Together We’re Better weekly update

You all will have seen that on Sunday, the Prime Minister addressed the nation, allowing us to see for the first time the roadmap that the government intends to follow to ease the lockdown across the country. Slowly, the lockdown measures in place are starting to lift. People who cannot work at home are now allowed to go into work and we can now drive out to different destinations and take as much exercise as we like. This is providing that still follow the two metres social distancing rules and that we do not meet in groups. We are however, allowed to meet with one person from outside our household and can sunbathe in parks (keeping two metres apart). 

The ‘Stay Home’ messaging has now changed to ‘Stay Alert’, asking us all to be vigilant and wary of the threat that still surrounds us whilst we take the first cautious steps towards recovery. The government has made it clear that if we do not continue to abide by the social distancing rules and continue to frequently wash our hands, a second peak is very possible.

Locally, we are seeing parks, tips and gardening centres reopening – all a welcome sight to many, providing hope that we are in fact on that road to recovery. However, it is important that we continue to build on the good work that has been done so far, with so many sacrifices having been made since 23 March, in terms of not seeing loved ones. 

Tuesday marked International Nurses Day and saw people across the country place a light in the windows of their homes at 8.30pm to show appreciation for nurses across the UK. Heartfelt messages of gratitude were shared across social media and you can take a look at these using the hashtag #IND2020. In addition to this, we saw once again people taking to their doorsteps, back gardens and balconies last night to applaud the nation’s key workers, who continue to do a fantastic job all across the country.

Our sincere thanks go to all of the NHS staff and care home staff who are continuing to work around the clock on the frontline treating and caring for people with coronavirus both in hospitals and care homes. 

Work to deliver personal protective equipment (PPE) to primary care has continued this week, alongside the work across the partnership to ensure there is PPE for all frontline staff. 

The partnership is also continuing to support key workers, including those working in care homes, to access testing through either the local testing sites, or through the national booking system. A number of mobile testing units also been deployed in the area and these may be accessed through the national booking system. 

Ramadan continues and is set to come to an end next Saturday, 23 May. We thank everyone who has continued to observe guidelines put in place and hope that, although very different than normal, everyone is able to celebrate Eid al-Fitr with members of their households.

We have also heard this week that health officials in England have approved an antibody test, finding that the new test was 100% accurate. Nationally, this has been called a “very positive development” and is clearly one that has the potential to help the country, and indeed the world, through the next steps of battling this virus.

As mentioned in last week’s update, the partnership is still promoting the national #HelpUsHelpYou campaign and we would ask as many people as possible to share our messaging for this. This will help to spread the word locally that the NHS is still here to look after you. People should contact the NHS if they need medical help and should still be attending appointments unless told otherwise. Follow the campaign using the hashtag #HelpUsHelpYou. 

Though the positive news stories continue to come and are very welcome, we also are still facing a very real crisis locally, nationally, and globally. This is amplified when a colleague sadly loses their life. We send our deepest condolences to the family and colleagues of Norman Austria, a Healthcare Assistant at University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Trust. Norman sadly passed away yesterday (13 May) after battling COVID-19 for many weeks.

It is clear that we must all work together to beat this virus and remember the government message: Stay Alert, Control the Virus, Save Lives.

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

  • Local councils are announcing the opening of most parks and some tennis courts. Please check your local council website for the latest information for the area in which you live
  • Councils are reminding people that, where parks are opening, toilets, cafes, play areas and outdoor gyms will remain closed
  • Partners are supporting the #HelpUsHelpYou campaign, urging people to still seek medical help if and when they need it, and to continue attending appointments for things such as cancer treatment, unless instructed otherwise by their healthcare professional
  • Police Chief Constable Gareth Morgan has thanked the public for sticking with government guidance, and encouraged people to only change their routines if absolutely necessary
  • North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust has published a mental health support guide for local people during coronavirus
  • Staffordshire Police has reported that more than 170 people were caught speeding in just three days and remind people to drive safely on the roads
  • Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent CCGs have released the latest podcast, with Chief Nurse Heather Johnstone thanking local nurses and midwives for International Nurses Day

 Useful resources available:

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

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