COVID-19 update - 24 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

Message from Alan

A Government announcement has been made about the increase in testing capacity and that more people have been made eligible to book into the system.

NHS trusts in our region have their own existing processes in place for staff testing. We are asking trust staff continue to use these rather than accessing the new national system. The process for frontline testing at NHS trusts is now well established and we need all employees to continue following it so we can process the tests as quickly and efficiently as possible, without putting pressure on the national system aimed at other key workers.

Staff from NHS trusts should ONLY access the testing being provided by their own organisations.

Health and Social Care (including VCS and independent providers) are directed to the NECS single point of contact to be booked to NHS labs where possible (use Gateshead IKEA as needed).

All other non-health and social care essential worker groups are directed to the national booking sites.

As you know COVID-19 has had a far reaching impact on people right across our region and it’s important during this time to take care of your mind as well as your body.

This booklet contains practical information about things you can do now to look after your mental health and wellbeing, and how you can support others.

I would like to once again thank everyone for their continued hard work this week. I know many of you will be working over the weekend and continuing to provide our communities with the very best care. As always, this is much appreciated.

Keep up the great work everyone.

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 24 April 2020
A further 587 people, who tested positive for the Coronavirus (Covid-19) have died, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals in England to 17,373.

Patients were aged between 40 and 102 years old. 34 of the 587 patients (aged between 50 and 102 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 98
London 126
Midlands 92
North East & Yorkshire 76
North West 73
South East 91
South West 31
Additional data, including listings by Trust and date of death is available on the NHS England website and can be accessed here.

Managing clinical trials during COVID-19
MHRA have issued guidance on how on how investigators and sponsors should
manage clinical trials during COVID-19. It includes content on urgent safety
measures, and updated guidance around managing ongoing and halted trials,
remote monitoring and signatures.

COVID-19 vaccine trial
The MHRA are giving tailored scientific advice and prioritising potential treatments
for COVID-19. They have approved the COVID-19 Oxford Vaccine Trial request in
a little over one working week. Please the MHRA website for more information.

Domestic Abuse
The Home Office is running a domestic abuse campaign, raising awareness of the
support and advice currently available. They are grateful for all the support received so far from the NHS stakeholders and would appreciate if you could share the campaign assets with your networks and include a link on your website to our GOV.UK campaign page.