7th september newsletter

Covid-19

Confirmed cases of Covid-19 are rising in all boroughs in NW London – protect your family, friends and neighbours.

  • In the past few weeks the number of confirmed coronavirus cases has gone up and has now become very concerning. We need to take action now to protect our loved ones and our community.
  • To address the rise in confirmed cases across the country, the Government has made gatherings of more than six people illegal from Monday 14 September 2020. The law change bans larger groups from meeting anywhere socially indoors or outdoors and is enforced through a £100 fine for anyone failing to comply.
  • You are most at risk when in busy crowds, confined spaces or close contact with others.
  • Therefore we all need to follow this new law, and take extra care, as how we behave is currently the only way to limit the spread of the virus.

 

You’re safest when you follow this advice:

 

  • Wash your hands frequently, with soap and water, for 20 seconds.
  • Remember to ‘social distance’ when in public areas – keep at least 2 metres away from people you don’t live with, if you can.
  • Wear a face covering on public transport, in shops and in supermarkets.
  • If you have any symptoms of coronavirus (a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss of/change in taste or smell) please immediately self-isolate and book a free test online at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.
  • Information and support is available for people who are recovering from covid-19, their families and carers. You can access information about recovering from Covid-19 at yourcovidrecovery.nhs.uk

 

Hands. Face. Space

Public Health England have launched a new campaign that urges the public to continue to wash their hands, cover their face and make space to control.

 

The aim is to control infection rates and avoid a second peak.

 

NHS 111 First

 

Due to rising attendances at London’s urgent and emergency care (UEC) sites and associated risk of infection; a new campaign is being launched across London to encourage people to use ‘NHS 111 First’.

 

This means:

  • People contacting 111 who are assessed as needing to attend an emergency department, will be booked a timeslot at their closest urgent and emergency care centre.

Key messages – NHS staff

  • Social distancing is still vital to beating Covid-19, and the risk of infection means we cannot have crowded EDs.
  • To address this, a series of initiatives have been devised to make it easier and safer for patients to get the right urgent care treatment at the right time and preventing a return to previous overcrowding in EDs.
  • We have increased capacity in 111 across London and have brought in more clinicians to assess patients.

Key messages – public

  • Use NHS 111 first, we’re here to help you
  • If you think you need to go to the emergency department (A&E), contact NHS 111 first before you go. We are asking you to call ahead to be given a time to arrive.
  • If you think you need us, call NHS 111 – a doctor, nurse, paramedic or trained advisor will answer your call and send you to the best place to be seen quickly and safely.
  • If the issue is serious or life threatening please do call 999 immediately.

 

Flu – Summary messages

 

  • There has never been a more important time to make sure you, and those you care for, are protected against serious illnesses such as the flu.
  • The flu vaccine is available for free to those most at risk.
  • If you are eligible for a free flu vaccination, your GP practice will contact you directly by letter or text to arrange it. Book your vaccination as soon as you are contacted.
  • Get the flu vaccination, stay well and protect the NHS.

 

Who is eligible to receive the free flu vaccine this year:

 

  • Pregnant women
  • Children aged 2- 11 years old
  • Member of a shielding household
  • 65+ years old
  • Frontline health and social care workers
  • Those with a long-term health condition (LTHC) such as:
    • a heart problem
    • a chest complaint or breathing difficulties, including bronchitis, emphysema or severe asthma
    • a kidney disease
    • lowered immunity due to disease or treatment (such as steroid medication or cancer treatment)
    • liver disease
    • had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA)
    • diabetes
    • a neurological condition, e.g. multiple sclerosis (MS), cerebral palsy
    • a learning disability
    • a problem with your spleen, e.g. sickle cell disease, or you have had your spleen removed
    • are seriously overweight (BMI of 40 and above)

 

Later in the year, the flu vaccine may be given to people aged 50 to 64. More information will be available later in the autumn.

 

Covid-19 Staying safe

 

  • Covid-19 is still in the community and the numbers of cases are rising across NW London. Please remain alert in order to safeguard yourself, your family and your community.
  • Wash your hands frequently, with soap and water, for 20 seconds.
  • Remember to ‘social distance’ when in public areas – keep at least 2 metres away from people you don’t live with, if you can.
  • Wear a face covering on public transport, in shops and in supermarkets.
  • If you have any symptoms of coronavirus (a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss of/change in taste or smell) get tested. You can book a free test today.
  • Information and support is available for people who are recovering from covid-19, their families and carers. You can access information about recovering from Covid-19 here.

 

The NHS is open for business

(Ongoing campaign: new London-wide campaign now being planned on this, starting in September)

 

  • The NHS is still here for you and NHS premises are safe. If you are called for an appointment, please make sure you attend. We have put in place rigorous infection control measures to keep patients and staff safe.
  • Please contact your GP if you need medical advice.  You may be offered a telephone, video or online consultation in the first instance, as they are now all available across NW London practices.  We may ask you to send us pictures. If you are called in for a face to face consultation, please follow the guidance your practice will provide, so that your care is as safe as we can make it.
  • Talk before you walk. If you think you need to see a GP or hospital doctor, it is best if you call ahead – either phone your GP surgery or 111 – please use 111 online in the first instance as this will be quicker. In a medical emergency, call 999.
  • We have learnt a lot from these new ways of working and they will be a part of how you access your GP in the future. You can help us by supporting everyone in your family to use the technology.

 

Mental health

 

  • If you are stressed, anxious or experiencing low mood you can access wellbeing and psychological support from a North West London IAPT service. You can refer yourself or speak to your GP or another healthcare professional for a referral. For more information visit westlondon.nhs.uk/service/iapt/ or www.talkingtherapies.cnwl.nhs.uk/.