Coronavirus News

Posted May 28, 2020

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus.


Government pledges to make 6,000 homes available for rough sleepers

The announcement is the latest reveal of the government’s plan to stop people returning to the streets following the Covid-19 crisis.

Click here, the image above, or here to read the details.

Coronavirus: Dental practices to reopen from 8 June

Click here or on the image above to read the details.

You can also click here or the image below to read the letter from Sara Hurley (Chief Dental Officer) and Matt Neligan (Director of Primary Care and System Transformation) where they ask all dental practices to commence opening from Monday 8 June for all face to face care.

Maternity support during COVID-19

Read about how coronavirus could affect you, your baby and your pregnancy care by clicking here or on the image below.

Woman holding a newborn baby

Testing Now Available

Click the links below to book a test.

People can apply for drive-through and home testing here if they are an essential worker.
For people that aren’t essential workers, they can apply for a test here, with further details found here.
Details about care home coronavirus testing can be found here.

How to use the at home coronvirus testing kits:

Dr Amir Khan shows you how to self-administer a swab test for coronavirus. It’s a simple nasal and throat swab (this is different to the nasopharyngeal swab test). This is for the self-test kits in the UK – exact models may vary. Please always follow the written instructions provided with your kit. If you’re at home, please register your kit online per the instructions in your kit – otherwise you will not get your results. The Coronavirus Testing Call Centre can be contacted on 0300 303 2713 between the hours of 0700 – 2300. This service can be accessed by people with hearing or speech difficulties by calling 18001 0300 303 2713.

Click here or the image below to watch the video.

UK suffers highest death rate from coronavirus:

The UK has suffered the highest rate of deaths from the coronavirus pandemic among countries that produce comparable data, according to excess mortality figures.

The UK has registered 59,537 more deaths than usual since the week ending March 20, indicating that the virus has directly or indirectly killed 891 people per million.

Please click here or the image below to read the full article.


Parents: Reducing stress, neglect and non-accidental injuries during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic:

Click here or on the image below to read the details.


Coronavirus deaths over 10,000 higher than Government figures

Yesterday, the Department of Health (DoH) put the UK’s coronavirus death toll at 36,914, with 261,184 confirmed cases. But according to new figures from the Office for National Statistics, the number of deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK has actually passed 47,000.

Click here or on the image below to learn more.

coronavirus cases in west berkshire

Coronavirus: Crisis a chance to ‘end rough sleeping’


Covid-19 statistics in West Berkshire Being highlighted at West Berkshire Health and Wellbeing Board

Deaths, new confirmed cases and number and proportion of care homes reporting an outbreak in WestBerks being compared to other regions.

As of April 17th “Hungerford has recorded the highest number of deaths” in West Berkshire, Compton and Chieveley hadn’t recorded any.

Our Chief Officer Andrew Sharp speaking at the West Berkshire Health and Wellbeing Board Meeting, highlighting some of the challenges and actions the Board need to take in relation to covid-19 while also going over some of the positive messages.

We also submitted 4 questions to the board in relation to covid-19 and care homes

What level of scrutiny/ transparency is happening in relation to Care Homes and Covid infection in West Berkshire, their levels of PPE, and numbers of staff trained to use PPE adequately?”

“How many care homes are on the ‘place with caution’ list currently due to Covid?”

How many care homes currently have a death or multiple deaths from Covid?”

Are Covid positive patients being discharged from Hospital to care homes in West Berkshire?”

Find out what the response was in the video below.

West Berkshire Health and Wellbeing Board Meeting

The West Berkshire Health and Wellbeing Board Meeting was livestreamed on West Berkshire Councils Youtube channel at 9:30am on Thursday 21st May.

You can watch the full meeting below.


NEW West Berkshire Youth Hub Launched

Click here or the image below to access the new hub information.

Coping with COVID-19 in Pregnancy Webinar

This webinar is open to all pregnant women who are receiving / plan to receive their maternity care under the SHIP (Southampton, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Portsmouth) NHS Trusts.

Click here or the image below to access all the information.

What you can and cant do

Here’s a useful summary of some of the government changes that came in from last Wednesday.


More than 44,000 coronavirus-related deaths in UK

The figures put out by the ONS are around one-third higher than those announced by the government.

This is because the ONS figures include all mentions of Covid-19 on a death certificate, including suspected coronavirus, and are based on the date that deaths occurred.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health figures are based on when deaths were reported, and are for deaths where a person has tested positive for Covid-19.

As of 5pm on Sunday, 34,796 people in the UK had died after testing positive for Covid-19, according to the Department of Health.

Of the 44,000 coronavirus-related deaths across the UK, ONS figures show that 39,071 occurred in England and Wales up to May 8.

Click HERE or on the image below to read further details.

Mental Health Awareness Week Message during coronavirus lockdown from Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Prince William and Kate were joined by England captain Harry Kane, singer-songwriter Dua Lipa, actor David Tennant and two-time heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, to delver a joint message broadcast across all radio stations in the UK at 10:59am on Monday 18th May  encouraging Britons to reach out to their friends.

Watch the video below.

Coronavirus symptoms: UK adds loss of smell and taste to list

“Do not go to a pharmacy, ask someone to go for you if you can.” and “stay at home if you have a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste, it could be coronavirus.” –   This is the new information added to following the news that loss of smell or taste is a coronavirus symptom.

You can click here or the image below to read the details, or click here to go to the NHS website and see updated guidance related to loss of smell and taste.


Coronavirus involved in quarter of care home residents’ deaths in England and Wales

Data from the Office for National Statistics reveals that in the period from 2 March to 1 May 2020, there were 45,899 registered deaths of care home residents , 12,526 (27.3%) of which involved the virus.

The research found there had been a sharp increase in both deaths involving Covid-19 among care home residents and deaths not involving it. Between 28 December and 1 May, there were 73,180 care home deaths, 23,136 more than the same period last year.

The figures support the findings of a study from the London School of Economics published earlier this week which said the number of deaths among care home residents caused directly and indirectly by the pandemic was around 22,000, much higher than previously thought. The ONS said it was “looking into” the excess of non-Covid-19 deaths in care homes and would report its findings soon.

Click here or on the image below to learn more details.


Healthwatch England Chair Sir Robert Francis on BBC Newsnight

Chair of Healthwatch Engalnd Sir Robert Francis on BBC Newsnight saying that intimidating treatment some NHS staff have experienced after speaking up about PPE supplies is “a disgrace” – “It doesn’t need many to be treated in that way for many more people to be deterred from speaking up.

BBC Radio 4 – The Inquiry – Why are so many ethnic minorities dying in the UK and US?

“In news reports and newspapers, pictures of British healthcare workers who have lost their lives to Covid-19 sit side by side. if you look at those faces one thing stands out clearly. Of the 119 cases of NHS deaths more than two thirds are black or an ethnic minority – yet they only make up 20% of the workforce. Figures from the National Health Service in England show a disproportionate number of Covid-19 deaths are among these group.”

So what’s going on? Listen to the audio below if you would like to find out.

A&E admissions fall to record low in England amid coronavirus fears

A&E attendances in England have fallen to their lowest figure on record as people stay away from hospitals in the face of coronavirus, new figures suggest.

NHS England data shows 0.9 million attendances were recorded in April 2020, down 57 per cent from 2.1 million in April 2019.

It is the lowest for any calendar month since records began in August 2010.

Click here or on the image below to learn more details.

Community pharmacies accept unwanted/out-of-date medicines for disposal from patients, as this is an NHS contractual requirement.

It is important to note that this service has not been suspended during the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Click here or the image below to read the full guidance.


Anyone who has been advised to shield by the NHS or their GP should continue to do this until at least the end of June.

Click here or the image below to read the do’s and don’ts from NHS England.


Healthwatch West Berkshire help change ONS COVID-19 Reporting for Learning Disabilities & Autism Deaths.

Click here or on the images below to read the full conversation.

Click here to access the latest ONS Figures.

For the first time, people in England are being advised to wear face coverings in some enclosed spaces.

The government for England says people should “aim to wear a face-covering in enclosed spaces where social distancing is not always possible and they come into contact with others that they do not normally meet”. That would include, for example, on public transport and in some shops.

They do not need to be worn outdoors, while exercising, in schools, in workplaces such as offices, and retail, or by those who may find them difficult to wear, such as children under two or primary aged children who cannot use them without assistance, or those who may have problems breathing whilst wearing a face covering.

Click here or the image below to read the full story.


Coronavirus: What are the new travel quarantine rules?

Click here or below to read the details

BBC News – Call for public inquiry into BAME death risk

Click here or on the image below to learn more details.


Black Britons almost twice as likely to die from coronavirus than white counterparts.

Black men and women are almost twice as likely to die from coronavirus when compared to white people, a new analysis by the Office for National Statistics has found.

The study, published today, shows that after accounting for age, wealth and factors such as disability, the risk of death for black men and women who contract Covid-19 was 1.9 times more likely than white men and women.

Click here or the image below to read the story.


‘The UK has had more deaths from coronavirus than any other country in Europe’


Coronavirus: UK hospital trials new treatment drug

Click here or the image below to read the details

The Duchess of Cambridge in conversation with midwives, parents and leading sector experts

Duchess of Cambridge speaking with health professionals during Maternal Mental Health Matters Week about the impact COVID19 is having on new & expectant mothers


The single most important action we can all take, in fighting coronavirus, is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.

“When we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, we will reduce the spread of the infection. That is why the government has introduced three new measures.

  1. Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes
  2. Closing certain businesses and venues
  3. Stopping gatherings of more than two people in public

“Following these measures will help limit the spread of coronavirus, reduce the impact on the NHS and save lives. Key parts of the measures are underpinned by law, which sets out clearly what you must and must not do – every person in the country must comply with this. The relevant authorities, including the police, have been given the powers to enforce the law – including through fines and dispersing gatherings.”

Click here or the image above to read further details, including the full guidance.

Black African deaths three times higher than White Britons

Coronavirus patients from black African backgrounds in England and Wales are dying at more than triple the rate of white Britons, a study suggests.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said a higher proportion of people from ethnic minority backgrounds live in areas hit harder by Covid-19.

However, they tend to be younger on average, so should be less vulnerable.

But the report found various black, Asian and minority ethnic groups were experiencing higher per capita deaths.

Click here or the image below to read the full story.

Statement by the Children’s Commissioner for England.

“On Friday 24th April the ‘Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020’ came into force, and are not due to expire until 25th September. These regulations make significant temporary changes to the protections given in law to some of the most vulnerable children in the country – those living in care.

“I do not believe that the changes made in these regulations are necessary– except perhaps for some clarifications (in guidance) about contact with children taking place remotely during the lockdown. Children in care are already vulnerable, and this crisis is placing additional strain on them – as most are not in school, less able to have direct  contact with family and other trusted professionals, and facing the challenges of lockdown and anxiety about illness – all on top of the trauma they have already experienced. If anything, I would expect to see increased protections to ensure their needs are met during this period.”

Click here or the image below to read the full statement.


NHS England issues plan to restart urgent non-covid care.

NHS England has set out a six-week action plan and priority areas for the health service as it seeks to restart a raft of non-coronavirus services. Click here or the image below to read the letter in full.

Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca has agreed to manufacture and distribute a Covid-19 vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford.

The company’s chief executive, Pascal Soriot, said that “the need for a vaccine to defeat the virus is urgent”.

The first human trial in Europe of a vaccine began in Oxford last week.

Click here or the image above to read the full story.


Doctors leaders in Berkshire West have stepped up a campaign to remind non coronavirus patients that surgeries are still open and need to see people who have any serious health concerns.

Dr Abid Irfan, Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Clinical Lead, said: “There’s been a lot of publicity advising people about coronavirus symptoms and the need to contact NHS 111 and self isolate.

 “Our concern is that in the midst of all this, people who don’t have coronavirus symptoms, but are obviously very unwell, are not getting in touch with their GPs.

Click here or the image below to read the full story.

Coronavirus West Berkshire: Latest number of deaths involving Covid-19


Coronavirus: Care home deaths up as hospital cases fall

A third of all coronavirus deaths in England and Wales are now happening in care homes, figures show. Office for National Statistics data showed there were 2,000 coronavirus care home deaths in the week ending 17 April – double the previous week. Projections for the following week – up to last Friday – suggested the numbers have since continued to rise. It comes as coronavirus hospital deaths have started falling after peaking on 8 April.

Click here or the image below to read the full story.

Royal Berkshire Hospital launches pioneering COVID-19 Scheme


Sir Simon Stevens urging the public to use the NHS

Chief Executive Sir Simon Stevens has launched a major new drive to urge the public to seek care and treatment when they need it, saying ‘We are here for non-coronavirus patients too.

Find out more about how the NHS is encouraging people to use vital services by clicking HERE.

Daily Coronavirus updates from Sign Health

SignHealth regularly post daily coronavirus updates on their Youtube channel. Their video posted on Sunday 26th April can be found below. If you are interested in this content, then be sure to take a look at the SignHealth website.  

west berkshire coronavirus cases


Covid19 update via Great Western Hospital Stakeholder breifing.

Read the details by clicking here or the image below.

Tell the NHS about your current experience of coronavirus

By answering some quick questions, you can help the NHS plan its response to coronavirus.

This survey will help the NHS understand more about how and where coronavirus (COVID-19) is affecting people now.

The NHS especially wants to hear from you if you have symptoms, no matter how mild. But it also helps if you let us know if you’re feeling OK.

You can fill in this survey for yourself or for someone else, like a child or an elderly relative. If the person is aged 13 and over, check that they are happy for you to complete the survey for them.

Click HERE or on the image below to participate in the survey.

Up to 10 million key workers and their households can now book a coronavirus test online or through their employer, however as of 1:00pm on Friday 24th April “the online website for key workers to book coronavirus tests has temporarily closed following ‘significant demand’ the Department of Health has said

Click here or below to learn more, and to keep updated with the latest details.


Coronavirus Guidance during Ramadan

As Muslims begin to prepare for the month of Ramadan, the NHS has issued a reminder to those who observe the Islamic holy month to avoid social gatherings because of the risk of coronavirus. Click here or the image below to read this advice from NHS England.

The Muslim Council of Britain have also put together guidance for keeping safe during Ramadan 2020. Click here or on the image below to read the guidance.

Hospital joins major Covid study

The Royal Berkshire Hospital has joined the world’s largest clinical trial of drug therapy for patients with Covid-19 – the RECOVERY Study.

Patients with suspected or proven Covid-19 who are admitted to the hospital will be offered the chance to participate in the research, which is taking place at hospitals across the UK and currently has 6,000 patients recruited from 169 different sites. Click here or the image below to read the full press release.


New updates to occupational advice for employers and expectant mums from The Royal College of Midwives, Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists and Faculty of Occupational Medicine

Click here or the image below to read the full advice.

Royal Berkshire Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) is still a safe option for medical care

Steve McManus, Chief Executive of the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, said today: “We’re keen to reassure people that our ‘cold’ ED is open for businesses and should be the first port of call for anyone who becomes very ill with things like stroke, heart or serious breathing problems.

Please don’t worry about catching coronavirus or being a burden on our staff.  We are all still here for people who need our help. The same goes for parents and carers who are worried about a child who is very unwell and needs quick medical assessment,” he said.

Click here or the image above to read the full story.

West Berkshire council have put a leaflet together to give advice to people who are seeking extra support.

Please click here to read the full advice or the image below.

Urgent Dental Care in the South East stakeholder briefing

ONS weekly death data statistics

Office for National Statistics (ONS) weekly deaths data show that – of all deaths in England and Wales that occurred up to 10 April (registered up to 18 April), 13,121 involved COVID-19 – Comparatively Department for Health and Social Care figures show that 9,288 deaths occurred by 10 April.


A new guide offering support to families struggling during the covid 19 lockdown has been produced by a group of leading local health and social care organisations.

Please click here or the image below to read more.

Lasting Power of Attorney Update

A lasting power of attorney is a document that protects you when you can’t speak for yourself.  Guidance on what you can and can’t do when making one during the COVID-19 outbreak has been created.

Please click the image below to read the full guidance .


Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust have made changes to some of the services that they offer due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Click here or the images below to take a look.

Emergency Dental Update from Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust


Sir Robert Francis BBC Radio 4

Sir Robert Francis, chair of Healthwatch England was on BBC Radio 4 on Wednesday 15th April discussing the NHS, Coronavirus and the social care sector. Listen to the audio clip below.

Sir Simon Stevens on patients with urgent needs accessing NHS

Sir Simon Stevens on Sky news, saying that there is capacity to look after patients without Coronavirus. Patients with urgent or emergency needs should use the NHS.

Coronavirus cases in West Berkshire

Confirmed number of Coronavirus cases in West Berkshire have increased by 32 over the past day and are at 180.

Coronavirus cases west berkshire 1th april

Meals on wheels team are trained and ready to support you

We are delighted to have helped Fairclose make this happen, they and the partners have done an amazing job. Anyone who thinks they know someone who would benefit from the hot food/ sandwich pack delivery service should get in touch on 01635 40488. Click image below to read the full article.

West Berkshire Council leaflet

West Berkshire Councils leaflet, which gives information to help keep you safe during the coronavirus pandemic and tells you about help available from West Berkshire Council, is now available in Hindi, Urdu and Portuguese.


BHFT Mental Health Update

Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust (BHFT) have provided an update for people suffering with mental health. Click on the image below or click here to read the full guidance.

ONS death figures

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) have published figures for deaths registered in the week ending 3 April 2020 (week 14). The provisional number of deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending 3 April 2020 was 16,387. Click on the image below for more information.

Update from Autism Berkshire during COVID-19 Outbreak 

Please click here or the image below for an update on support that Autism Berkshire is providing at the moment, including some new online autism advice workshops and support groups, plus an online Teen Life course for parents and carers of autistic young people in West Berkshire.


Coronavirus west berkshire 13th April 2020


Racecourse gallops in to help meals on wheels

We were delighted to have helped Fairclose make this happen, they and the partners have done an amazing job. Anyone who thinks they know someone who would benefit from the hot food/ sandwich pack delivery service should get in touch

Easter Openings for GP Surgeries from the Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group

Click here or below to learn more info.

What is the difference between Social Distancing ,Self Isolation & Shielding?

Click the image below to read the details


Coronavirus cases west berkshire

Chris Boulton and David Dean discuss Pharmacies

Chris Boulton (Lead Greenham Trust) talking to David Dean (Pharmacy Thames Valley) about the work members in the pharmacies in West Berkshire are doing, supporting the community during Coronavirus.

Listen to the audio clip from Kennet Radio below.

An important message about safeguarding

Liz Steadman, Head of Safeguarding Children NHS Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group has shared an important message surrounding safeguarding. Click the image to watch the video:

An appeal from Steve McManus CEO of Royal Berkshire Hospital:

Picture of Steve McManus Chief Executive of Royal Berkshire Hospital outside main entrance of the hospital


Coronavirus Update from Sign Health

Updated Coronavirus Guidelines now translated into 43 different languages

The complete list: English, Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Bengali, Bulgarian, Czech, Dari, Estonian, Farsi, French, German. Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Kiswahili, Krio, Kurdish Sorani, Lithuanian, Oromo, Malayalam, Pashto, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Sindhi, Slovak, Spanish, Somali, Tamil, Tigrinya, Turkish, Urdu, Vietnamese, Wolof, Yiddish.

Please click on the image below for more information


Two Primary Care Hubs being set up in Berkshire West

The new Hubs are being organised by health officials from the Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in partnership with local GPs. They will ease the burden on other healthcare facilities and free up hospital doctors to deal with more urgent coronavirus cases.

Downland Pharmacy Opening Hours Update

Coronavirus: How do you care for someone at home?


Queens speech on Coronavirus


Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – Changes to haematology and oncology services



Our Chief Officer Andrew Sharp appeared in the Newbury Weekly news, urging people to follow self isolation advice while talking about the NHS, the Coronavirus, and the support that is available to help.

See/click the image below to have a read.

Coronavirus domestic abuse West Berkshire Support and Guidance

West Berkshire Council have created some support and guidance for those that are experiencing domestic abuse during the pandemic.

For a full version of this guidance including links to support services, please click the image below.

Click HERE for older Coronavirus News in March/February 2020