West Berkshire Children and Young People Coronavirus Information

Posted March 12, 2021


Regular rapid testing is now available for parents, their households and bubbles

Regular rapid testing is now available for parents, their households and bubbles

Regular rapid testing is a fast and easy way to find out if you have coronavirus and help protect your loved ones and community. It’s free and takes around 30 minutes.

As lockdown restrictions ease, getting into the regular habit of twice weekly testing will play an important role in getting back to normal; alongside the vaccine, following the hands, face, space guidance, and social distancing measures.

If you are a parent or adult of a household, childcare or support bubble you can either:
1. Get an assisted test at work if it is available.
2. Attend a test site to get tested
3. Order a test online to do at home

After returning to school on 8th March with measures in place to reduce the rate of transmission, Secondary school and college students aged 11 and above will continue to have access regular rapid tests directly through their school or college.

Watch the video below to see how the Rapid Testing works.


Tell us your views on Child and Adult Mental Health services (CAMHS) during the pandemic


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.


The Government has recently provided updated guidance for schools, childcare providers, colleges and local authorities in England on maintaining educational provision.

The full official guidance can be found by clicking here or on the image above.


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

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


Newbury Baptist Church have shared on their website a free book about Albert the mouse and social distancing. Click here or the image above to download a copy.

Dingleys centres are closed but they are working hard to be there remotely for children with SEND and their families across Berkshire. Please click here to see what they are providing remotely.


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:


Axel Scheffler has illustrated a digital book for primary school age children, free for anyone to read on screen or print out, about the coronavirus and the measures taken to control it. Published by Nosy Crow, and written by staff within the company, the book has had expert input: Professor Graham Medley of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine acted as a consultant, and the company also had advice from two head teachers and a child psychologist.

The book answers key questions in simple language appropriate for 5 to 9 year olds:

• What is the coronavirus?
• How do you catch the coronavirus?
• What happens if you catch the coronavirus?
• Why are people worried about catching the coronavirus?
• Is there a cure for the coronavirus?
• Why are some places we normally go to closed?
• What can I do to help?
• What’s going to happen next?

Click the image above to download a free copy.


Here are some tips on how to look after your mental health whilst in self-isolation. Go through these tips with your child if they’re finding things difficult at the moment.

If your child is struggling during this difficult time, they can call YoungMinds friends at The Mix for free support, every day of the week. Their helpline number is 0808 808 4994 and they are open between 4 and 11pm.

For urgent support, YoungMinds Crisis Messenger text service is available all hours of the day. Your child just needs to text YM to 85258 to get through to a trained volunteer. More details HERE


Public Health new guidance on mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus outbreak

Click the image below to read the guidance, also includes advice on supporting children and young people


The Ineqe Safeguarding group have created a resource that could be used to explain Coronavirus to children with special needs.

Children’s Commissioner for England has created a powerpoint presentation to explain to children about the coronavirus. 

Click the image below to download a copy

Coronavirus Information from the NSPCC:

Our Childline counsellors have spoken to a growing number of children who are concerned about the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). We know many people, including parents and teachers, may need to offer support to a young person, so we’ve put together some advice to help:”


Coronavirus: Berkshire CAMHS issues services update

The NHS in Berkshire wants to share the following information about services for children and young people with additional needs and their families during the coronavirus pandemic:

Berkshire Healthcare NHS Trust’s CAMHS, Neurodiversity and all-age Eating Disorders services are working hard to ensure that they can continue to provide care and support to children, young people and families over this challenging period.

Critical activities that the services will be prioritising are:

  • Triage and assessment of new referrals to ensure identification of patients at high clinical risk
  • Rapid Response to young people presenting in, or at high and immediate risk of crisis/deliberate self-harm/suicide
  • Review of medication (in urgent cases, where risk is high) and prescribing where prescribing can only be done by CAMHS Psychiatry
  • Assessment, development of treatment plans & delivery of therapeutic interventions for high need/high risk children & young people
  • Liaison and consultation to other professionals regarding urgent mental health concerns
  • Urgent assessment/review related to the Mental Health Act and assessment and planning/arrangement of acute mental health inpatient admission.

They are working to deliver services via telephone or video consultation where it is clinically safe and appropriate to do so.

For the time being, Berkshire Healthcare NHS Trust continues to run services from all of its sites but if staff numbers fall below safe levels, plans are in place to enable relocation of services to fewer sites in order to maintain safe delivery of clinical care.

Staff have mobile working technology to give them access to clinical systems when working from home and the provision of assessment and treatment via telephone is already in place, with additional video capability up and running by the end of this week.

The Autism Assessment and Anxiety & Depression Teams also have the ability to offer support via the SHaRON (Support, Hope & Resources On-line Network) and all families in these services have been invited to access this system.

The Autism Assessment Team also works in partnership with an online provider to offer a number of assessments online and it is hoped there will be less impact on this way of delivering assessments.

Face-to-face contact will still be available across all services where it is needed to assess and manage clinical risk, however that will be in the context of due consideration of any additional risks that are the result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Please note that young people and families who have symptoms of coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, do not attend appointments and make contact with the service to arrange a telephone or video appointment instead.

The trust will maintain services to support young people presenting in crisis and are working to set up access to crisis assessment and support away from hospitals where possible.

In order to ensure that critical activities are maintained, the trust will be pausing non-critical activities where necessary and is asking people to check its website before contacting its services for information.

Click here to visit the CAMHS website.

Department of Health’s to helping the at risk patients:

This guidance is for people, including children, who are at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) because of an underlying health condition, and for their family, friends and carers.

It is intended for use in situations where the extremely vulnerable person is living in their own home, with or without additional support. This includes the extremely clinically vulnerable people living in long-term care facilities, either for the elderly or persons with special needs.

Guidance on shielding & protecting the vulnerable and at risk people.