Together We’re Better weekly update

There has been lots of talk nationally about the NHS entering the ‘second phase’ in the battle against coronavirus. We’ve even heard this week that the Nightingale Hospital in London will be ‘mothballed’ for the time being, as demand for the spare capacity is not needed. Locally, we are also seeing good capacity across the health and care system, with beds available in all areas. It seems like quite a large victory that, thanks to social distancing measures and the actions you have all taken to stay safe and keep others safe, we have not needed someone of the emergency measures that we could have needed. This is not to say though that we are out of the woods just yet. We must continue to follow these measures by staying at home and only travelling when essential.

Many of you may have seen last Thursday that the Prime Minister applauded local people for coming forward to take part in clinical trials at University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM), after it was announced that around 600 people were participating. Local testing was also mentioned, resulting in mobile units being moved to Stafford and Stoke-onTrent. You can find out who is eligible for a test and also how to arrange one,  here.

Guidance for testing, including who is eligible and where you can go to be tested is changing frequently and we will endeavour to give you the most up-to-date information as and when we have it.

The national ‘Help Us Help You’ campaign is gaining momentum and all partners locally are supporting these messages. From today until next Monday, we will be promoting the importance of dialling 999 immediately if you suspect that someone may be having a stroke. It is very important to act as soon as possible in these circumstances and to remember the ‘F.A.S.T.’ test: Face – is the persons face drooping/fallen on one side? Arms – can they raise both arms and keep them there? Speech – is it slurred? Time – act quickly and dial 999 if you spot any of the signs. 

From Monday 11 May we will then be sharing messages around just how important it is to look after you mental wellbeing during this time and reminding people to contact their GP if they are having issues and need help. Look out for all of the messaging on social media, using the hashtag #HelpUsHelpYou. 

 Across the local health and care system the latest updates are:

  • Councils are looking at how and when they can safely and efficiently reopen household waste and recycling centres (HWRCs). Staffordshire County Council HWRCs will be reopening on 14 May. You can find more information about this, here.
  • Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has announced an online workshop to support people in South Staffordshire who are feeling anxious as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
  • The Staffordshire County Council scheme to support microbusinesses in Staffordshire has now closed to new applications, after receiving 1,600 calls in its launch week
  • Local district and borough councils are reporting a high response rate to business grants
  • Councils are reminding people to avoid burning excess waste in gardens
  • All partners are encouraging people to seek help if they have health care needs, including accessing 111 and, in emergencies, calling 999

Useful resources available:

• Mental wellbeing whilst staying at home:

• New hand hygiene social media animations:

• Guidance on shielding:       e

• Blood donation materials:

• BAME social media materials:

• Translated stay at home messages:

• Translated Every Mind Matters resources:

• Public Health England domestic abuse resources:

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

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