the virus, which in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent are growing rapidly.

Throughout this lockdown it is important to stress that you will still be able to access NHS services. If you need help and need to access a service, do not put this off. Contact your GP or NHS 111 to get the care you need. In any lifethreatening emergency always call 999 without hesitation – we’re here for you.

The thought of a second lockdown will be causing distress for many people. If your mental health is suffering and you need help, please get in touch as soon as possible:
For Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire, call 0300 123 0907 or visit
For the rest of Staffordshire, please call 0808 196 3002 or visit
We have been through this before and we will do it again, together.

Anyone with symptoms, no matter how mild, (a new continuous cough, a high temperature OR a change in their sense or taste or smell) should book a test as soon as possible. You can do this via the national portal online, here, or by calling 119. There is plenty of capacity and we need to stress the importance of getting a test to help us in our battle with COVID-19, we need your help to encourage people to get tested.

There are two regional testing sites locally. These are located at Stoke City Football Club’s South Car Park in Stoke-on-Trent and the Stafford Education and Enterprise Park, Beaconside, in Stafford.
There are also local testing sites at Newcastle Ryecroft Car Park, Keele University Science and Innovation Park, Beecroft Road Car Park in Cannock, Burton Town Hall and also at Fenton Manor Car Park in Stoke-on-Trent.

People must visit the website above to book an appointment at any of these sites.
Health and care staff can also use these sites.

In addition to this, there are several mobile testing units which move around across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. These can also be booked on the national portal via the link above. Locations of the mobile testing sites over the next week can be found under the ‘testing’ section, here.

Local news
Difficult Decisions engagement
The results of a major engagement exercise held earlier this year by the six Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Clinical Commissioning Groups have now been published.
The Difficult Decisions programme sought views on ending the postcode lottery that exists across parts of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent to access treatments and services.

It looked at five specific areas where NHS commissioning policies are different depending upon where in the area you live.
More information about the Difficult Decisions work, and to access the findings report and summary, please visit a CCG website:

Local Healthwatch nominated for national award

Healthwatch Stoke-on-Trent has been nominated for a national award in the category ‘The impact our teams makes’ for its Public Experience of Pregnancy and Maternity Services Report, which helped to highlight areas for improvement across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire.
Winners will be announced at this year’s virtual Healthwatch Awards 2020, which is run by Healthwatch England. Our congratulations and best wishes go to the team.

Colour the World Orange Day
Elsewhere, Hanley town centre was lit up orange for the first time on 2 November as part of Colour the World Orange Day, a worldwide event raising awareness of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CPRS).
CPRS is a debilitating chronic and sometimes progressiv neurological disorder that affects around 1 in 3,800 people.
CPRS usually develops after a sprain or bone fracture or after a small surgical procedure, however the pain often continues permanently after the original injury is healed and the pain is out of all proportion to the original injury and there is often swelling and skin colour changes.
There remains no cure for CPRS at present, but there are a number of treatments that are used to help manage the many signs  and symptoms.
Other building being lit up this year as part of the event include Blackpool Tower.

For the latest information on coronavirus, please visit the NHS and government websites.
Together We’re Better is the partnership of NHS and local government organisations, alongside independent and voluntary sector groups, that is working together to transform health and care services. You can find out more about us on our website:

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