COVID-19 update - 16 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 continue to be overwhelmed by the support we are receiving from businesses and communities across the region. Every day we are receiving offers of support and it’s fantastic!

A reminder that tonight at 8pm it’s #ClapForCarers, another opportunity to show our appreciation for our colleagues across health and care for their ongoing hard work as they treat people with COVID-19.

Across the region we are continuing to remind people that the NHS is here for them, and not to delay seeking help if they are unwell.

Over the next few days there will be a focus on accessing primary care and reassurance that GP practices have introduced safety measures to protect patients and staff. This includes initial ‘triage’ assessments to enable practices to prioritise appointments for those most in need; and to allow health professionals to provide the most appropriate treatment.

I would like to extend a warm welcome and thank you from us all to our new doctors who are starting the next stage of their careers with us having graduated early from medical school. I know they will be very much supported as they commence in their new interim foundation year one (FiY1) posts. Many thanks to everyone who has supported them so far, especially to our colleagues at Health Education England North East, University of Newcastle Medical School, Lead Employer Trust (LET) and all hospital trusts.

As you will be aware the health secretary announced the social care plan yesterday and this can be viewed here and we continue to work closely together across the region to support each other.

Lots of our staff will be featured on Tyne Tees tonight as it is running a programme dedicated to the region’s health and care workers.

As always, our thoughts continue to be with those affected by COVID-19, especially those have lost loved ones. These continue to be very difficult and challenging times for us all.

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 16 April 2020
A further 740 people, who tested positive for the Coronavirus (Covid-19) have died, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals in England to 12,396.

Patients were aged between 28 and 103 years old. 40 of the 740 patients (aged between 45 and 93 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 91
London 153
Midlands 127
North East & Yorkshire 150
North West 106
South East 84
South West 29

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.

Your NHS is here for you
Great to see so many colleagues sharing the important message that the NHS is here if they need us and not to delay treatment. Check out the latest blog from Andy Beeby medical director at Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust

NHS England/Improvement has published a web page with information about where people can access PPE supplies:

There was also a letter issued last week from Keith Willett and Prof Yvonne Doyle on the approval by the Health and Safety Executive for the use of coveralls as an alternative option for non-surgical gowns.

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, which represents over 3,000 Muslim clinicians across the UK.

It can be accessed here:

Additional publications

Placental Growth Factor (PlGF)-based testing during the COVID-19 pandemic: 15 April 2020

Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) standard operating procedure: Community health services

Clinical guide for renal replacement therapy options in critical care during the coronavirus

Clinical guide for acute kidney injury in hospitalised patients with COVID-19 outside the
intensive care unit during the coronavirus pandemic

Frequently asked questions on financial response to COVID-19