An update from Us 21.03.2021

On 21 March: Some think it’s all over; OH NO IT ISN’T! Essex remains in Lockdown3 for COVID-19.  SWF Health & Social Care Group continues to work collaboratively with the Town’s GPs & Pharmacists. Since March 2020 we’ve delivered 6100 tasks. Downing Street’s Briefing on 26 February was unequivocal. Don’t let our guard down. Maintain our discipline. We MUST stick to the rules. People not doing so are jeopardising the ‘Roadmap’ and risk delaying when restrictions can be eased. We await tomorrow’s Government announcement about the Roadmap with hope.

The Office of National Statistics has just published the number of deaths due to Covid-19 between March 2020 & February 2021 (with new data for February). Shockingly and terribly sadly this reported 12 deaths from Covid of residents in SWF registered in February after the 11 in January. We’ve been helping people in the surrounding areas and they have suffered awfully in February too: West Dengie had 5 deaths (6 in January); Danbury & Bicknacre 7 (11 in January); Rettendon & Runwell 6 (11in January); our most sincere condolences go to all the bereaved families, friends and colleagues. The lag from infection to severe illness means it’s inevitable the data for March will report more.  

The health system across Greater Essex is stable and back under control. At 11 March Mid & South Essex Hospitals continued to experience pressures in extremely difficult circumstances; bed capacity is being managed albeit with some transfers between hospitals and occasionally further afield such as to Addenbrooke’s; emergency & clinically urgent surgery continued throughout the current wave as did diagnosis and treatment of cancer; non-urgent elective surgery and outpatient work is now recommencing.

“Pressures persist and the threat has not gone away yet. There is still much to be done.” Thanks to the “teams throughout health, care and beyond work[ing] tirelessly in extremely difficult circumstances to begin to turn the tide in our fight against Coronavirus. They need us all to continue to follow the rules so that partners across Essex can keep working together to support delivery of the NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme.”

New SWF Covid cases have fallen to between 5-10 since the week ended 15 February, down from the peak of 213 in the week ended 2 January. We continue to publish daily and less frequent local data.

We must remember the time lag of around three weeks from initial infections to hospitalisations, to patients going into Intensive Care and some deaths. We know some people we’ve been supporting are now in hospital and of a few recent deaths. Our sincere sympathy is with their families. It is good that new treatments have been found, during the last year, improving recoveries.

The re-opening of schools is most welcome. The testing regime is a key element. We applaud the discipline and application of all school children and students whilst in Lockdown together with the patient home schooling provided by parents and guardians. We also recognise the enormous efforts made by teachers and staff to maintain schooling and studies.

The Roadmap predicts the cautious lifting of some restrictions at the end of March if Covid trends permit, no mutant strains increase risks and the roll out of vaccinations continues. Our ongoing ‘good behaviour’ throughout March and onwards is essential to ensure an upward trajectory of infections doesn’t delay the Roadmap. We fervently hope step one relaxations from 29 March go ahead without delay.

Covid vaccinations continue in SWF. A magnificent 11,727 vaccinations have now been delivered at Crouch Vale Medical Centre to SWF and Dengie patients, health and social care workers. The latest information about GP vaccination supplies and clinics is at: https://greenwoodsurgery.com/covid-vaccine/ . SWF is privileged to have a new mass vaccination hub at Tylers Ride, along with those at Runwell, Rayleigh, at Broomfield, Basildon and Southend Hospitals, and elsewhere. The latest information about all mass vaccination centres and hospitals is at:

https://eput.nhs.uk/news-events/coronavirus/coronavirus-vaccine/ .

The supply of the vaccines is the limiting factor. The schedule is set by the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination & Immunisation. Invitations are being sent to patients in order of the published clinical priorities, with instructions about how to book appointments; PLEASE ONLY book online or ring to ask for an appointment IF YOUR PRIORITY COHORT HAS BEEN TOLD TO DO SO.

Do ring 999 for life-threatening emergencies like a possible heart attack, stroke or a bad accident. Otherwise ring 111 if you need to book an A&E attendance slot at any time or for all other out of hours’ services. For a Covid test go online to https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test ; only if you can’t book online ring 119.

We provide health & social care support, information and signposting to patients & people in SWF and surrounds, especially those at risk, isolating, staying at home, and without local support. Information is on our website https://swfhealthsocial.co.uk/ . Do contact us with queries or comments on swfhealthsocial@outlook.com ; if you don’t have internet access leave a voicemail on 01245 322079 which is monitored daily.

Please Remember; Hands-Face-Space; stay safe & at home, protect our NHS, save lives.