An Update from Us 05.06.2022

On Sunday 5 June: COVID INFECTIONS CONTINUE TO FALL. IS IT NEARLY OVER? 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 228* Covid cases.  

It’s definitely getting much better. This should continue for the summer. Hopefully we are reaching the ‘new normal’. But that means learning to live with Covid as part of our world, lives and sadly some long term serious illness and deaths. The coming winter will tell us a lot about the future. We need to remain aware and responsible.

People we support have Covid badly. Staff absences are 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 was up a bit with 9 Covid cases in the week ended (w/e) 27 May. The Dashboard is inaccurate as numbers of tests fall and infections go undetected/unreported. The ONS, regarded as the best such indicator in the world, says in w/e 22 May there were 358 (p/w 422) Covid deaths and in w/e 30 May 3,314 (p/w 3,820) patients admitted to hospital in England. There is a 3-week lag between infections and subsequent hospitalisations and deaths. The latest, more reliable, *ONS data estimates 784,100 (1 in 70) people in England had Covid in w/e 28 May (p/w 874,400 = 1 in 60). Taking the ONS estimate and SWF’s population as 16,000 that means there were actually 228 (p/w 266) SWF residents with Covid in w/e 28 May.

People testing positive for COVID-19 aren’t 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 26 May, in SWF 89.1% of  12+ year olds have had 1st jab (p/w 89.1%); 86.1% have had 2nd jab (p/w 86.0%) and 71.3% have had a 3rd dose or booster (71.2% p/w). SWF is below the national averages of 93.0% for 1st doses and 86.9% 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.

Our NHS and social services continue to suffer 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 tests for the general public are no longer provided. Reasonably priced LFD (Lateral Flow Device) kits are available from some pharmacies and online providers.

Vaccination Hubs continue to deliver 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 service.

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 ; for hospital appointments for which you’ve been referred 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 about SWF HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE GROUP after June?

SWF Health & Social Care Group campaigns for improved health services for the Town. We’ve helped develop many health and welfare services. Since March 2020 we’ve delivered voluntary Covid health and care support for vulnerable people in and around SWF, delivering prescription medications, answering requests for help, and keeping everyone up to date with news bulletins, articles and reports on our website, in Focus and social media groups. Full information about us is at https://swfhealthsocial.co.uk/  .

Our AGM will be held on the early evening of Thursday 14 July, details nearer then. 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? Nominations for the offices of Chair, Task Force Chair, Minutes Secretary and Committee Members must be sent to our Administrator by email or voicemail by 30 June 2022.Answers and nominations now please to swfhealthsocial@outlook.com or 01245 322079.