Together We’re Better weekly update
The past week will have been a strange one for many people, with normal Easter activities and bank holiday plans being changed dramatically from the norm. We know that many people would usually be out delivering Easter eggs or, for those of different faiths, spending the long weekend with friends and family. We thank you all for staying home, keeping yourselves and loved ones safe, and protecting our NHS.
It is positive to see that the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, left hospital this week and is making a recovering, after spending a short time in intensive care. We are seeing good news stories every day about more and more people recovering from coronavirus (COVID-19). Mr Johnson has publicly thanked the staff that took care of him whilst he was unwell and it was fantastic to see so many people taking to their front gardens, doorsteps and balconies again on Thursday evening for another round of applause for carers, NHS staff and key workers.
On Thursday we also heard the government’s update around social distancing measures and that these are to be extended and reviewed again in another three weeks. Although this is difficult for lots of people and many may feel isolated, it is extremely important we all continue to follow the guidelines and help to prevent further spread of the virus. There is helpful wellbeing guidance on the NHS website for anyone struggling at this time. You can find this information here.
We have not reached the expected peak yet in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, but partners have worked, and continue to work, extremely hard, so that we are ready for when this happens.
Many partners have been seeing very generous donations for staff, including items such as food (particularly Easter eggs!) and even bouquets of flowers. Our thanks go out to all local business helping to support and show appreciation for the key workers in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent
Across the local health and care system, the latest updates are:
- Hot-hubs roll out is continuing across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, with one in each Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) area.
- Staffordshire County Council released contact details for domestic abuse helplines. These being: o New Era – 0300 303 3778 (24-hours) or live webchat at www.new-era.uk
o National helpline – 0808 200 0247
o Staffordshire Women’s Aid – 0300 330 5959
o Men’s Advice Line – 0808 801 0327 o LBGT+ helpline – 0800 999 5428
- Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service has also urged landowners not to undertake unnecessary prescribed or controlled burns to avoid placing unnecessary strain upon the emergency services.
- Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has been pushing the #DailyShoutOut to promote the work of individuals or groups tackling the coronavirus who may not get recognition otherwise.
- Councils are reiterating the advice for residents to remain vigilant, following a rise in the number of coronavirus-related scams in the county and city. Some common scams include:
o Online and email scams – mail scams that trick people into opening malicious attachments, placing people at risk of identity theft. Some emails lure people to click on attachments offering information about local people affected by COVID-19
o Fake online resources – such as false coronavirus maps which when clicked on infect computers with malware
o Telephone scams – there is an increasing risk that telephone scams will rise, including criminals claiming to be from a bank, mortgage lender or utility company
o Doorstep crime – criminals targeting older people on their doorstep and offering to do their shopping. Thieves take the money and do not return
o Doorstep cleansing services that offer to clean drives and doorways to kill bacteria and help prevent the spread of the virus o Refund scams – companies offering fake holiday refunds for individuals who have been forced to cancel their trips. People seeking refunds should also be wary of fake websites set up to claim holiday refunds
o Counterfeit goods – fake sanitisers, face masks and Covid19 swabbing kits sold online and door-to-door. These products can often be dangerous and unsafe
o Donation scams – there have been reports of thieves extorting money from consumers by claiming they are collecting donations for a COVID-19 ‘vaccine’
o People should report any scams to the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline: on 0808 223 1133 or at the website https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/
- University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM) has this week launched its ‘Family Support Service’, which will be available between 8am and 5pm, seven days a week to support teams across UHNM to maintain communications between patients and their relatives. More information about the service can be found, here.
- West Midlands Ambulance Service has asked people to be extra careful at home to avoid unnecessary trips to A&E during this time.
- Several care homes across the patch have been affected by cases of coronavirus and councils are working to support these with the provision of both additional care staff and the relevant personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Although many residents of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent are adhering to social distancing measures, Staffordshire Police would like to reinforce the following messages:
o There has been some confusion around whether people can visit and exercise in the Staffordshire countryside, including Cannock Chase, the Roaches and other country parks.
o We are asking people not to visit these areas and to stay close to home to exercise once a day and at least two metres apart from people outside of your household as per the government guidelines on social distancing.
o We understand that there are small numbers of local people who live within these immediate areas who may continue to walk dogs and exercise, but cars should really only be used for essential journeys and not to travel somewhere to exercise. It is important that groups of people avoid congregating at areas such as car parks or popular beauty spots as it is impossible to stay more than two metres apart from others which is critical to stop the spread of the virus.
o We all need to work together to prevent the spread of Covid-19, protect the NHS and save lives. Thank you for your support in staying at home and avoiding unnecessary travel. The beautiful Staffordshire countryside will still be there in a few weeks for us all to enjoy.