An Update from Us 01.05.2022

On Sunday 1 May: COVID INFECTIONS STILL HIGH. NO REGULATIONS BUT IT’S AWFUL TO HAVE BADLY. PLEASE GET VACCINATED; appointments and walk-ins aren’t busy. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggests SWF has 640* Covid cases.  

People we support have Covid badly. 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 likely be stopped in your tracks. PLEASE BEHAVE RESPONSIBLY FOR YOUR OWN AND EVERYONE’S SAKE. Will returns to schools, colleges and work after holidays increase Covid again? Some recent indoor events have been spreaders. Will more outdoor activities reduce transmission? We’ll see in the next few weeks. It’s good that deaths, hospitalisations and infections are now all reducing. New Omicron-XE variant may be more transmissible?

The Gov.UK Coronavirus Dashboard says SWF had 21 Covid cases in the week ended (w/e) 24 April. The Dashboard is inaccurate for infections as numbers of tests fall and infections go undetected/unreported. The ONS is regarded as the best such indicator in the world. The Dashboard says in w/e 29 April there were 1,560 (p/w 1,956) Covid deaths and in w/e 25 April 9,493 (p/w 13,752) patients admitted to hospital. There is a 3-week lag between infections and subsequent hospitalisations and deaths. The latest, said to be more reliable, *ONS data estimates 3,218,700 (1 in 25) people in England had Covid in w/e 23 April (p/w 3,218,700 = 1 in 17). Taking the ONS estimate and SWF’s population as 16,000 that means there were actually 640 (p/w 941) SWF residents with Covid in w/e 23 April.

No one testing positive for COVID-19 is now legally required to self-isolate. 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.  

Essex Guidance is: GET VACCINATED, ventilate indoor meetings; wear face masks in crowded & enclosed spaces; LFD test regularly. WHY ARE 10% OF SWF PEOPLE UNVACCINATED? On 28 April, in SWF 89.0% of people 12+ years old have had 1st jab (p/w 89.0%); 85.6% have had 2nd jab (p/w 85.5%) and 70.8% have had a 3rd dose or booster (70.6% p/w). SWF is below the national averages of 92.5% for 1st doses and 86.5% for 2nd doses, and above the national average of 68.2% for 3rd & booster doses. Most deaths and people in intensive care in Essex and England are not fully vaccinated.

Latest ONS release 16 March 2022: Deaths involving COVID-19 by vaccination status, England: deaths occurring between 1 January 2021 and 31 January 2022. This says: The ASMRs (Age-standardised mortality ratios) for deaths in England involving Covid between 1 January 2021 – 31 January 2022 show significant differences depending on vaccination history.  Deaths are lower for those who have had a third or booster dose than unvaccinated people. Deaths are also lower in those who have had two doses recently rather than those unvaccinated; but deaths rise in those who had only two doses more than six months previously.  This suggests that the effectiveness of the vaccine wanes over time, particularly in the elderly.

Our NHS, social care, education and economy are suffering badly with Covid’s effects and its aftermath. Ambulance services 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 Covid Lateral Flow Device (LFD) & PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests for the English general public are no longer provided. Reasonably priced LFD kits are available from some pharmacies and online providers.

The Tylers Ride Vaccination Hub in South Woodham Ferrers closed from 25 April 2022 as a Covid-19 Vaccination Centre. Other sites continuing to deliver Covid vaccinations are at:

The Lodge, Wickford; County Hall, Chelmsford; Civic Centre, Southend; Thurrock Community Hospital. Many thanks to everyone who went to Tylers Ride for your vaccinations and to everyone who volunteered there to help deliver the service. SWF’s Ambulance Station has just had a major refurbishment inside and out. It’ll be back in operation this coming week. It’s good to see this long-term commitment to our ambulance station.

Full Information about mass vaccination centres, including opening times, is at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/find-a-walk-in-coronavirus-covid-19-vaccination-site/ . Covid vaccinations can be booked online at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/ or on 119.

Information about the vaccines and vaccination policy is at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/coronavirus-vaccine/. 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. 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. 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’ve been referred but ring the Central Referral Service on 0300 123 0771 or Broomfield Hospital Appointments on 01245 513900; 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 11,000 tasks. We provide health & social care support, information and signposting to patients & people in SWF and surrounds, especially those at risk, isolating, housebound, 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.