COVID-19 update - 8 June 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
Although we are now seeing significantly fewer cases of COVID-19 this remains a very busy time for us all. It continues to be a complex picture – some restrictions are now being lifted, many aspects of care and treatment are now re-starting and more testing is taking place. At the same time, we need to continue with many of the measures we have in place to protect our patients and staff from this virus which will be with us for some time to come.

So, I would like to re-iterate my thanks and appreciation for all that you are doing to provide the very best care for our communities during this pandemic. Looking after our staff during these difficult times remains important too, so I would like to remind you that colleagues at CNTW are offering psychological wellbeing support. This includes a confidential support line for health and care employees across the region. For information on how to access the helpline, see here.

We are also busy responding and acting on lots of new guidance.

On Friday evening, the Government announced that NHS staff in England will be provided with surgical masks which they will be expected to wear from Monday 15 June. All visitors and outpatients must also wear face coverings at all times. I know many of us are now waiting for further guidance to enable us to communicate in more detail about what this means for both clinical and non-clinical staff across our organisations.

NHS England has lifted the national suspension on hospital visiting with new guidance for NHS trusts, which states that visiting will be subject to the discretion of individual organisations.

The government has also updated its guidance for people who are shielding taking into account that COVID-19 disease levels have decreased over the last few weeks, which you can read here.

On Friday we shared the news that dental practices will begin reopening throughout June and we have been sharing updates on how dental care can be accessed and what people can expect from their dental practice on our social media pages.

In terms of testing things continue to move at pace. There has been a huge effort across the region to launch the test and trace service programme and antibody testing which will be key to helping us understand how this virus spreads. Thank you.

Our efforts to ensure we have enough PPE continue and we remain grateful to the many businesses who have supported us. Last week Siemens Gamesa made a huge donation to our central PPE hub which will be put to great use across our system. I would like to place on record my thanks Siemens Gamesa and to all other businesses and organisations who continue to go the extra mile to support us through this time. Watch out for our special thank you animation which is coming soon.

The R number in the UK was announced on Friday and information is available here. You will note that the value for the North East and Yorkshire is 0.89. It is important we continue to take the correct precautions, such as observing social distancing and maintaining good hand hygiene, to prevent that value from increasing as we gradually ease our way out of lockdown. You can read more detail here.

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 8 June 2020
A further 59* people, who tested positive for the Coronavirus (Covid-19) have died, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals in England to 27,490.

Patients were aged between 34 and 100 years old. Three patients (aged between 54 and 68) had known underlying health conditions. Their families have been informed.

*No deaths in London hospitals are being reported today. However, a small number of deaths occurred, which will be announced in coming days.

The number of deaths of patients with Covid-19 by region are as follows:

East of England 9
London 0
Midlands 16
North East & Yorkshire 11
North West 14
South East 7
South West 2

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, 0 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.