An Update from Us 27.03.2022

On Sunday 27 March: HUGE COVID INFECTIONS SPIKE; SWF WORST IN ESSEX.

REGULATIONS ALL LIFTED. BUT IT’S MUCH WORSE AGAIN. Please get Vaccinated; appointments and walk-ins aren’t busy. According to the Gov.UK Coronavirus Dashboard SWF had 201 Covid cases in the week ended (w/e) 20 March, up from 72 w/e 9 March. But the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggests that should be 1000? WHY ARE 10% OF SWF PEOPLE NOT VACCINATED??

People we support have Covid badly. Omicron BA.2 is more transmissible. Cases, hospitalisations and deaths are rising again. Staff illness is hitting all services and supplies. We know everyone wants to get on with life but we’re seeing people who can’t. If you get it you’ll be stopped in your tracks. PLEASE BEHAVE RESPONSIBLY FOR YOUR OWN AND EVERYONE’S SAKE.

The Dashboard says in w/e 25 March there were 599,244 [previous week (p/w) 552,198] UK Covid positive tests, 950 (p/w 752) deaths, and in w/e 21 March 14,376 (p/w 12,029) patients admitted to hospital. The 3-week lag between infections and subsequent hospitalisations and deaths will be reflected in hospitalisations and deaths in the coming weeks. With tests falling, the Dashboard infections figure is no longer seen to be complete. The latest, said to be more reliable, ONS data estimates 3,485,700 (1 in 16) people in England had Covid in w/e 19 March (p/w 1 in 20). Taking the ONS estimate and SWF’s population as 16,000 that means there were actually 1000 (p/w 800) SWF residents with Covid in w/e 19 March.

No one is now legally required to self-isolate if testing positive for COVID-19. The Government says: there are still steps you can take to reduce the risk of catching and spreading COVID-19: GET VACCINATED; ventilate indoor meetings; meet outdoors; consider wearing face coverings in crowded enclosed spaces. Stay at home if you can and avoid contact with other people. From 1 April free universal symptomatic & asymptomatic testing for the English general public will no longer be provided. We will publish any new information and guidance about this as it becomes available. Weekly editions of this article are on the home page of our website and fortnightly ones are in the Issues of Focus

Essex Guidance is: GET VACCINATED, ventilate indoor meetings; wear face masks in crowded & enclosed spaces; LFD test regularly. Vaccinations are crucial. Why isn’t everyone having them? On 24 March, in SWF 89.4% of people 12+ years old have had 1st jab (p/w89.3%); 85.7% have had 2nd jab (p/w 85.6%) and 70.6% have had a 3rd dose or booster (70.4% p/w). SWF is below the national averages of 91.7% for 1st doses and 85.8% for 2nd doses, and above the national average of 67.3% for 3rd & booster doses. Most deaths and people in intensive care in Essex and England are not fully vaccinated [Essex & ONS: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/articles/coronaviruscovid19latestinsights/deaths%5D.

Our NHS, social care, education and economy are suffering badly with the effects of Covid and its aftermath. Our ambulance service and GPs are under severe pressure. Local hospitals have suspended/restricted visiting, are postponing surgery & appointments, and say don’t attend A&E unless life is threatened, or you’re seriously injured.

From 1 April free universal symptomatic & asymptomatic Lateral Flow Device (LFD) & PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing for the English general public will no longer be provided. We understand the problems this has already been causing and have reported this to the authorities. We can only all await any further information and guidance about this and we will publish anything about this immediately.

Covid Vaccination sessions at Tylers Ride Vaccination Hub from 0800-2200 are on Mondays, Saturdays & Sundays; take up is low. It’s best to make pre-arranged online appointments; but walk-ins are encouraged and accommodated subject to available supplies after allowing for booked appointments, increased by any DNAs; if you arrive unbooked when the Hub is open you will be told whether or not you can be jabbed. There are no open walk-ins or vaccination sessions at Crouch Vale Medical Centre.  

Information about mass vaccination centres at Tylers Ride and throughout Essex, including opening times, is at: https://eput.nhs.uk/news-events/coronavirus/coronavirus-vaccine/ . Covid vaccinations can be booked online at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/ or on 119. Full information, including the ability to find a walk-in vaccination site anywhere, is at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/find-a-walk-in-coronavirus-covid-19-vaccination-site/ .

Essex vaccination information is at: https://www.essexcovidvaccine.nhs.uk/ . Guidance announced on 21 March says the following will get a Spring Booster: 75+yr olds 6 months from last dose; care home residents 3-6 months from last dose; Immunospuppressed 12+yr olds 6 months from last dose. Eligible patients should wait to be invited by the NHS. 18+yr olds can have 3rd dose boosters 3 months after a 2nd dose; they should also wait at least 28 days after any Covid infection. 16 & 17-year-olds can get 1st & 2nd jabs and at least 3 months after their 2nd jab can book boosters or attend walk-in centres. 12-15-year-olds are now being offered two doses. Most younger children will be vaccinated at school during school hours. Parents/Guardians of Children aged 5-11, who are in a clinical risk group or live with someone who is immunosuppressed, will be invited to get the children a 1st & 2nd dose and must wait for the NHS to contact them about this.    

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 Kingsway Surgery for non-urgent or other routine matters please don’t ring but email kingsway.receptionist@nhs.net . For Greenwood Surgery phone for all clinical matters; for prescription and administration queries email greenwood.meds@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 10,600 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.