COVID-19 update - 19 March 2020

This bulletin provides important information for people working in health and care across the North East and North Cumbria regarding guidance and actions being co-ordinated across our region to care for patients, staff and our communities in the light of COVID -19. This is a fast-moving and evolving situation. We will do our best to keep you updated daily with the latest information and key decisions from the Strategic Health Command Group. This group is led by Alan Foster, executive lead for the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System. If you have any questions or would like us to send vital information to partners through this bulletin, please contact us here.
Message from Alan Foster
Alan Foster
Today we are reassuring our communities about the detailed preparations underway across the region to manage the COVID-19 outbreak to protect and care for our patients, staff and communities.

We have appealed to the public to stay calm and take sensible steps to protect themselves and others, and use NHS services wisely. You can read our press release here and watch our animation here. Please do share these messages across your organisations.

Professor Chris Gray has been interviewed for tonight’s Tyne Tees news bulletin. In his interview, Chris expressed his thanks to our staff and our communities for their support so far. Already we have been overwhelmed by offers of support to health and care staff from local businesses and the wider community. Chris also reiterated that all our thoughts are with those who have been directly affected by Coronavirus and especially those who have lost loved ones. I am sure you will join us in sharing this sentiment.

You will all be aware that yesterday the Government announced that schools will be closing as of Friday. We are awaiting further guidance and clarification but our understanding is that there will be some provision for key workers. As soon as there is further information this will be shared.

Guidance for those people with symptoms that may be caused by Coronavirus who can remain at home, and for those who are living with them, is available here. This includes useful information about planning and adapting your routine, as well as advice about looking after laundry, cleaning and disposal of waste.

We are working hard with partners across the region to scale up our testing capacity over the next one to two weeks. We will share with you how we are going to do this as soon as we have further information.

We will be looking at how we can raise awareness of the steps people can take to look after their mental health during these difficult times and will keep you posted.

Our partners at Health Education England have created a page for doctors and dentists in training in our region to keep them up to date with the latest information.

In the meantime, please do what you can to be kind and look out for one another. Thank you once again for all of your hard work and ongoing support.

Alan Foster, executive lead for the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System
NHS England statement on COVID-19

A further 29 people, who tested positive for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) have died, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in England to 128. Patients were aged between 47 and 96 years old and had underlying health conditions. Their families have been informed.

Background: Each trust where a patient died will publish a statement on their website this afternoon. For ease – these are listed below.
  • London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust - 2
  • King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust - 1
  • Barts Health NHS Trust - 2
  • North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust - 2
  • Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust - 3
  • Homerton University Hospital Foundation Trust - 1
  • Barking Havering and Redbridge University Hospital NHS Trust- 4
  • Epsom and St. Helier NHS Trust - 2
  • Croydon Health NHS Trust - 1
  • The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust - 2
  • University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust- 1
  • Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust - 3
  • Sheffield Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust- 1
  • Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust - 1
  • Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust - 2
  • Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust - 1