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COVID-19 updates for adult social care and health providers


Supporting people through COVID-19

Providing COVID-19 recovery care and support at home

Practical tips to deal with common care issues on discharge from hospital are outlined in the Recovering at home guide published by the Social Care Institute for Excellence.  It includes advice on tracheostomy wound care, looking after skin, fatigue and the psychological and social impact of contracting COVID-19 and needing hospital care.

Supporting someone with breathlessness

The Supporting Breathlessness website provides and advice for family, friends and carers of people with breathlessness. It has specific information if you are supporting someone with breathlessness due to COPD or cancer who may be recovering from coronavirus.

Recovering from COVID-19

Your COVID recovery – NHS offers advice to help people recover from the long-term effects of COVID-19. It includes information from rehabilitation experts about how to manage ongoing symptoms and health needs at home, and signposts to sources of support. 

Post-COVID hub and helpline

The British Lung Foundation and Asthma UK have set up a post COVID hub to bring together information about the longer-term impact of COVID-19.

It includes a helpline offering support on post COVID-19 breathlessness.

Phone: 0300 222 5942 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm) 

Care for people who lack capacity

The Government have published guidance for looking after people who lack mental capacity.

It's aimed at health and social care staff in who are caring for, or treating, a person who lacks the relevant mental capacity during the coronavirus outbreak.

It focuses on new scenarios and potential ‘deprivations of liberty’ created by the outbreak and includes a decision-making flow chart.

End of life care

More than ever, people working in health and social care, who may not be specialists in this area, are finding themselves working with people who are dying, or whose condition is deteriorating rapidly.  Skills for Care have produced guides to help you and your workforce during these challenging times.

Extra help from Age UK East Sussex

Age UK East Sussex have launched the Community Emergency Response Team. This includes a telephone befriending service as well as help with shopping and prescriptions. Phone 01273 476 704 to be directed to the relevant team.

Mental health support

Sussex Mental Healthline should be used if someone has significant and escalating mental health concerns. It’s now open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to people of all ages and their carers. Phone: 0300 5000 101. See our mental health directory for other services operating in East Sussex.

Health in Mind have put together  an information sheet [75.0 KB] [docx] on information about what to look for and where to go for help if people are concerned about their emotional wellbeing due to COVID-19.

Bereavement support

St Michael’s bereavement service – Hastings & Rother

St Michael’s Hospice bereavement service is offering bereavement counselling and support by phone to adults in Hastings and Rother. You do not need to have had any previous contact with the hospice to access their support. To access the service, fill in the form on the website or phone 01424 456 361 and leave a message. A bereavement counsellor will call back the same or next working day.

St Wilfred’s Hospice bereavement service

St. Wilfrid’s Hospice have extended their adult bereavement support to the whole community, beyond those directly linked to the hospice, which includes supporting anyone working in health and social care.

  • People can self-refer via Wilfrid’s website or ring 01323 434 251 to ask for a call back regarding bereavement support.
  • Health and Care Professionals can make a referral.
  • The hospice’s Seahorse Project continues to accept referrals for bereaved children aged 6 to 17.

Bereavement help and guidance

  • Sussex Bereavement Helpline is available Monday to Friday from 8am to 5pm on 0300 111 2141.

  • The Good Grief Trust signposts to a choice of immediate, tailored, local and national support. This includes a free coronavirus bereavement crisis and support line, available from 8am-8pm on 0800 2600400

  • The government has published What to when someone dies guidance to help bereaved families, friends or next of kin make important decisions if they have lost someone during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Accessing healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic

  • GP surgeries in East Sussex have transformed how they work and have created new, dedicated sites so people with COVID-19 symptoms can be seen safely.
  • SignLive has been introduced in every GP surgery in East Sussex. This means people who are Deaf can contact their GP surgery through the free to use SignLive app.

If you’re unwell and need medical help:

  • For help from a GP – use your GP surgery’s website, use an online service or app, or call the surgery. Don’t go to the practice in person unless you’re told to do so after an initial assessment.
  • For urgent medical help – use the NHS 111 online service, or call 111 if you’re unable to get help online.
  • For life-threatening emergencies – call 999 for an ambulance.
  • If you’re advised to go to hospital, it’s important to go.
  • If you have symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature or a new, continuous cough), use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do.

Volunteer support

Are you working with people who need help with collecting shopping, medication or other essential supplies or a ‘check in and chat’ phone call to help combat isolation and loneliness? Vulnerable people and their families can now self-refer to get support by calling 0808 196 3646. Please note, this is only for individuals identified as high risk who have received a letter asking them to self-isolate.

Referrers to the NHS Volunteer Responders and Royal Voluntary Service support can now make ‘bulk’ referrals using the Goodsam app. This means that providers can refer multiple requests for support at the same time, rather than entering each individually.

Advocates

In East Sussex, Pohwer Advocates are still visiting mental health units, hospitals and care homes for face to face meetings where possible. They are also available on Zoom, Skype as well as phone, text and email. Please do contact them for information or support on 0300 456 2370 or email pohwer@pohwer.net.

Adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults

Supporting adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults guidance has been published for care workers and personal assistants.

Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) has information for care staff supporting adults with learning disabilities or autistic adults.

Easy read COVID-19 guides are available for use by your services. They include the latest government rules, advice for people clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus, and how to keep well and look after your mental health. These easy read guides help people with learning disabilities to understand the support available.

Annual health checks are still available for most people aged 14 and older with a learning disability. The web page includes a video and easy read information.

Flu vaccinations: Some people with a learning disability can be more susceptible to flu and can go on to develop more serious complications such as bronchitis or pneumonia. Anyone with a learning disability is entitled to a free vaccination. Becky Sparks is a learning disability nurse who works in the South East who has recorded a video called Importance of getting a flu jab for those with learning disabilities to talk to them about the importance of having their flu jab.

Free access to online BSL interpreters

SignHealth and InterpreterNow are working together to provide free access to online British Sign Language (BSL) Interpreters for Deaf people. BSL Health Access facilitates communication in health-related situations such as GPs, dentists, pharmacies, opticians, NHS hospitals and any health-care related appointments. The service is available, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and it’s free!

Dementia care and COVID-19

  • Social Care Institute for Excellence has published a quick guide for carers in care homes supporting residents living with dementia. It covers understanding signs of COVID-19, helping residents with confusion, managing behavioural challenges and supporting residents with end-of-life care.
  • The Health Innovation Network have produced a guide to online resources with suggested activities for those providing care for people with dementia. These can be used in inpatient settings and care homes.