COVID-19 update - 14 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
Firstly, can I say a huge thank you to everyone working over the Easter bank holiday Easter. I know things continue to be very busy for everyone but your support is much appreciated.

Lots to share with you today.

Over the weekend NHS England/Improvement announced that an NHS Nightingale Hospital will open on the site of The Innovation Centre, just off Follingsby Lane in Washington. NHS Nightingale North East will be able to care for 460 patients, from across the North East and Cumbria, and will have the capacity to support patients who require ventilation, should that be required. Work is well underway on equipping the building and we anticipate that it will be ready to receive patients within weeks. Many thanks to colleagues at Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which is the leading organisation, and to our local authorities and other key partners such as Sunderland City Council and the armed forces.

You’ll have seen coverage in the media about shortages of personal protective equipment especially with regards to gowns. I know this has been a concern for us all over recent weeks. Thank you to everyone who has been working tirelessly behind the scenes to get vital supplies out to front-line teams – with many of you working this weekend. As you know we have received lots of support from businesses, schools, universities and other organisations. Much of this support has been initiated by you and your colleagues through your own networks, as well as the team working in the central hub at Riverside in Newburn. Thank you – this is making a real difference.

A few reminders from us today:

  • Do what you can to promote the central hub email address and web page across your own channels and with any business contacts you have.
  • Lots of people have been in contact with Barbour directly for supplies. Please can you encourage people to put these requests through the central hub so these can be co-ordinated.
  • Thanks again to all organisations who are continuing share any extra supplies – this mutual aid remains really important.
The new staff testing centre at IKEA in Gateshead is running well after being launched last Wednesday and we have expanded testing to cover more groups of staff as planned. We will provide some more information on this soon. I’m really pleased to say that yesterday around 235 tests were completed which is a great achievement so early on in the process – well done everyone.

There’s lot of other news in this bulletin which includes some ground breaking COVID-19 research taking place in north Cumbria and the establishment of community recovery centres for patients who are medically fit for discharge and are well enough to leave hospital, but need a little extra support to get back to their home.

We are continuing to remind parents that the NHS is here for their child and not to delay treatment if their child is unwell. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health have produced a poster advising parents on how to manage symptoms in children which you can access here.

Just in case you haven’t seen it, please raise awareness of the recent guidance to protect those at risk of domestic violence and do what you can to share details of the support available.

I hope you find these updates helpful, do let me know.

Best wishes, Alan

Alan Foster, executive lead for the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System
NHS England/Improvement statement on Coronavirus (Covid-19) on 14 April 2020
A further 744 people, who tested positive for the Coronavirus (Covid-19) have died, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals in England to 11,005.

Patients were aged between 34 and 102 years old. 58 of the 744 patients (aged between 38 and 96 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 95
London 206
Midlands 109
North East & Yorkshire 93
North West 143
South East 73
South West 25


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.