Coronavirus News

Posted November 23, 2020

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


23/11/2020

Covid-19: Oxford University vaccine is highly effective

Laboratory scientist / technician handling blood samples from coronavirus vaccine trials inside Oxford University's Jenner Institute on June 25, 2020

jThe coronavirus vaccine developed by the University of Oxford is highly effective at stopping people developing Covid-19 symptoms, a large trial shows.

Interim data suggests 70% protection, but the researchers say the figure may be as high as 90% by tweaking the dose.

The results will be seen as a triumph, but come after Pfizer and Moderna vaccines showed 95% protection.

However, the Oxford jab is far cheaper, and is easier to store and get to every corner of the world than the other two.

Click here or the image above to read the details.


20/11/2020

Online Thinking Together

We held our 5th Thinking Together event on November 19th, where we heard an update from the Crisis Service and we heard back from you about how Covid has affected your Mental Health.

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


16/11/2020

NEW 111 First System

The new 111 First system, which is being rolled out across the country in December, is aimed at easing pressure on ED teams and making sure people are seen in the most appropriate medical setting. This could be MIU, or the local Walk in Centre in Reading, a GP, pharmacy, dentist, or optician.

Click HERE or the image above to read the full press release.


New blood test booking system at the Royal Berkshire Hospital

A new blood test appointment booking system has been launched at the Royal Berkshire Hospital and Bracknell Healthspace.

Patients will now be advised to book their appointments via the Royal Berkshire NHS Trust website blood tests page.


Online Diversity Forum

We thank the speakers and all those that attended the 2nd West Berkshire Diversity Forum 2020. Great to see the high turnout and hear from so many diverse communities in West Berkshire about Covid. Click here or the image above to learn about the online Diversity Forum.


12/11/2020

Public Health have found that people with learning disabilities had a higher death rate from COVID-19 during first wave.

This review analyses the available data on the deaths from COVID-19 of people identified as having learning disabilities.

The review looked at:

  • deaths from COVID-19 of people with learning disabilities
  • factors impacting the risk of death from COVID-19 of people with learning disabilities
  • deaths in care settings of people with learning disabilities

The review will help inform policy and practice to reduce the future risk and impact of COVID-19 on people with learning disabilities.

Click here or the image above to read the report.


11/11/2020

BSL – The government gave details of a new vaccine, which may be able to prevent more than 90% of people from getting coronavirus


10/11/2020

The NHS is ready to start providing the new Corovavirus vaccine ‘as fast as safely possible’, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said

BBC graphic

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


09/11/2020

Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine prevented more than 90% of infections in a study of tens of thousands of volunteers

Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine trials in Hollywood, Florida, in Sept.

The Covid-19 vaccine being developed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE prevented more than 90% of infections in a study of tens of thousands of volunteers, the most encouraging scientific advance so far in the battle against the coronavirus.

Eight months into the worst pandemic in a century, the preliminary results pave the way for the companies to seek an emergency-use authorization from regulators if further research shows the shot is also safe.

Read the details by clicking here or on the image above. 


New Report from British Red Cross around loneliness

Lonely and left behind: tackling loneliness at a time of crisis provides rich insight into how some of the people most affected by the pandemic are coping, and how they’re not. Its findings make the case for more action to tackle loneliness as we head into new restrictions, and an inevitably difficult winter.

Click here or the image above to read the report.


06/11/2020

Clinically extremely vulnerable receive updated guidance in line with new national restrictions

Clinically extremely vulnerable people in England have today received further guidance on keeping safe as the country introduces new national restrictions from Thursday, the government has announced.

The new advice details further precautions those in this group can take on top of the tougher national measures being introduced, as cases continue to rise across the country. Everyone not considered to be clinically extremely vulnerable will be expected to follow the new restrictions, such as staying at home unless shopping for food or exercising and not meeting up with people outside of the household.

Read the details by clicking here or on the image above.


Homelessness charities call for second Everyone In scheme in England

As a second lockdown looms over England, homelessness charities and councillors have urged the government to bring back a scheme thought to have saved the lives of hundreds of rough sleepers during the first.

About 15,000 homeless people were provided emergency accommodation in hotels in March and April this year as part of the “everyone in” policy. According to one study, the scheme saved an estimated 266 people from death.

Read more by clicking here.


Government extends Furlough to March and increases self-employed support

Please click here or on the image above to read more details and see what further economic support has been announced.


05/11/2020

New Guidance for Care Homes

  • Visits should be tailored to residents and facilities and should prioritise residents and staff’s safety to limit the transmission of COVID-19
  • Care homes, especially those who have not allowed visits since March, will be encouraged and supported to provide safe visiting opportunities as new national restrictions come into effect
  • Measures put in place should provide COVID-secure opportunities for families to meet using visiting arrangements such as floor to ceiling screens, visiting pods, and window visit

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


04/11/2020

National restrictions will apply in England from 5th Nov until 2nd Dec

You must stay at home, with a limited set of exemptions.

After 4 weeks the government will review the restrictions, based on the latest data.

Read more by clicking here or the image above.


A rise in stillbirths between April and June, at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, has prompted a national review by a patient safety body in England. During that period, there were 40 stillbirths after labour began, compared with 24 in the same period last year. Pregnancy and childbirth experts say women may have delayed seeking care. The HSIB told the Health Service Journal that it had seen approximately twice the number of intrapartum stillbirths compared to the same time last year.In a survey of nearly half of maternity units, 86% said fewer heavily pregnant women than normal had come forward with emergency issues in April, during lockdown.”

This may have been due to confusion around whether these appointments are essential, fear of attending a hospital or not wanting to burden the NHS,” Dr Morris said.

“We have consistently advised women who have concerns or worries about their or their baby’s health – including the baby’s movements – should seek medical advice from their midwife or hospital immediately.”

Click here to read further details. 


Furlough Scheme Extended and Further Economic Support announced

The prime minister Boris Johnson has announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be extended rather than closed as originally planned, with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked. The extension will cover a new lockdown in England which lasts from 5 November 2020 until 2 December 2020

Please click here or on the image above to read more details and see what further economic support has been announced


02/11/2020

PM warns of virus deaths ‘twice as bad’ as spring

Read the details by clicking here or on the image above.


01/11/2020

Public Health Berkshire

The latest Berkshire Covid-19 information at your fingertips

The dashboard provides you with real-time information for your local area, plus national statistics. You can also use the postcode search to get guidance for your own household.

Visit the information centre for details on a range of topics, including where to get tested and how to self-isolate. This will be refreshed frequently with new resources. Links at the bottom of each page will take you to your local authority’s website for further local Covid-19 updates.

Click HERE or the image above to access the page.


Covid-19: PM announces four-week England lockdown

New lockdown rules from 5 November - Pubs and restaurants closed but takeaways permitted, Non-essential shops, leisure and entertainment venues closed, No household mixing inside, unless in your support bubble, Stay home – only leave for specific reasons including education and work

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a second national lockdown for England to prevent a “medical and moral disaster” for the NHS.

He said Christmas may be “very different” but he hoped taking action now would mean families can gather.

Pubs, restaurants, gyms and non-essential shops will have to close for four weeks from Thursday, he said.

But unlike the restrictions in spring, schools, colleges and universities can stay open.

After 2 December, the restrictions would be eased and regions would go back to the tiered system, he said.

Mr Johnson said: “Christmas is going to be different this year, perhaps very different, but it’s my sincere hope and belief that by taking tough action now we can allow families across the country to be together.”

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


30/10/2020

The impact of Covid-19 to date on older people’s mental and physical health

This report from Age UK highlights how for some older people, staying at home to protect themselves from Covid-19 can lead to other health problems.

For example, the loss of mobility and balance as a result of moving around less, pain from untreated medical conditions and increased loneliness or anxiety.

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


28/10/2020

Lights, camera, action – health staff help spread vital messages in foreign language videos

A series of four foreign language videos featuring hospital staff talking about important health issues has been issued to reassure people who need to attend for appointments and surgery that it’s safe to do so.

The films are in PolishNepalesePortuguese and Swahili and more are planned in other languages including Arabic and Punjabi. They are aimed at people who are still reluctant to attend for important hospital appointments or operations because they are worried about Covid and feel they may be a burden on NHS staff or that they may catch Covid.

The films outline the measures being taken to keep people safe and looked after when they come into hospital.


“Improve hospital discharge now”

Improve hospital discharge now before winter to manage second peak of Covid-19, warn Red Cross and Healthwatch England

Healthwatch England research shows significant numbers of people are not receiving follow-up support after being discharged from hospital under new policy, leading to unmet needs.

Getting discharge right will play a vital role in reducing readmissions and keeping hospital beds free this winter.

What Healthwatch England are calling for?

To improve hospital discharge for patients, their carers and healthcare professionals, ahead of winter and a second wave of COVID-19 admissions, Healthwatch England are calling on the health and care sector to:

•    Roll out post-discharge check-ins by phone or in person.
•    Develop a discharge checklist, including questions about transport and equipment needs
•    Improve communication by assigning a single point of contact for patients and carers
•    Link patients to voluntary sector partners or community pharmacists to deliver medicine and avoid delays.
•    Boost community care capacity and recognise the value of voluntary care sector in hospital discharge

Click here or on the image above to learn more and to read the Healthwatch England joint report with the British Red Cross.


26/10/2020

Great Western Hospital Maternity Services: Covid19 FAQ

Due to the increase in the number of Covid-19 cases both locally and nationally, Great Western Hospital have had to reduce the visiting hours for their Maternity Services.

Your partner can now arrange a daily four-hour visit to Hazel ward, which can be either morning (9.30am-1.30pm) or afternoon (2.30pm-6.30pm).

Please be aware that these time slots are arranged to maintain social distancing between visitors, and so there may not always be a choice. Your partner will be allocated their time slot before being transferred to Hazel Ward.

“We know this is difficult, but it’s important that we are doing all we can to protect our vulnerable patients, staff and volunteers. We will continue to review these visiting times as the situation evolves. If you are ever in doubt, please speak to your Community or Hospital Midwife for advice.”

Please click here or on the image above to read Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about maternity services during Covid-19 at Great Western Hospital.


23/10/2020

Public Health Berkshire Covid-19 Dashboard Tool

Public Health Berkshire have an interactive Covid-19 dashboard tool on their website, which enables people to track and view information about Covid-19, and see a rundown of this information based on a selected region within Berkshire.

An example of the information you can see from this tool has been posted in the image above, containing graphs, data about daily new cases of Covid and total cases.

The total number of people that have tested positive for Covid19 in West Berkshire is at 872 as of Wednesday 21st October according to this tool for example.

Click here or on the image above to visit the website, take a look at this tool and read the data.


20/10/2020

Staying well this Winter

Health and Social Care teams across Berkshire West have joined forces to ensure an effective response to the challenges winter will put on services.

Hospital clinicians and staff, GPs, mental health organisations, ambulance teams and local councils have drawn up a comprehensive plan to make sure services are working well together and prepared for winter, flu and Covid-19.

A ‘winter wellbeing’ fact sheet has been produced giving useful information about the range of healthcare options available to people and encouraging them to get ready for winter. It’s available here.

Winter is always a very pressured time for the NHS with the cold weather, this, coupled with Covid-19, means it’s even more essential for health and social care teams to provide services that best meet the needs of local communities.

Read further details here.


Flu jabs, help protect yourselves and others

Health officials and council chiefs across Berkshire West have launched a high profile campaign aimed at encouraging as many people as possible to have a flu jab. It comes as hospitals and GPs, gearing up for the next phase of Covid-19, are worried flu patients will put further strain on health and social care teams.

On an average year the flu virus kills 11,000 people and hospitalises many thousands more. The flu vaccine is your best protection.

The groups eligible for a free flu vaccination are:


15/10/2020

CQC: COVID-19 is magnifying inequalities and “risks turning fault lines into chasms” – focus now must be on shaping a health and care system that delivers for everyone

CQC: New Approach to Inspections – Tree View Designs

The Care Quality Commission’s (CQC’s) annual assessment of the state of health and social care in England looks at the quality of care over the past year. This includes the period before the full impact of COVID-19 began to be felt and CQC’s routine inspections were suspended as a result of the pandemic.

Read the details by clicking here or on the image above.


14/10/2020

Covid-19: New three-tier restrictions come into force

Following the Prime Ministers announcement on local Covid alert levels throughout England, West Berkshire is now at alert level “Medium”.

Areas on medium alert are subject to the national restrictions currently in force prior to the Prime Ministers announcement, including the rule of six on indoor and outdoor gatherings and the 22:00 closing time for pubs, bars and restaurants.

We must all continue to obey the guidance to keep West Berkshire open and save lives.

Read more information by clicking either of the two images above, or by clicking here.


09/10/2020

Virtual workshop about effects of Covid-19 on cancer care

An Interactive MS Teams workshop about the effects of Covid-19 on Cancer care is being held Tuesday 13th October 2:30pm – 3:30pm.

Please email: cancer.rehabilitation@nhs.net If you would like to attend. Click the image above if you would like to read further details.


NHS to offer ‘long covid’ sufferers help at specialist centres

People suffering ‘long covid’ symptoms will be offered specialist help at clinics across England, the head of the NHS announced. Read the details here. Have your say by email: contact@healthwatchwestberks.org.uk / ring 01635886210


One in four people with mental health problems has to wait at least three months to start NHS treatment, and some do not get help for four years, new research reveals

Awoman sat on sofa showing signs of depression

Click here or on the image above to read the details


The numbers waiting over a year for hospital treatment have hit a 12-year in England high as hospitals struggle to get services back to normal

Read the details by clicking here or on the image above


Healthwatch West Berkshire 2nd Virtual Diversity Forum

We will hosting our 2nd Virtual Diversity Forum via Zoom on November 10th, from 6:00pm – 7:15pm, focusing on how Covid-19 has affected you, your family and community. There will be a panel of guest speakers. Register on Eventbrite HERE.

Interested in knowing more?

Call us: 01635886219
Email us: contact@healthwatchwestberks.org.uk 


07/10/2020

Berkshire Cancer Centre Patient Walkthrough Video

Berkshire Cancer Centre have uploaded a patient walkthrough video to help assure patients that it’s safe, and to advise patients on what to expect when they visit the Berkshire Cancer Centre, in light of Covid-19.

Click here or above to watch the video.


Protect your loved ones. Download the Covid-19 app 

A new NHS Covid-19 app is now available to download for free.

The app has a number of tools to protect you and your loved ones, including contact tracing, local area alerts and venue check-in.

Click here or above to watch a video which explains the details.


06/10/2020

RBH launches Foreign Language Videos

A series of foreign language videos featuring hospital staff talking about important health issues has been launched today.

Four films in Polish, Nepalese, Portuguese, and Swahili have been made with clinicians and other health care staff from the Royal Berkshire Hospital. Further languages including Arabic and Punjabi are to be added to the list over the next few weeks.

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


Newbury MP Laura Farris referencing the work we have done in our Maternity report

MP for Newbury Laura Farris referencing the work we have done in our Maternity Report during her speech in Westminster Hall on Monday 5th October 2020.

You can watch the full discussion here.

The topic was “e-petition 306691 relating to the impact of Covid-19 on maternity and parental leave


01/10/2020

Changes to local Libraries


30/09/2020

Breast screening: One million women in UK may have missed scans

Almost one million women in the UK have missed vital breast screening due to coronavirus, a leading charity has estimated.

Breast screening programmes were paused in March as the NHS focused resources on tackling the pandemic.

Breast Cancer Now calculates that around 8,600 women who have not had a scan have undetected breast cancer.

The scanning programme is running again, but social distancing measures have reduced capacity.

Combined with the significant backlog of women waiting for a scan, and more women starting to come forward with concerns about possible symptoms, the charity warns the service is under intense pressure.

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


24/09/2020

Healthwatch West Berkshire Maternity Report Now Published

Our Maternity Report (With Initial Covid-19 Feedback) September 2020 has been published. It looks like we have achieved some positive change.

We would like to thank all of the providers that responded to our report.

Click here or on the image above if you would like to read the report. Do get in touch and let us know what you think.


23/09/2020

Covid rules: What are the new Coronavirus restrictions

  • Pubs, bars and restaurants to close at 22:00 BST
  • They will also be restricted to table service only
  • People should work from home wherever possible
  • Face masks compulsory for bar staff and non-seated customers, shop workers and waiters
  • Limit on guests at weddings reduced from 30 to 15
  • Plans to allow fans to return to sporting events paused
  • “Rule of six” now applies to indoor team sports
  • Fines for not wearing masks or following rules increased to £200 for first offence

Click here or on the image above to read the details. Or click here to read the information on the government website.


The UK Coronavirus Alert level is being upgraded from 3 to 4

The UK Coronavirus Alert level is being upgraded to 4, which means transmission of the virus is now high, or rising at an increasing rate.

Find out how the Alert level system works by clicking here or on the image above.


21/09/2020

A message from Dr Shelley Hayles

Dr Shelley Heyles from Thames Valley Cancer Alliance reassuring patients about the safety processes in place to reduce risk of exposure to Covid-19, encouraging patients back into Primary Care, saying it’s really important that patients attend GP appointments.

Click here or on the image above to watch the video.

Alternatively, watch more videos from Thames Valley Cancer Alliance by clicking the links below:

Help us help you Cancer Awareness

A message from Dr Karen Sandhu

A message about Prostate Cancer


15/09/2020

New Booking System at West Berkshire Community Hospital

Please be aware of the new booking system at the urgent treatment centre located at West Berkshire Community Hospital.  For more information click here or the image above.


Checklist for people prone to pressure ulcers & bedsores

Clinical staff have drawn up an advice check list to help people prone to pressure ulcers, or bed sores to self-manage their conditions at home. It’s aimed at reducing the risk of developing pressure ulcers or having them deteriorate.

Click here or the image above to read the full details


14/09/2020

Updated Social Distancing Covid Guidance

Coronavirus Social Distancing Guidance 14th September

Government guidance for Social Distancing has been updated on 14th September 2020. Some of the key points from this guidance are as follows.

When seeing friends and family you do not live with you should:

  • meet in groups of 6 or less
  • follow social distancing rules
  • limit how many different people you see socially over a short period of time
  • meet people outdoors where practical: meeting people outdoors is safer than meeting people indoors because fresh air provides better ventilation

It is critical that everybody observes the following key behaviours:

  • HANDS – Wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds.
  • FACE – Wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
  • SPACE – Stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings or increasing ventilation indoors).

Please click here or on the image above to read the full details.


11/09/2020

New public information campaign to prevent the spread
of coronavirus this winter

HM Government has launched Hands. Face. Space, a new campaign that urges the public to continue to wash their hands, cover their face and make space to control infection rates and avoid a second peak. The spread of coronavirus, particularly in enclosed spaces is shown in a new film, produced with experts in the field, which highlights the risk in simple, everyday interactions.

The campaign will run across TV, radio, print, out of home, social and digital display advertising.


Coronavirus Cases on the rise in England

Cases also on the rise in West Berkshire, but West Berkshire doing better than many other regions.

Read the details here or by clicking the images above.


09/09/2020

Social gatherings above six banned in England from 14 September

Coronavirus cases rising

Social gatherings of more than six people will be illegal in England from Monday – with some exemptions – amid a steep rise in coronavirus cases.

The law change will ban larger groups meeting anywhere socially indoors or outdoors, the government said.

But it will not apply to schools, workplaces or Covid-secure weddings, funerals and organised team sports.

It will be enforced through a £100 fine if people fail to comply, doubling on each offence up to a maximum of £3,200.

The new rules – which come into force on 14 September – mark a change to England’s current guidance.

At present, the guidance says two households of any size are allowed to meet indoors or outdoors, or up to six people from different households outdoors. Until now the police have had no powers to stop gatherings unless they exceeded 30.

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


07/09/2020

Our Chief Officer on Dentistry Issues

A clip from BBC South Today, recorded on Monday 7th September 2020, highlighting problems dentistry services are facing, including longer waiting times. Our Chief Officer Andrew Sharp makes an appearance and shares his thoughts in this clip.


02/09/2020

Coronavirus West Berkshire Care home Survey

West Berkshire Social care services are doing everything they can during these challenging times to keep your relatives well in care homes, but there might be things that can be improved. Your feedback helps services spot issues that are affecting the care for your loved ones in care homes. #TellUs 
Contact us: 01635 886210 or contact@healthwatchwestberks.org.uk.


The following guidance contains information for parents and carers of children at registered childcare providers, primary and secondary schools and colleges. 

It includes:

  • new information on school admissions
  • updated information on travelling to and from nursery, childminders, school and college
  • updated information on education, health and care (EHC) plans, wellbeing and online safety
  • updated information about assessment and exams
  • updated information on face coverings

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


28/08/2020

Senior managers from  Royal Berkshire Foundation Trust have issued a personal public ‘thank you’ to colleagues from the independent health sector for their superb support during the Covid crisis

Nicky Lloyd, Acting CEO of the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“The pandemic has been incredibly difficult time for everyone across the health system. 
“The support we received from our colleagues in the independent sector has been second to none. Now that we’re easing services back on to our Reading site, we want to reassure people we have taken extensive measures to make their visits here as safe and welcoming as possible.” she added.

Take a look at the message in full by clicking here or on the image above.


24/08/2020

Fatherhood Institute Covid Maternity Survey

The Fatherhood Institute have launched a survey focusing on maternity and Covid-19. Have you become a Dad or Mum during lockdown? Are you a midwife or health visitor? If so please share your experiences of maternity services in this survey.

You can participate by clicking here or on the image above.


21/08/2020

Covid-19 statistics for West Berkshire

covid19 cases in west berkshire august 21st

A summary of data and information relating to covid-19. Read the full details and find out how many covid-19 cases and deaths there have been in West Berkshire by clicking here, or by clicking the images above or below.

coronavirus cases in west berkshire

420,000 children in England at risk of eviction unless government acts

Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England, warning that hundreds of thousands of children will return to school in two weeks with the threat of housing eviction hanging over their families

To read more details about this story, please click here.


Royal Berkshire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust – Safety Measures for your forthcoming surgical procedure or investigation


20/08/2020

Coronavirus antibodies test ‘put public at risk’

Click here or on the image above to read the details


18/08/2020

Our Chief Officer Andrew Sharp on BBC Radio Berkshire

Our Chief Officer Andrew Sharp was on BBC Radio Berkshire on Tuesday 18th August 2020, talking about Public Health England being replaced by a new body focused on preparing for external threats. You can listen to the audio clip above.


Depression in British adults doubles during Coronavirus crisis

The number of adults in Britain with depression has doubled during the coronavirus pandemic, official data shows, prompting calls for an urgent national plan to avert a “looming mental health crisis”

Please click here for further details.


17/08/2020

More coronavirus-vaccine volunteers needed

More than 100,000 people have signed up to take part in future NHS trials of a coronavirus vaccine – but more volunteers are needed, researchers say.

To read more details about this story, please click here.


13/08/2020

NHS figures reveal long waits for routine ops in England

The number of patients admitted for routine treatment in hospitals in England was down 67% in June compared with the same time last year, NHS figures show.

Read the details by clicking here or the image above.


12/08/2020

Royal Berkshire Hospital CEO Steve McManus seconded to help NHS Test &Trace 

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

Steve McManus, CEO of Royal Berkshire Hospital, starts a six month secondment today for NHS Test & Trace working with the Contain team led by Carolyn Wilkins OBE. 


10/08/2020

Tell Healthwatch England about your experience of leaving hospital during COVID-19

Image

Have you left hospital since the arrival of Covid19? Did you know what would happen next? Tell Healthwatch England your experience to help NHS services know how they can better support you and your loved ones in their confidential survey which you can view by clicking here or on the image above.


07/08/2020

Healthwatch West Berkshire Facemask newsletter.

Our newsletter published on 07/08/2020 focused on facemasks, highlighting the latest guidance, when to wear a facemask, who is exempt and how to be exempt from wearing a facemask. plus more details. Click here or the image above to take a look.

If you like our newsletters do consider subscribing to our mailing list here.


Facemasks are not meant for babies

Babies and toddlers under the age of 3 years should not wear face coverings, as there is a serious risk of choking and suffocation. Some retailers are selling masks for babies and toddlers, however, Public Health England are very clear that these should not be used because of the significant risks.


03/08/2020

Coronavirus: New 90-minute tests for Covid-19 and flu ‘hugely beneficial’

New 90-minute tests that can detect coronavirus and flu will be rolled out in hospitals and care homes from next week.

The “on-the-spot” swab and DNA tests will help distinguish between Covid-19 and other seasonal illnesses, the government said.

Please click here or on the image above to read the details.


31/07/2020

Click here or the image above to read the updated care home guidance.


PM postpones lockdown easing in England

The further easing of coronavirus restrictions – due to come in this weekend – has been postponed for at least two weeks, amid concerns over an increase in coronavirus cases.

Read the details from the BBC News website by clicking here or on the image above.


Daily confirmed number of coronavirus cases UK

Confimed coronavirus cases UK

The increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in North West England and other areas is a reminder that this virus has not gone away. Please continue to socially distance, wash hands regularly, wear face coverings and get a test if symptomatic. 


BBC News – Coronavirus: England highest level of excess deaths

Please click here or on the image above if you would like to read the details.


BBC News – Coronavirus: Care home visits ‘delayed’ over lack of testing

Read the details by clicking here or on the image above.


30/07/2020

Statement from the UK Chief Medical Officer on extension of self isolation period

In symptomatic people COVID-19 is most infectious just before, and for the first few days after symptoms begin. It is very important people with symptoms self-isolate and get a test, which will allow contact tracing.

Evidence, although still limited, has strengthened and shows that people with COVID-19 who are mildly ill and are recovering have a low but real possibility of infectiousness between 7 and 9 days after illness onset.

We have considered how best to target interventions to reduce risk to the general population and consider that at this point in the epidemic, with widespread and rapid testing available and considering the relaxation of other measures, it is now the correct balance of risk to extend the self-isolation period from 7 to 10 days for those in the community who have symptoms or a positive test result.

This will help provide additional protection to others in the community. This is particularly important to protect those who have been shielding and in advance of the autumn and winter when we may see increased community transmission.”

Learn more by clicking here or on the image above.


Face Coverings and Exemptions – When to wear a face covering and using an exemption card

In England, you must wear a face covering by law in the following settings:

  • public transport
  • indoor transport hubs (airports, rail and tram stations and terminals, maritime ports and terminals, bus and coach stations and terminals)
  • shops and supermarkets (places which are open to the public and that wholly or mainly offer goods or services for retail sale or hire)
  • indoor shopping centres
  • banks, building societies, and post offices (including credit unions, short-term loan providers, savings clubs and money service businesses)

You are expected to wear a face covering immediately before entering any of these settings and must keep it on until you leave.

You are also strongly encouraged to wear a face covering in other enclosed public spaces where social distancing may be difficult and where you come into contact with people you do not normally meet.

Face coverings are also needed in NHS settings, including hospitals and primary or community care settings, such as GP surgeries. They are advised to be worn in care homes. Individual settings may have their own policies and require you to take other measures.

You do not have to wear a face covering if you have a legitimate reason not to:

  • young children under the age of 11
  • travelling or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading to communicate
  • being unable to put one on, wear or remove a face covering due to a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
Exemption cards

Some people may feel more comfortable showing something that says they do not have to wear a face covering. This could be in the form of an exemption card, badge or even a homemade sign.

This is a personal choice and is not necessary in law.

Those who have an age, health or disability reason for not wearing a face covering should not be routinely asked to give any written evidence of this. Written evidence includes exemption cards.

Click here or on the images above to read more details.


21/07/2020

Face covering guidance in easy read formats

Please click here or on the image below to read face covering guidance from Mencap, in easy read format.



17/07/2020

Coronavirus: 3bn to prepare for possible second wave

The NHS in England will get an extra £3bn of funding to prepare for a possible second wave of coronavirus, Boris Johnson has announced.

The funding will also help ease winter pressures on the health service, Downing Street said.

Click here or on the image above to go to the BBC website and learn more.


Hancock calls for urgent review into death data in England

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has called for an urgent review into how coronavirus deaths have been recorded in England.

It follows confirmation from Public Health England that reported deaths may have included people who tested positive months before they died.

Other UK nations only include those who die within 28 days of a positive test.

Officials say the publication of daily death figures will be paused while the issue was “resolved”.

Read the details by clicking here or on the image above.


One million UK smokers may have quit in coronavirus lockdown

More than a million people may have quit smoking in Britain during the pandemic, figures have suggested.

A survey of 10,000 people indicated that across the country as many as 400,000 people aged 16 to 29 dropped their smoking habit during lockdown, and 240,000 aged over 50.

It is believed another 400,000 aged 30-49 have also quit since April, according to analysis by the charity Action on Smoking and Health and University College, London.

It is thought to be explained by the health threat, as Covid-19 has severe effects on the respiratory system.

Learn more by clicking here or on the image above.


Infection ‘R’ rate fell as low as 0.57 in lockdown, major study finds

The largest study so far into the spread of coronavirus across England has found infection rates fell significantly in the month before lockdown restrictions were lifted.

Initial findings have been published from the study, 120,000 volunteers took part.

The Imperial College London research tracks the prevalence of the virus during May and will provide a baseline for continued studies into how the virus is spreading.

Scientists reported that rates of infection halved every eight to nine days during May, placing the overall reproduction rate at 0.57 – which is lower than previously reported. The report is yet to be peer-reviewed.

Read more details here or by clicking the image above.


15/07/2020

NHS Covid Guidance translated into 60 languages

The latest NHS guidance on COVID-19 has been translated into 60 different languages in both audio and written formats.

Click the image below to read the details.


14/07/2020

Updated Face Coverings Guidance

Face covering guidance has been updated to reflect the changes coming on July 24th, where it will become mandatory for people to wear face coverings in shops.

Read the guidance by clicking here or on the image above.


West Berkshire Coronavirus Local Outbreak Control Plan (LOCP)

As part of the next stage of the national response to the Covid-19 pandemic, local authorities have to develop Local Outbreak Control Plans (LOCP) to prevent and control local outbreaks of the virus. West Berkshire council have worked with partners to publish thier LOCP.

The plan summarises how West Berkshire Council will aim to protect our residents and communities by minimising further spread or recurrence of Covid-19 across West Berkshire. We know that Covid-19 is likely to be with us until better treatments and/or a vaccine is available. It is therefore important that we all play our part in remaining vigilant and follow national and local guidance to keep us all safe.

The key aims of the plan is to detail roles and responsibilities in prevention and management of Covid-19, recognise and respond to outbreaks and prevent the further spread and recurrence of infection. Coordinated communication with the public, partners and the media will also be an integral part of the Outbreak Control Plan.

You can read a summary of the Local Outbreak Control Plan online here.

You can watch a summary about the LOCP above.


Coronavirus: Face masks and coverings to be compulsory in England’s shops

Wearing a face covering in shops and supermarkets in England is to become mandatory from 24 July.

Those who fail to comply with the new rules will face a fine of up to £100, the government is to announce.

The move will bring England into line with Scotland and other major European nations like Spain, Italy and Germany.

Since mid-May, the public have been advised to wear coverings in enclosed public spaces, where they may encounter people they would not usually meet.

It has been compulsory on public transport in England since 15 June.

Children under 11 and those with certain disabilities will be exempt.

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


12/07/2020

Coronavirus Cases and Deaths in West Berkshire

Click here or on the image above to go to the BBC website and learn more.


10/07/2020

Relatives of care home residents with dementia should be treated as key workers, leading charities say

In a letter to the health secretary, they write that the care given by family members is “essential” to residents’ mental and physical health.

They argue the current limits on visitors have had “damaging consequences“.

They want visits to resume safely, with relatives given the same access to care homes and coronavirus testing as staff.

Signed by the bosses of leading charities including Dementia UK and the Alzheimer’s Society, the letter calls on the government to “urgently” address what it calls the “hidden catastrophe” happening in care homes.

Read the details here or via the image above.


Coronavirus: Data shows cases in England falling

Read this story by clicking here or on the image above.


08/07/2020

World Health Organization rethinking how Covid-19 spreads in air

The World Health Organization has acknowledged there is emerging evidence that the coronavirus can be spread by tiny particles suspended in the air.

The airborne transmission could not be ruled out in crowded, closed or poorly ventilated settings, an official said.

If the evidence is confirmed, it may affect guidelines for indoor spaces.

An open letter from more than 200 scientists had accused the WHO of underestimating the possibility of airborne transmission.

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


07/07/2020

Imedla Redmond (National Director of Healthwatch England) on BBC Radio 4

Imelda Redmond was on BBC Radio 4 World at One and BBC News on Tuesday 7th July talking about the impact of Covid on Social Care and the need for long talked about reform.

Listen to the audio clip from BBC Radio 4 below. 


RBH Re-introducing Services

Steve McManus, Chief Executive of the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“it’s great that now we’re almost Covid free we can resume many of our services on site, and I’d like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding when we had to pause a lot of this work to concentrate on Covid.

“It’s very important as we resume services that people attend for their treatments. I can assure them we have done everything possible to make the hospital a safe and welcoming place. Of course, this will mean extra footfall on the site and more need for the car parking facility.

We just want to make people aware that from 13 July the barrier will be back in place.”

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


03/07/2020

Care home staff and residents to get regular tests

Staff will be tested for coronavirus weekly, while residents will receive a test every 28 days to prevent the spread of coronavirus in social care.

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


Updated advice on sheilding

The Government have announced that the advice for people who are shielding because of COVID-19 will be relaxed in two phases.

  • From 6 July those shielding will be able to spend time outdoors in a group of up to 6 people including those outside of their household, while maintaining social distancing.Those who are shielding and live alone or are single parents with children will also be able to create a ‘support bubble’ with one other household of any size, following the same rules that are already in place for the wider population.
  • From 1 August, the shielding advice will relax further, allowing those shielding to do even more, such as visit shops and places of worship, and return to work provided they take particular care to maintain social distancing and minimise contact with others outside their household.

Support available:

The food and medicine boxes facilitated by the National Shielding Service will stop as of 1 August, with everyone now being advised that they can visit shops and pharmacies.

Other forms of support – such as priority supermarket delivery slots and the NHS Volunteers Scheme – will continue.


29/06/2020

People who were seriously ill in hospital with coronavirus need to be urgently screened for post-traumatic stress disorder, leading doctors say

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


25/06/2020

Royal Berkshire Hospital : it’s safe to attend for appointments and vital to keep the dates set for any planned surgery.

Steve McManus, Chief Executive of the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, said today:

“We are now almost a Covid free hospital with just seven positive patients being treated here at the moment. We’ve implemented major safety procedures to make sure our patients and staff are as protected as possible and we are very anxious that people who do need to come here for treatment do so.”

Click here or the image above to read the letter.


24/06/2020

Heatwave Alert Level 2

“The heat can affect anyone, but some people run a greater risk of serious harmmany people who are at higher risk of ill health due to heat are also at higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19).”

“We still have much to learn about how coronavirus (COVID-19) affects the body but both heat and COVID-19 infections put a strain on the heart and lungs, the kidneys and are linked with inflammation in the body.”

Click here or on the image above to read the Heatwave guidance from public Health Engalnd.


22/06/2020

New Measures to introduce face masks and coverings at the Royal Berkshire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Hospital

Click here or on the image above to read the full letter.


20/06/2020

Coronavirus: Result of 2m social distancing review to come next week

Ministers will announce in the coming week whether the 2m social distancing rule in England will be relaxed, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said.

The government has been reviewing the advice, amid warnings many businesses will not survive under current rules.

Mr Sunak said the outcome of the review will “make an enormous difference” to businesses “keen to see a change”.

Read the details by clicking here or on the image above.


Patients and visitors asked to wear face coverings at BHFT and HHFT hospitals.

To protect staff, patients and visitors from the spread of covid-19, members of the public must wear a face mask or covering in hospitals at all times, in line with national guidance.

See the images from Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (BHFT) and Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT) below, highlighting this information.


19/06/2020

Covid19 Alert level will move from level 4 to level 3

The virus is still in general circulation, and localised outbreaks are likely to occur. You must continue to wash your hands and keep 2m distance.

Click here or the image above to see the details.


Our Chief officer Andrew Sharp was on Kennet Radio on Friday 19/06/2020, discussing the Coronavirus, Care homes, the BAME community and our survey.


16/06/2020

Hospital Visiting Recommendations

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is new-hospital.png

Following the Secretary of State for Health’s announcement on 5 June 2020, by 15 June 2020:

  • hospitals should ensure that measures are in place so that all settings are, where practicable, COVID-secure, using social distancing, optimal hand hygiene, frequent surface decontamination, ventilation and other measures where appropriate
  • in all settings that are unable to be delivered as COVID-19 secure, all hospital staff (both in clinical and non-clinical roles), when not otherwise required to use personal protective equipment, should wear a facemask; worn to prevent the spread of infection from the wearer*
  • visitors and outpatients to hospital settings should wear a form of face covering for the same reason, to prevent the spread of infection from the wearer

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


Cancer Research UK have produced the following video, encouraging people to visit their GP Practices in light of the current COVID-19 situation.


15/06/2020

Face coverings compulsory on public transport in England

More than 3,000 extra staff including police officers are being deployed at stations to make sure people comply.

Passengers without a covering will be asked to wear one, or will face being refused onboard or fined £100.

People with certain health conditions, disabled people and children under the age of 11 will be exempt from the rule.

In the coming days, hundreds of thousands of free coverings will be handed out at railway stations. The government says masks can be homemade, such as a scarf or bandana.

Click here or on the images above and below to read further details.


14/06/2020

Coronavris Cases in West Berkshire

Coronavirus cases in west berkshire 14th june

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


12/06/2020

Hospital teams are delivering special ‘end of life’ parcels to bereaved families who were unable to visit their loved ones before they died because of the visiting restrictions around Coronavirus

The parcel contains forget-me-not seeds which it’s hoped the families will plant and create memories for the future along with special poems, small hearts and a candle.

The Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust’s bereavement team, Patient Liaison staff (PALs) and volunteers have worked together to create the boxes which will also include personal items such as watches and jewellery which belonged to the patient.

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


11/06/2020

Healthwatch West Berkshire in Newbury Weekly News

The impact of coronavirus on Black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) groups in West Berkshire should not be lost in protests.

Click the image below to read the details.


What your dental service is doing to help keep you safe

Click the image above to read the details.


Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust have updated the visitor guidance for staff and their patient’s family and friends

“PLEASE DO NOT VISIT if you have any symptoms of the virus (high temperature, new continuous cough, loss of taste and smell).

All visitors must wear a face covering/mask inside the hospital buildings – please bring your own if you have one. Do not bring any other unnecessary belongings with you.

We understand that this is difficult for lots of people, but it’s very important that we follow the guidelines.

Please follow social distancing rules and wash your hands before entering and leaving the building, and use the alcohol hand gel frequently inside the building.”

Click the image above or here to read the details.


10/06/2020

Dental Update

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


09/06/2020

Reading & West Berkshire Carers Hub activities during covid-19 outbreak

Click here or the image above to access the full diary for Carers Week 2020


08/06/2020

Nearly 10,000 more died of coronavirus than previously reported

Read the details by clicking here or on the image above.


Plan dropped for all primary pupils back in school 

The plan for all primary school years in England to go back to school before the end of term is to be dropped by the government.

There had been an aim for all primary pupils to spend four weeks in school before the summer break.

But it is no longer thought to be feasible and instead schools will be given “flexibility” over whether or not to admit more pupils.

“The real problem seems to be the social distancing guidelines and these ‘bubbles’ of 15 pupils. So instead of having a class of 30 you could have a maximum of 15, and one teacher for every 15 pupils, and that is very difficult for schools.”

“They now need to double the number of classes, they need to stagger arrivals, breaks and lunch times, and that seemingly is too difficult with just the six weeks left to the term.”

Click here or the image above to read the details.


Carers Week 2020 research report

Carers Week carried out polling with YouGov to revisit how many people are caring in the UK today, the challenges they face and what the public’s worries would be if they became an unpaid carer. They also looked at public awareness of unpaid caring, whether the public thought unpaid carers were valued and whether the Government had provided sufficient support.

Click here or on the images above and below to read the report.


Coronavirus: Care home residents face steep hike in fees

Click here or the image above to read the details


A plan of action to improve mental health crisis pathways in Berkshire West, making them more readily available and easier to access, has been drawn up following input from service users and key stakeholders

Click here or on the image above to read the press release.


06/06/2020

Sending all children back to school – and freeing parents to go back to work – could trigger a second wave of coronavirus, warn researchers.

UCL and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine team said testing and tracing contacts of those with the virus might help prevent this.

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


NHS trusts were not consulted before the government announced changes to the use of face coverings and visitor policy in English hospitals, the chief executive of NHS Providers has said.”

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


05/06/2020

The number of people infected with coronavirus in homes in England has fallen to 5,600 a day, from 8,000 last week, statisticians suggest

The estimate is based on swab tests of 19,000 people in 9,000 households by the Office For National Statistics

Click the image below or here to read the details.


04/06/2020

We are on page 6 in this weeks Newbury Weekly News discussing the local response to Covid-19

Page 6 of this weeks Newbury Weekly News highlights events that transpired at the West Berkshire Health and Wellbeing Board in relation to Covid-19.

Our Chief Officer praised the community response and efforts of council staff, key workers and the voluntary sector, but also highlighted some of the difficulties the board is facing saying “One of the things we can’t get away from is we have some tough questions to ask and some tough questions that the board have got to think about”

“The Covid death rate in West Berkshire is higher than in Australia”

Click the image below to read the details.


Downward trend in confirmed Covid-19 cases in West Berkshire

We continue to see a downward trend in the number of lab confirmed cases across West Berkshire. Important that we keep these numbers low by maintaining social distancing and regularly washing hands. The virus has not gone away!


Update from Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust via Twitter

For the safety of our staff, patients and wider community, visiting restrictions remain in place across our hospitals. Contact information for all our wards can be found at hampshirehospitals.nhs.uk/our-services/a… Thank you for your support in helping prevent the spread of coronavirus”

03/06/2020

Coronavirus: UK authorises anti-viral drug remdesivir

A drug treatment called remdesivir that appears to shorten recovery time for people with coronavirus is being made available on the NHS.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it was probably the biggest step forward in the treatment of coronavirus since the crisis began.

Remdesivir is an anti-viral medicine that has been used against Ebola.

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


What to do if you have coronavirus Symptoms

Click here or the image above to book a test

02/06/2020

CQC publishes data on deaths of people with a learning disability

chart showing the number of deaths of people with a learning disability, comparing deaths in 2019 with deaths in 2020, dividing the 2020 deaths between those not related to COVID-19 and suspected and confirmed COVID-19 cases

“This analysis looked at all deaths notified to CQC between 10 April and 15 May from providers registered with CQC who provide care to people with a learning disability and/or autism (including providers of adult social care, independent hospitals and in the community), and where the person who died was indicated to have a learning disability on the death notification form.

“This data shows that between 10 April and 15 May this year, 386 people with a learning disability, some of whom may also be autistic, died who were receiving care from services which provide support for people with a learning disability and/or autism. For the same period last year 165 people with a learning disability, some of whom may also be autistic, died who were receiving care from services which provide support for people with a learning disability and/or autism. This is a 134% increase in the number of death notifications this year. This new data should be considered when decisions are being made about the prioritisation of testing at a national and local level.

Of the 386 people who have died this year, 206 were as a result of suspected and/or confirmed COVID-19 as notified by the provider and 180 were not related to COVID-19.

184 people were receiving care from community based adult social care services and 195 from residential social care settings. In other settings* where we were notified of deaths the number in each setting was less than five people and cannot be reported for confidentiality reasons”

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

01/06/2020

Coronavirus: Ethnic minority risk report is published.

Public Health England has released its report looking at why people from ethnic minority backgrounds are “disproportionately” dying with coronavirus.

It shows age remains the biggest risk factor. Being male is another.

But if you strip out age and sex, people of Bangladeshi ethnicity have twice the risk of death than people of white British ethnicity.

The risk is higher for other Asian, Caribbean and black ethnicities too.

But it remains unclear why.

The analysis on ethnicity and risk did not consider a person’s occupation or obesity, even though both are known risk factors for getting seriously ill with coronavirus.

It acknowledges that more work is needed to understand and advise people about the risk.

Click the image above or here to read further details. Or click here to read the report.


Although most of us welcome the summer sun, high temperatures can be harmful to your health. The heat can affect anyone, but some people run a greater risk of serious harm. Many of those who are at risk of harm from heat are also at greater risk of severe illness due to COVID-19 and may need to spend more time at home than they would usually. Others may need to stay at home because they are self-isolating or recovering from the infection.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, its especially important that you know what actions to take to keep yourself and others safe from high temperatures.

Click here or on the image above to read how you can stay safe and keep your home cool during hot weather.


28/05/2020

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.


27/05/2020

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.


26/05/2020

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’


21/05/2020

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.

20/05/2020

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.


19/05/2020

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 www.nhs.uk 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.


15/05/2020

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.


14/05/2020

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.


13/05/2020

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.


12/05/2020

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.


10/05/2020

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

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07/05/2020

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.


06/05/2020


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


03/05/2020

Coronavirus: UK hospital trials new treatment drug

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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


01/05/2020

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.


30/04/2020

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.


29/04/2020

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


28/04/2020

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


26/04/2020

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

24/04/2020

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.


23/04/2020

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.


21/04/2020

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.


20/04/2020

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 .


17/04/2020

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


15/04/2020

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.


14/04/2020

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.


13/04/2020

Coronavirus west berkshire 13th April 2020

09/04/2020

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?

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08/04/2020

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

07/04/2020

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



06/04/2020


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?


05/04/2020

Queens speech on Coronavirus


04/04/2020

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




03/04/2020


02/04/2020

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