COVID-19 update - 2 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
Our thoughts are very much with the communities of Leicester this week as they reinstate lockdown measures to help bring the local coronavirus outbreak back under control.

This serves as a stark reminder to us all that the virus is still very much among us and of the remaining importance of our own outbreak plans and continued surveillance; as well as the rules around social distancing and handwashing.

As the pubs re-open this weekend we are working together across the region to remind our communities that they must drink and act responsibly. The last thing we want is further pressure on our emergency services and A&E departments or an increased risk of infection which could result in us having to reintroduce local lockdowns. You can read our media release here.

This weekend is also the 72nd anniversary of the NHS and we will be paying tribute to our amazing health and care staff and those that have supported us during our most challenging year. The weekend is also a moment in time for us to remember those that we have lost and their loved ones too.

On Saturday evening, 4 July, everybody will be asked to put a light in their windows in remembrance of those we have lost during the pandemic. On Sunday at 5pm the country is being invited to clap for everyone who has helped the country during these hard times. I do hope you are able to join in.

As you know everyone has worked around the clock, stepping up in ways this generation has never seen before. From the doctors, nurses, care workers who came out of retirement to join the frontline; to our volunteers who have selflessly given their time; the local communities and businesses who donated PPE and other supplies; to our fellow key workers who kept the country running. And of course, the public who stayed at home, kept their distance and clapped for us all.

COVID-19 may have kept many of us apart but in other ways it has brought us closer together. We have a way to go yet but we are, without doubt, stronger as one.

Talking of which, we are collectively continuing our efforts across all organisations, in partnership with Northern Cancer Alliance, to raise awareness of the importance of people seeking advice if they suspect they have signs and symptoms of cancer. Please check out the latest animation here and latest film here.

There has been a big push on the test and trace programme across the region and we are continuing to remind the public about the symptoms to look out for and what they need to do if they develop symptoms. Just to remind everyone, there is more information on test and trace and advice on what to do if you have COVID-19 symptoms here.

Planning is underway to support the winter season including finalising the flu vaccination programme. More information will be made available in the coming weeks, but we are working with a range of partners to ensure we have the capacity to vaccinate all eligible individuals across health and social care.

Best wishes,

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

Other news and updates

New psychological first aid training during COVID-19 open to all frontline and essential workers and volunteers
On 15 June is Public Health England (PHE) is launching updated Psychological First Aid (PFA) training module, aimed at all frontline and essential workers and volunteers. The course teaches the key principles of giving psychological first aid in emergencies and aims to increase awareness and confidence to provide this support to people affected by COVID-19. PFA is a globally recognised training in emergency situations and PHE has been developed this new course as part of our national incident response, and in partnership with NHS England, Health Education England, FutureLearn and others. The course is free, and no previous qualifications are required. By the end of the course, outcomes will include: understanding how emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic can affect us, recognising people who may be at increased risk of distress and understanding how to offer practical and emotional support. The course takes around 90 minutes to complete and is also available in three sessions for the learner to complete at their own pace.

NHS statement on Coronavirus (Covid-19) - 2 July: A further 35 people, who tested positive for the Coronavirus (Covid-19) have died, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals in England to 28,794.

Patients were aged between 54 and 92 years old. Two patients, aged 54 and 84, had no 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 4
London 2
Midlands 8
North East & Yorkshire 6
North West 8
South East 6
South West 1

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, 15 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.