An Update from Us 21.11.2021

On Sunday 21 November: DANGER! SWF WORST IN ESSEX FOR COVID INFECTIONS. Complete relaxations remain in force. Adults double-vaccinated 14 days before a Covid contact & children in contact don’t have to isolate but are recommended to take a PCR test. Everyone PCR testing positive is legally required to self-isolate.

Latest data: In SWF we had 115 Covid cases in the week ended (w/e) 15 November, up from our lowest of 55 w/e 5 November. We also have a lot of other bad colds, flu and respiratory illnesses.

In w/e 20 November there were 283,718 (p/w256,207) UK Covid positive tests, 1,031 (p/w1,092) deaths, and in w/e 16 November 6,087 (p/w6,334) patients admitted to hospitals. There is a three-week lag between infections and subsequent hospitalisations and deaths; so the country has another steep increase in cases and inevitably that will be reflected in hospitalisations and deaths in a few weeks’ time. The latest Delta sub-variant is 15% more infectious.

Recently the Health Secretary said we must get booster jabs to be able to enjoy Christmas. Prof Jonathan Van Tam (JVT) said: there are hard months to come this winter and the pandemic isn’t over yet. The World Health Organisation (WHO) said: Europe is at the epicentre of Covid; the continent could see half a million more deaths by February; tactics must change from reacting to surges to preventing them from happening. Relaxing public health measures and insufficient vaccine take-up result in rising infections. Much colder weather is here and forecast to continue.

Vaccination is a big help. But why isn’t everyone having them? A large majority of deaths are unvaccinated people. Guidance says: ventilate indoor meetings; wear face masks in crowded & enclosed spaces; get vaccinated; LTF test regularly. It’s not happening and we’re seeing consequences. In our community and country many people are ill and out of action, creating shortages and supply problems in many spheres, crippling activities.

The Government Plan B for the winter is being considered which might include: wear masks travelling, indoors & and at enclosed activities; socially distance; work at home; re-introduce bubbles; restrictions on gatherings, including perhaps at Christmas.

We want relaxations to last as long as possible; and to safeguard our NHS, education and economy. It’s up to us. PLEASE REMAIN CAUTIOUS AND MAINTAIN OUR STANDARDS OF RESPECT FOR EACH OTHER. Some elective surgery and referral appointments are being postponed. People are also ill with the super cold, flu, respiratory illnesses and other conditions which have gone untreated during Covid. Our ambulance service, GPs and hospitals are under severe pressure. Some hospitals have suspended visiting and say don’t attend A&E unless life is threatened. Our Ambulance Service call handling system crashed one afternoon last week.

SWF Library distributes free LFT self-testing kits when open (Tuesdays 0845-1900, Wednesdays 0845-1300, Thursdays & Fridays 0845-1730 & Saturdays 0900-1700). You can also get them from pharmacies and they can be ordered online at https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests . Lateral Flow Tests (LFTs) are quick and easy to use. PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests are mainly for people with Covid symptoms. Covid Drive-through testing sites are at Sandon Park & Ride and Blackwater Leisure Centre (Maldon). PCR home tests and appointments can be booked online at https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test ; if you can’t order or book online, call 119.

Information about mass vaccination centres is at: https://eput.nhs.uk/news-events/coronavirus/coronavirus-vaccine/ . SWF has a mass vaccination hub at Tylers Ride. Covid vaccinations can be booked online at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/ or on 119.

You can get Covid vaccine from a walk-in site without an appointment. Walk-in sites provide:

  • a 1st dose if you or your child are aged 12 or over
  • a 2nd dose if you’re eligible and it’s been 8 weeks since your 1st dose
  • a booster dose if you’re eligible and it’s been 6 months (182 days) since your 2nd dose.

Full information, including the ability to find a walk-in vaccination site, is at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/find-a-walk-in-coronavirus-covid-19-vaccination-site/ .

Covid vaccinations for 12-15 year olds are also delivered by the school-based programme. Third Primary Doses for patients at very high risk from a low immune system are by NHS invitation only. NHS invitations for Boosters are also being sent by GPs; see https://www.essexcovidvaccine.nhs.uk/news/nhs-begins-covid-19-booster-vaccination-campaign/ . Whilst you can book a booster vaccination 5 months after your 2nd jab the appointment for the booster must be at least 6 months after your 2nd jab. Flu vaccinations are by GP invitation and can also be booked with pharmacies offering this service. From 22 November Over-40s can get boosters and 16-17 year olds can have 2nd jabs.

Ring 999 for life-threatening emergencies. Ring 111 to book other A&E attendance slots at any time or for all other out of hours’ services.

If you need to contact GPs at CVMC for non-urgent or other routine matters please don’t ring but email your practice greenwood.meds@nhs.net or kingsway.receptionist@nhs.net ; please don’t contact them about hospital appointments for which you have been referred but ring the Central Referral Service on 0300 123 0771 or Broomfield Hospital Appointment Line on 01245 123 0771 as the Practices can’t provide hospital appointment details.

SWF Health & Social Care Group is working with the Town’s GPs & Pharmacists. Since March 2020 we’ve delivered over 9200 tasks.

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/ . Contact us with queries on swfhealthsocial@outlook.com ; if you don’t have internet access leave a voicemail on 01245 322079 which is monitored daily.

Hands-Face-Space; stay safe, protect our NHS, save lives.