COVID-19 update - 9 April 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
As ever the support of our communities is vital during these difficult times so just a reminder that its #clapforcarers at 8pm tonight - an opportunity for us all to show our appreciation for colleagues across health and care.

Today we have reminded the public that over the bank holiday the NHS is here for them if they need it, to use services sensibly and to stay at home to protect the NHS. You can read our release here.

A reminder that the drive through testing centre for staff in the IKEA car park in Gateshead is appointment only. There is a phased approach to the roll-out of testing at the centre and it is primarily aimed at health and care staff employed in primary care and social care settings. Staff employed by acute trusts have been advised to continue to use testing facilities provided by their own organisations.

We'd like to thank everyone for their efforts to boost our supplies of PPE – it is much appreciated – and I know there has been a huge amount of work involved in this.

We are not planning on sending a bulletin over the weekend unless there is a need to do so and will back in touch on Tuesday. Thanks again to everyone working over the bank holiday. It’s not the Easter break any of us would have planned and I know many of you will be working over the next few days. But please remember whatever your contribution, you’re making a huge difference to the lives of people we serve.

Thank you.

Best wishes, Alan

Alan Foster, executive lead for the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System
Other news and guidance

NHS England/Improvement statement on Coronavirus (Covid-19) on 9 April 2020
A further 765 people, who tested positive for the Coronavirus (Covid-19) have died, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals in England to 7,248.
Patients were aged between 24 and 103 years old. 43 of the 765 patients (aged between 33 and 99 years old) had no known underlying health condition. Their families have been informed.

The number of deaths of patients with Covid-19 by region are as follows:

East of England 113
London 213
Midlands 124
North East & Yorkshire 92
North West 77
South East 101
South West 45

Additional data, including listings by NHS trust and date of death is available on the NHS England website and can be accessed by following this link.

Wellbeing Support for our NHS people

NHS England and Improvement has developed a range of wellbeing support to care for and protect all of our NHS people, whether at the front line or in supporting services.

So, from today, all our people will have access to a range of support (#OurNHSPeople Wellbeing Support) through one point of contact:
  • a free wellbeing support helpline 0300 131 7000, available from 7.00 am – 11.00 pm seven days a week, providing emotional support from trained volunteers and onward signposting to specialist financial advice, bereavement care and coaching
  • a 24/7 text alternative to the above helpline - simply text FRONTLINE to 85258
  • online peer to peer, team and personal resilience support, including through Silver Cloud, and free mindfulness apps including Unmind, Headspace Sleepio and Daylight
NHS teams are encouraged to take immediate advantage of these services.
They can be used in addition to the support available from your own NHS organisations and will develop further in coming days and weeks in line with user feedback (

Campaign materials

New ‘Stay home this Bank Holiday weekend’ social media assets
New assets encouraging people to stay at home over the Bank Holiday weekend are now available from the Campaign Resource Centre. These include animated and static formats.

New ‘Act like you’ve got it, anyone can spread it’ younger people social media assets
New assets that can be used to target younger people are now available to download from the Campaign Resource Centre. These include animated, static and carousel formats.

Updated resources for Hospitals, GP Practices and Pharmacies
Updated resources for use in various healthcare settings are now available on the Campaign Resource Centre. These include:
  • Posters providing information about the symptoms of coronavirus and instructing patients that have symptoms not to enter the building.
  • New ‘safe distance’ posters for use in healthcare settings to remind patients to keep a safe distance of 2 metres.
Additional publications