COVID-19 update - 6 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 as we move into the next phase of our response to COVID-19. The appeal to the public includes asking them to support the NHS and others by:
  • Remembering to social distance – keeping two metres apart
  • Keeping hands extra clean
  • Using services sensibly - the NHS is here if you need us but please choose the most appropriate service to best suit your clinical need
  • If you are using services, please continue to follow rules on social distancing
All of the above will play a vital part in protecting health and care services as we plan to re-start more elective activity for people who need to come into hospital for planned care or treatment. You can read the full press release here which includes quotes 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 will be sharing a new animation on social media about this soon.

Many services are open over the bank holiday weekend and organisations have been sharing information on social media. More information on bank holiday arrangements for primary care and access to urgent dental care can be found here.

Today also saw the opening of The Northumbria Manufacturing and Distribution Hub, which will be used to produce and distribute protective gowns to front line teams at the trust and across the region. Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has worked alongside other NHS organisations, businesses and volunteers to find ways to boost much needed supplies of gowns for our frontline teams. As a result, the hub is now at the heart of a wider network of businesses, including factories and partners across the country. I would like to extend my personal thanks and gratitude to everyone for making this happen. You can read the release here and you should be able to catch it on the news tonight as we are expecting coverage on Look North, Tyne Tees and Channel 5.

As mentioned earlier in the week, the NHS Nightingale Hospital North East was officially opened yesterday by HRH The Countess of Wessex. If you didn’t manage to take part in the virtual opening you can find out more here. NHS teams, construction contractors, civic partners and the Army have pulled together in an unprecedented effort to build this temporary hospital and I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone.

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.

We are not planning on sending a bulletin over the weekend unless there is a need to do so and will back in touch on Monday. Thank you again to everyone working over the bank holiday.

Alan Foster, executive lead for the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System
NHS England/Improvement statement on Coronavirus (COVID-19) on 6 May 2020
A further 331 people, who tested positive for the Coronavirus (Covid-19) have died, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals in England to 22,049.

Patients were aged between 32 and 102 years old. 17 of the 331 patients (aged between 46 and 88 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 38
London 64
Midlands 66
North East & Yorkshire 51
North West 64
South East 33
South West 15

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.

Today, 33 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.