Together we’re better weekly update


This week we have seen more and more areas going into local lockdown, as the number of coronavirus cases has been on the rise in certain places across the country. This has included the greater Manchester lockdown spreading to the city centre. Although we haven’t needed to get to this stage in Staffordshire and Stoke on-Trent, it’s clear to see that coronavirus is still a very real threat and, even though we are getting back to some kind of normality, we must be extremely careful still when out and about.

The best way to remain safe throughout this pandemic is still to maintain good handwashing, keeping at a safe distance from other people and to wear face coverings when you’re in shops, supermarkets, on public transport or in a NHS setting. It can be uncomfortable to wear a face covering, especially in the heat we’ve had this week, but it really will help to protect others if you’ve got coronavirus and don’t know it yet or don’t have symptoms. This is a huge team effort all across the world to help tackle the spread of the virus and we are extremely grateful of the sacrifices that you have all made and continue to make every day.

As mentioned, the weather has been extremely hot this week, and we would urge you all to make sure that you are staying hydrated and applying sun cream when out in the sun. Checking in on vulnerable people virtually is also really important in weather like this – are they staying hydrated? It’s also important to stay safe in the storms like the ones we’ve been seeing this week.

Many people may be wanting more of the sun and planning holidays. As you may know, the government announced ‘travel corridors’, with a list of territories and countries that people living in England could freely travel to without needing to selfisolate upon return. Many places, such as Spain, have now been taken off this list.

Anyone travelling to places not on the exemption list will have to self-isolate upon their return for 14 days. Keep up to date with removals, here.

Winter planning has been underway across the system for a long time now, and this includes planning for the upcoming flu season. As a system, we are currently looking at how flu vaccinations will be delivered this year. We are asking people to complete a short survey, telling us whether they plan on having the flu vaccination this year, and how they think it should be delivered widely across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. If you would like to have your say, please complete the short survey, here.

Please also share this survey link with your groups.

Yesterday (Thursday 13 August), we held a large online stakeholder event, looking at the restoration and recovery plan for the local health and care system. We wanted to find out how people thought we should move forward, given the temporary changes to health and care services that have come about due to the pandemic, and also ask what the impact of these service changes has been.

A huge thank you goes out to all of those who attended. Although we had a few minor issues with IT (this was the first and largest virtual event of its kind that we have held), the feedback we gathered was invaluable and extremely insightful.

We will now be collating all this feedback and hope to publish the findings on our website in Autumn. We will be holding focus groups in the coming months with seldom heard groups – look out for information about these on the website, or find out how you can get involved further, here.

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

  •  All partners are reiterating the importance of following government guidelines in places such as pubs, hairdressers and barbers. Stay at a safe distance, wash your hands frequently and wear a face covering in hair dressers and barbers shops
  •  Partners are encouraging people to take part in the flu survey, which will look at how we should be delivering the vaccination this year and how many people are planning on having the vaccination
  •  Healthwatch Staffordshire and Healthwatch Stoke-on-Trent are running a survey looking at the impact of coronavirus on local people. The survey can be found here.

Useful resources available:

 Public Health England has updated its coronavirus guidance in light of changes to the government’s advice and continue to ensure guidance for the public is timely and up to date. All guidance for members of the public, as well as for people in clinical and non-clinical settings, is published and updated regularly on the GOV.UK collection page.

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

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