COVID-19 update - 22 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
We are expecting BBC Look North tonight to feature some of the work happening in the region to boost supplies of PPE. You can read Northumbria Healthcare’s release here which includes plans to open a manufacturing facility to produce protective gowns and other personal protective equipment (PPE) for front-line health and care staff across the patch. It also gives a taster of just some of the unique partnerships between our trusts, other NHS partners, local businesses and organisations which have grown over recent weeks - all designed to boost supplies. This is fantastic news and shows how we have all pulled together. There are of course many others stories like this across the region where we have seen extraordinary efforts from our own teams and the wider community. Thank you to everyone for all that you do.

I want to take this opportunity to thank the teams who have been focussed on the getting supplies in and out of the central hub at Newburn in Riverside too. Their efforts are outstanding and they really have worked non-stop. Again many connections have been made with businesses and our local communities - all happy to support us where they can. We will be sharing more about this and thanking people as much as we can with a special thank you page being set up on our website.

Thanks to NEAS also for working with the media today to emphasis the important message that the NHS is here for people if they need us, and not to delay treatment. We will be continuing to share this message widely and supporting this with information across social media.

Best wishes, Alan

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

The Chief People’s Officer launched a staff health and wellbeing package last week that included guidance on COVID-19 and Ramadan. This was produced by the NHS Islamic Network in collaboration with the British Islamic Medical Association, that represents over 3,000 Muslim clinicians across the UK. It can be accessed here.

NHS England and Improvement have issued a reminder to those who observe Ramadan to avoid social gatherings because of the risk of coronavirus. A press notice was issued yesterday containing key messages about social distancing and shielding vulnerable people.

Direct payments for care
The Department of Health and Social Care has published advice and guidance intended for people who buy care and support through a direct payment, including personal health budget holders, as well as for clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and providers of care and support.

Additional publications