Together we’re better weekly update

Weekly stakeholder update

This week we entered the 13th week of lockdown across the country and we are now seeing signs that some form of normality is starting to return. Non-essential shops began reopening this week and it was clear to see that many people are happy to be able to get out and about more now. It is important to note though, that people are being urged not to go to shops simply to browse and to only visit if they intend to make purchases. Shoppers will notice differences, such as social distancing measures being in place, one-way systems and with many shops requesting contactless card payments where possible.

While there are many positives this week, we must all remember that current government guidance states that we must all still stick to social distancing measures. This means that, until government instruction changes, we must all stay 2 metres apart from others outside of our own households. We must all also make sure that, if we are contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service, we follow any advice that we are given around self-isolating – even if we do not have symptoms ourselves. This will help to control the virus and save lives.

Football has made a return to our screens this week, too, with the premier league returning on Wednesday and the Championship returning tomorrow. This will be welcomed by many across the country. However, research shows that incidents of domestic abuse rise sharply during major football tournaments by up to 25 per cent. Local system partners are encouraging football fans to ‘show domestic abuse the red card’, as many will now be watching games from their homes.

A break-through was reached this week, as a steroid called dexamethasone has been found to help reduce coronavirus deaths in those who are seriously ill in hospital. It has been reported that, for patients on ventilators, treatment can reduce deaths by about a third, and for patients requiring only oxygen, deaths can be cut by about one fifth. This antiinflammatory drug has been used to reduce inflammation in a range of conditions since the 1960s. It is important to point out that this is only effective in those patients already in a critical state, and not those with mild symptoms.

The attention on social media this week has been on Learning Disability Week 2020 and Cervical Screening Awareness Week 2020. Mencap’s annual learning disability celebration (#LDWeek2020) is this year showing the importance of friendships to help with tackling isolation, as well as exploring the different ways of maintaining friendships during this time. #CervicalScreeningAwarenessWeek is especially important this year, as cervical screening services are now beginning to restart across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, after having to be put on hold to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. The NHS is urging those who are invited for a test to book an appointment as soon as possible. Local clinics are putting strict measures in place to ensure the safety of all patients and staff.

Linked to this, other interesting awareness campaigns running this week are #LonelinessAwarenessWeek and #MensHealthWeek2020, which brings awareness to health issues that affect men disproportionately and encourages men to do something about worrying symptoms that they may develop.

Finally, the NHS will celebrate its 72nd year on 5 July. System partners are looking at how we can celebrate this milestone locally and we will be sending out communications to you in the very near future about how you can get involved and celebrate the NHS, in what has been it’s toughest year on record.

Across the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent system the latest updates are:

• The latest podcast from the six Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent CCGs features Digital Nurse Champion Ann Hughes, and looks at what digital nursing is and how it has come to the fore during the coronavirus pandemic

• Local councils are reminding residents that things are not ‘back to normal’ yet and that we still need to observe social distancing measures in order to protect the NHS and save lives. Residents are being urged to keep up with hand washing, using sanitiser where appropriate, and abide by the requirements to now wear face coverings on public transport

• Local hospitals have released guidance on their websites, explaining to people the new measures in place regarding patients and visitors having to wear face coverings when visiting the hospitals

• Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is offering school age immunisation drive-through clinics, to ensure that children are still getting their vaccines in a safe manner

• Registration offices across Staffordshire began reopening on 15 June, registering births first, before gradually working towards offering all usual services

• Residents are being warned of the risks of scammers during lockdown, with evidence that over a third of adults have been targeted during the pandemic

• Staffordshire Police is making people aware of NHS Test and Trace service scams, where people are posing as staff members from the service and asking people for bank details

• North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust has shared details of how people can self-refer to the Edward Myers detoxification unit

Useful resources available:

• Hospital mask and face covering guidance materials:

• New stay alert materials, including messages on shopping, working, travelling and how to make your own face covering:

• New NHS Test and Trace materials are available to use on the Public Health England Campaign Resource Centre: This includes BSL, easy read and large print formats here:

• Signposting materials with useful information on how people can contact their GP, order repeat prescriptions and manage wellbeing and existing conditions at home:

• Public Health England guide on how older adults can stay active at home during coronavirus to maintain strength and balance:

• Translated information leaflets for parents with new-borns during coronavirus:

• Mental wellbeing whilst staying at home:

• North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust mental health support and advice guide:

• Guidance on shielding:

• Blood donation materials:

• Stay Alert To Stay Safe materials:

• Symptoms materials:

• Useful videos during coronavirus (including British Sign Language):–BwSA7YoEdcV8Jtt2nLAQ

For the latest information on coronavirus, please visit the NHS and government websites.

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