Published on: 6 May 2020

Updates from 04/05/20

Campaign update

  • New Urdu and Punjabi translations of the Ramadan at Home radio advert are now available from the Campaign Resource Centre.

Primary care and community health support for care home residents

  • Following the letter published last week outlining the second phase of NHS response to COVID-19, the NHS will continue to share information in the coming days on how this will impact primary care services. In particular, the NHS have published a letter (1 May 2020) asking primary care and community health services to help provide the best possible care for our care home residents at this difficult time.

CCGs, working with primary care and community providers are asked to ensure:

  • timely access to clinical advice for care home staff and residents
  • proactive support for people living in care homes, including through personalised care and support planning as appropriate
  • care home residents with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are supported through remote monitoring – and face-to-face assessment where clinically appropriate – by a multidisciplinary team (MDT) where practically possible (including those for whom monitoring is needed following discharge from either an acute or step-down bed)

We will shortly share details of webinars and further support offers to enable all areas to offer this if they do not already.

Bank holiday

A public facing messaging document (attached separately) has been developed to give information on the opening hours for GP practices, community pharmacies and dental services, over the bank holiday on Friday 8th May.  
Also attached are:

Staff Testing

You can now find the pdf and accompanying documents attached separately which have been converted to powerpoint allow NHS organisations to include local information. Please ensure that the overarching text is not changed in any versions that are used.

Additional publications

·      Reducing burden and releasing capacity at NHS providers and commissioners to manage the COVID-19 pandemic

·       COVID-19 response: Primary care and community health support care home residents


Updates from 23/04/20

Staff Testing

The Government today announced a new campaign to help essential workers in England - including NHS and Care staff, teachers, hospital cleaners, public servants  and the emergency services as well as other critical infrastructure staff - to access testing.

From today anyone in England who has symptoms of coronavirus and is classed as an essential worker, and members of their household who are currently experiencing symptoms, will be able get tested. This will mean individuals and people they live with will have the reassurance of knowing whether their symptoms are caused by coronavirus and can make informed decisions about whether they are well enough to return to work.

Booking the test has been made more simple via a new online system . From today, employers can register and refer self-isolating staff, and from tomorrow employees will be able to book a test directly for themselves or members of their household who are experiencing symptoms. This will speed up the process of getting an appointment and take the burden off employers, helping reach everyone who has symptoms at the earliest opportunity.

NHS Nightingale - Yorkshire and the Humber volunteering

If your organisation is receiving requests from members of the public to volunteer at the newly-opened hospital in Harrogate, you may use a form of words such as the following:

‘We are very grateful for all of the offers of support we've received. There are currently no volunteering opportunities at NHS Nightingale Hospital Yorkshire and the Humber - all information relating to the latest opportunities can be found here:

NHS Elect comms conference

NHS Elect are hosting a virtual communications conference on Thursday, 30th April.

April. This is free for NHS staff and they will be recording the majority of the seven session so that you can view them at the most convenient time for you. You can find out more information as well as being able to book your place by clicking here.

Managing clinical trials during COVID-19

MHRA have issued guidance on how on how investigators and sponsors should
manage clinical trials during COVID-19.  It includes content on urgent safety
measures, and updated guidance around managing ongoing and halted trials,
remote monitoring and signatures.

COVID-19 vaccine trial

The MHRA are giving tailored scientific advice and prioritising potential treatments for COVID-19. They have approved the COVID-19 Oxford Vaccine Trial request in a little over one working week. Please the MHRA website for more information.

Domestic Abuse

The Home Office is running a domestic abuse campaign, raising awareness of the support and advice currently available. They are grateful for all the support received so far from the NHS stakeholders and would appreciate if you could share the campaign assets with your networks and include a link on your website to our GOV.UK campaign page:

Further information below and online assets available here. A separate powerpoint is attached with additional detail.

PHE – coronavirus update

Dashboard and guidance

Public Health England is working with Government, Local Authorities and partners to respond to COVID-19. Last week, in collaboration with NHSX, PHE published a COVID-19 dashboard which presents regional data and shows confirmed cases by specimen date (the date the test was taken) rather than reporting date (the date the laboratory reported the test).

PHE is producing new guidance and updating existing guidance frequently. These documents are for members of the public as well as people present in clinical and non-clinical settings:

Guidance on managing a funeral during the coronavirus pandemic

New guidance on managing a funeral during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic was published this week, to assist people who are involved in managing or organising a funeral related to a death from any cause during this pandemic. The guidance aims to balance the needs of the bereaved to mourn appropriately and ensure they are treated with sensitivity, dignity and respect, whilst protecting both mourners and workers involved in funeral management.

The importance of rituals and gatherings following the death of a loved one is recognised, but it is strongly advised that the actions detailed in this guidance are taken to reduce the spread of coronavirus infection, particularly to clinically vulnerable people who are at risk of severe illness.

Guidance on how to work safely in care homes during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

PHE has published guidance on how to work safely in care homes during this period of sustained transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). It provides information on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for care workers working in care homes and is also relevant for those providing residential supported living. The guidance includes:

  • a flowchart for care workers providing care to residents to identify whether there is a need for personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • PPE recommendations for care home staff
  • frequently asked questions on the use of PPE in care homes

The guidance is derived from, and should be read in conjunction with, full infection prevention and control (IPC) and PPE guidance. It is of a general nature and therefore employers should consider the specific conditions of each individual place of work and comply with all applicable legislation, including the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

Updates to existing guidance

Updates have been made to the following COVID-19 guidance for:

PPE Guidance

The UK Government and NHS leaders from a range of medical and nursing royal colleges have published guidance about personal protective equipment (PPE) for teams who are likely to come into contact with patients with coronavirus. The guidance has been agreed by the 4 Chief Medical Officers, Chief Nursing Officers and Chief Dental Officers in the UK and is applicable in all parts of the UK.

The guidance reflects the fact that coronavirus is now widespread in the community, meaning clinicians are more likely to see patients with the virus, some of whom may have minimal or no symptoms. The guidance is based on the best scientific evidence and theWorld Health Organization (WHO) have confirmed it is consistent with what it recommends in circumstances and settings with the highest risk of transmission. The guidance recommends the safest level of personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect NHS healthcare workers and specifies the type of PPE that should be worn in the various healthcare settings where patients are cared for.

Ramadan and COVID-19

Ramadan will begin today and ends in the evening of Saturday, 23 May. Staying at home during Ramadan will play an important part in the nation’s effort to slow the spread of coronavirus, and PHE have published a blog about coronavirus and the holy month.

Additional publications

As well as the publications mentioned, these have been added to the NHSE website  

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