COVID-19 update - 29 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
A national communication about the antibody testing programme roll out for NHS staff and patients has been received this week by NHS partners. An antibody (serology) test result can tell an individual whether or not they have had the virus in the past.

Our NENC region is in the first week of operationalising these tests and we are now implementing this with all provider trusts to stress test our capacity. Over coming weeks we aim to expand the service to primary care staff, contractors and patients, and all out-of-hospital health and social care providers.

Our regional Health Advisory Group (HAG) are working on a staged approach to setting up the process, and agreeing how we can provide additional support in terms of clear communication around the requesting and reporting processes, data collection and best practice in understanding demand.

We will continue to deliver and build an approach as a system to ensure availability of testing to staff and patients, and will update you when we know more. This will include an approach to testing in care homes as we understand national arrangements will be confirmed.

In the meantime, it is vital that everyone continues to follow the same good practice in social distancing and hand washing, and all other measures we have in place such as effective use of PPE. Our messages will reinforce this.

Last night marked the tenth and final #ClapForCarers. The support that has been shown to our health and care workforce over the last ten weeks has moved us all and lifted our spirits. I’m sure like me it has made you all feel a great sense of pride to be part of the NHS and social care family in this region.

Finally, for those who are working over the weekend, I would like to thank you for your hard work and let you know that your efforts continue to be much appreciated. For those of you who aren’t working, I would like to stress the importance of having some downtime and making sure you recharge your batteries.

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 29 May 2020
A further 149 people, who tested positive for the Coronavirus (Covid-19) have died, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals in England to 26,383.

Patients were aged between 35 and 101 years old. 11 of the 149 patients (aged 70 and 95) 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 16
London 7
Midlands 44
North East & Yorkshire 22
North West 33
South East 19
South West 8

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.

This means the NHS England and NHS Improvement data collection provides information on all COVID related (suspected and confirmed) deaths in England hospitals.

Today, 29 deaths are reported with no positive COVID-19 test result.

Additional data, including listings by Trust and date of death is available on the NHS England website and can be accessed here.