COVID-19 update - 20 May 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 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
Ahead of the bank holiday this weekend we are asking the public to keep-up their amazing support for health and care services and reassured them about the protective measures we have in place as we focus on safely bringing back planned care and appointments across the region. This includes reminding the public that:
  • strict infection control measures are in place to help keep patients and staff safe whether they are being cared for in hospitals, the community or in their own home. This includes staff wearing personal protective equipment, increasing handwashing facilities and restrictions for visiting.
  • social distancing rules – being two metres apart – will remain vital as people use NHS services.
  • the NHS is here if you, if you need us. Please don’t delay seeking help and advice if you’re unwell.
All of the above will play a vital part in continuing to protect the public and our health and care services as we move into the next phase of our response to COVID-19. You can read the full press release issued yesterday here, which includes quotes from Dr Neil O'Brien, a local GP in County Durham and accountable officer for South Tyneside, Sunderland and County Durham Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and our clinical lead Professor Chris Gray. We have also been sharing an animation to support this, which you can view here.

Organisations have been busy during mental health awareness week and it has been great to see some of the random acts of kindness that have been shared with us. The pandemic has had a huge impact on all of our lives, but to see the level of kindness that is prevailing throughout our communities, I’m sure you will all agree, has been a huge boost.

I would again like to remind you of the joint press release from our colleagues at CNTW and TEWV, reassuring people that they can and should still seek mental health support should they need to.

As ever the support of our communities is vital during these difficult times so just a reminder that it’s #clapforcarers at 8pm tomorrow - an opportunity for us all to again show our appreciation for our colleagues across health and care.

Thank you for all that you are doing. As ever, our thoughts are with those affected, especially those who have lost loved ones.

Best wishes,

Alan Foster, executive lead for the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System
NHS England/Improvement statement on Coronavirus (Covid-19) on 20 May 2020
A further 166 people, who tested positive for the Coronavirus (Covid-19) have died, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals in England to 25,079.

Patients were aged between 33 and 99 years old. Five of the 166 patients (aged between 54 and 70) 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 32
London 13
Midlands 42
North East & Yorkshire 37
North West 21
South East 17
South West 4

NHS England and NHS Improvement publish the number of patients who have died in hospital and tested positive for COVID-19 in England. Since Tuesday 28 April, NHS England and NHS Improvement also reports the number of patient deaths where there has been no COVID-19 positive test result, but where COVID-19 is documented as a direct or underlying cause of death on part 1 or part 2 of the death certification process. This change has been introduced for deaths that occurred on 24 April and subsequently.