COVID-19 update - 23 July 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. We will do our best to keep you updated with the latest information and key decisions from the Strategic Health Co-ordinating 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
I would like to extend a warm welcome to our new doctors in training who will be starting the next stage of their careers with us next week. I know they will be very much supported as they start in their new posts and we look forward to them joining our health and care family across the region. Of course, many of these doctors in training will be familiar faces to us as it includes our early graduating foundation interim year one doctors who stepped up to support us during the pandemic. Our Find Your Place campaign has a number of resources available to help welcome our new trainees including a special message from postgraduate dean Namita Kumar, some top tips from trainees which you can view here and here and much more. You can follow the Find Your Place campaign and join the big welcome from Monday on @NHSFYP.

Flu vaccinations will be more important than ever this year as we all seek to protect patients and reduce the number of people who need treatment this winter. There’s recognition that delivering the flu immunisation programme this year is likely to be more challenging because of the overall impact of COVID-19 on our health and social care services. Nationally, and regionally, plans are underway to help understand how we manage services this winter and that will include an expected increase in the number of flu vaccinations for the public and our own staff.

As you know it remains important we continue to support our staff during these challenging times and many of you are doing a huge amount within your own organisations to ensure this happens. In case you’re not aware, the national online NHS People Pulse survey is being made available to all trusts and organisations that would wish to take part free of charge until 31 January 2021. There’s more detail on this and other news from the regional workforce cell.

On this subject, there’s an interesting article in HSJ this week where director of patient experience at Northumbria Healthcare, Annie Laverty, summarises the seven core needs of staff that emerged during the coronavirus pandemic. If you subscribe to the journal you can read it here.

I do hope you find this bulletin helpful. Feedback is most welcome and you can email us on

Keep up the great work everyone.

Best wishes,

Alan Foster is executive lead for the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System

Other news and updates

NHS statement on Coronavirus (Covid-19) - 23 July: A further 19 people, who tested positive for the Coronavirus (Covid-19) have died, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals in England to 29,231.

Patients were aged between 35 and 89 years old. All had known underlying health conditions. Their families have been informed.

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

East of England 0
London 0
Midlands 2
North East & Yorkshire 4
North West 5
South East 8
South West 0

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, SIX 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.

The R number in the UK: The latest reproduction number (R) and growth rate of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK can be found here on GOV.UK

Public Health England dashboard: The Public Health England (PHE) dashboard can be found here. Daily reporting includes deaths that have occurred in all settings where there has been a positive COVID-19 test, including hospitals, care homes and the wider community. The report also includes case rates per 100,000 resident population at lower-tier local authority level.