COVID-19 update - 17 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
Last night we all came together again to show our appreciation for our amazing health and care workers by clapping and cheering from windows, gardens and balconies. There were some fantastic images of landmarks across the region lit-up in blue and I’m sure like me, you will all have felt a great sense of pride to be part of our NHS and social care family.

As you know supporting our teams will be crucial over the coming weeks. As we enter a second phase of social distancing and isolation the number of people experiencing anxiety and distress is likely to increase.

To help people access the right help, a new mental health support service has been made available by our colleagues at the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) who will be supported by mental health clinicians from Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV) and Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW) with NHS111 calls and frontline response. You can read the full release here.

As a region we pride ourselves on our ability to work together and support each other and I think you will agree that this initiative is a fine example this.

Thank you to everyone for all your efforts 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. For those of you who are not working, do try and get some rest if you can.

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 17 April 2020
A further 738 people, who tested positive for the Coronavirus (Covid-19) have died, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals in England to 13,134.

Patients were aged between 32 and 101 years old. 30 of the 738 patients (aged between 34 and 92 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 93
London 145
Midlands 141
North East & Yorkshire 87
North West 138
South East 111
South West 23

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.

Every Mind Matters
The Every Mind Matters platform has been updated to incorporate the new Covid-19 mental health guidance and provide content to help people look after their mental and physical health while staying at home. These resources can be accessed on the Covid-19 section of the Campaign Resource Centre.

Additional campaign assets also now available…
GOVuk guidance on testing
Guidance on coronavirus testing for critical workers who are self-isolating has been published here.

Advice on ibuprofen and COVID-19
The Commission on Human Medicines’ Expert Working Group on COVID-19 has concluded that there is currently insufficient evidence to establish a link between use of ibuprofen, or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and contracting or worsening of COVID-19.

Patients can take paracetamol or ibuprofen when self-medicating for symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever and headache, and should follow NHS advice if they have any questions or if symptoms get worse. Patients should always read the patient information when taking over-the-counter medicines, such as ibuprofen and paracetamol, and follow the instructions on how to take the medicines.

Please see the MHRA news story for more information.

Additional publications of note