COVID-19 update - 21 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
You will be aware of the on-going pressures re PPE with a specific national shortage of gowns. Within the North East and North Cumbria the shortage is being alleviated by the overwhelming support we have received from many businesses, which is hugely welcomed and fantastic support for our local NHS.

We are aware of the frustration organisations have regarding the National Supply Disruption Service (NSDR), however it is important that requests for emergency PPE supplies including gowns continue to be escalated with the NSDR. The local NHS England/Improvement procurement team need the reference number issued by NSDR in order to escalate and issue an emergency delivery. The national team are using the stock requests raised via NSDR to inform their distribution of the PPE supply as and when they receive national deliveries i.e. only issuing deliveries of PPE to trusts and organisations who have an open case with NSDR.

It is important to ensure that all staff are supported during this difficult period. This includes frontline staff as well as those in support roles. I would like to remind everyone that a number of free wellbeing apps to support staff can be found here.

All NHS staff have been given free access to these apps from now until the end of December 2020 to support their mental health and wellbeing.

We know that individual organisations are doing a huge amount to support their teams during these difficult times and this support is going to be vital in the coming weeks.

Thanks again to everyone for your continued hard work – make no mistake, whatever your contribution, you’re making a huge difference to the lives of people we serve.

Best wishes, Alan

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

Campaign resources
  • New assets for symptoms; Posters, Digital Screens, Email Signatures – available here.
  • New assets for Hand Hygiene; Updated Posters, Digital Screens, Email Signatures – available here.
Additional publications