An Update from Us 22.05.2022

On Sunday 22 May: COVID INFECTIONS CONTINUE TO FALL BUT IT’S STILL AWFUL TO HAVE BADLY. PLEASE GET VACCINATED; appointments and walk-ins aren’t busy. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggests SWF has 291* Covid cases.  

People we support have Covid badly. Staff illness is hitting all services and supplies.  PLEASE BEHAVE RESPONSIBLY FOR YOUR OWN AND EVERYONE’S SAKE. It’s good that deaths, hospitalisations and infections are falling.   

The GOV.UK Coronavirus Dashboard says SWF had 19 Covid cases in the week ended (w/e) 15 May. The Dashboard (repurposed on 20 May 2022 for England; previously for UK) 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 15 May there were 616 (p/w 831) Covid deaths and in w/e 18 May 4,132 (p/w 4,902) 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 1,037,400 (1 in 55) people in England had Covid in w/e 13 May (p/w 1,204,100 = 1 in 45). Taking the ONS estimate and SWF’s population as 16,000 that means there were actually 291 (p/w 355) SWF residents with Covid in w/e 13 May.

No one testing positive for COVID-19 is legally required to self-isolate. To reduce risks of catching and spreading Covid the Government says: GET VACCINATED; ventilate indoor meetings; meet outdoors; wear face coverings in crowded enclosed spaces. Stay home if you can and avoid contact with other people.  

WHY ARE 10% OF SWF PEOPLE UNVACCINATED? On 19 May, in SWF 89.1% of people 12+ years old have had 1st jab (p/w 89.1%); 85.9% have had 2nd jab (p/w 85.8%) and 71.0% have had a 3rd dose or booster (70.9% p/w). SWF is below the national averages of 92.8% for 1st doses and 86.7% for 2nd doses, and above the national average of 68.0% for 3rd & booster doses. Most deaths and people in intensive care in Essex and England are not fully vaccinated.

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. 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.

Free Covid Lateral Flow Device (LFD) & PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests for the 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 is now closed. Other sites continue to deliver Covid vaccinations at: Runwell Lodge, Wickford (not the Rettendon Lodge on Burnham Road); County Hall, Chelmsford; Civic Centre, Southend; Thurrock Community Hospital. SWF’s Ambulance Station recent major refurbishment inside and out shows a welcome long-term commitment to our ambulance station.

Full Information about mass vaccination centres 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.

Vaccines and vaccination policy information is at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/coronavirus-vaccine/. Spring Boosters are for: 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 must wait for NHS invitations. 18+yr olds can have 3rd dose boosters 3 months after a 2nd dose; they must wait at least 28 days after any Covid infection. 16 & 17-year-olds can get 1st & 2nd jabs & boosters 3+ months after their 2nd jab. 12-15-year-olds can have two doses. Parents/Guardians of 5-11 yr olds in a clinical risk group or living with someone immunosuppressed, will be invited to get the children a 1st & 2nd dose and must wait for an NHS invitation. Autumn 2022 boosters will be offered to over-65s, health & care staff and clinically vulnerable adults 16-64; arrangements for this are now being planned.

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 provides health & social care support, information and signposting to people, especially those at risk, isolating, housebound, and without local support. Information is on our website https://swfhealthsocial.co.uk/ . Contact us on swfhealthsocial@outlook.com or leave a voicemail on 01245 322079 which is monitored daily.

What do you want from SWF HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE GROUP after June?

SWF Health & Social Care Group (the Group) originated in 1999 to campaign for improved health services for the Town. Over the years it has contributed to many developments of health and welfare services. In March 2020 the Town’s GPs and pharmacists asked the Group to step up and manage voluntary health and care support for vulnerable people in and around SWF during the pandemic.

Since 23 March 2020 we have delivered: 11,200+ prescription medication tasks & activities; answered about 50 requests for help per month; issued weekly news bulletins to 300+ subscribers; and posted around 60 news items per month on our website and social media groups. We have managed 4 SWF public health incidents. Our weekly/fortnightly articles have been published in Focus and on our website’s home page to keep everyone with or without digital access informed of the Covid and other relevant situations.

The commissioning of our voluntary Covid services finishes at the end of June. We are researching with local authorities what such needs there will be from July and if there are some how they might be addressed sustainably.

Do you want the advocacy for SWF’s health & social care to continue? Do you value it? What do you want this Group to do for you from July? What can you do to keep it going? Answers please to swfhealthsocial@outlook.com or 01245 322079.