Lincolnshire NHS COVID-19 update (no.5)
5 May 2020
This is our fifth COVID-19 update report for partners.
We were all deeply saddened to hear about the death of Anujkumar Kuttikkottu Pavithran, known as Kumar to his colleagues, who was a staff nurse at Pilgrim Hospital, Boston, and our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues at this incredibly difficult time.
On International Workers’ Memorial Day last Tuesday, we took part in the one minute’s silence to pay respect to the key workers who have sadly lost their lives to COVID-19, and to thank those who continue to do vital work - not just those people in the NHS, but also colleagues across social care, including those working in care homes, and the voluntary sector. We are all most grateful for the continued work undertaken by all key workers across the county.
To-date, thankfully the COVID-19 transmission rates, case numbers and deaths in Lincolnshire have been amongst the lowest in the country, and the consequent impact on our health services in the county has been less than originally modelled. Nonetheless the impact has been profound. At the time of writing we have recorded 870 COVID-19 cases in Lincolnshire, and have had 109 COVID-19 deaths in our hospitals, and have discharged 202 COVID-19 patients from hospital to home.
On Wednesday 29 April we received a letter from Sir Simon Stevens, NHS Chief Executive, confirming that the NHS is now moving into the second phase of its response to coronavirus, including a focus on stepping up non-COVID-19 urgent services, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, heart attacks and stroke, as soon as possible over the next six weeks.
Last week also saw a new approach to testing mobilised across England, including in Lincolnshire. Our main site is at the Lincolnshire Showground, and we also have mobile units attending Boston, Skegness and Grantham on a regular basis. In the first week indications are over 6,000 tests were undertaken.
We remain keen to get the message out to people that, in addition to responding to the challenges brought on by the ongoing pandemic, the NHS remains open for non-COVID-19-related concerns. We want to remind anyone with a health concern they feel requires attention the NHS is here for them, and we urge them to contact their GP practice. It is important to emphasise people should initially contact their practice by telephone, not attend in person.
Our GP practices have been innovative in their approach to how they provide services for patients and have moved to supporting patients via remote consulting, typically via telephone, email and online triage, plus a number of practices have also started using video consultations - all positive responses that will help practices to manage their workload and resilience now and after COVID-19.
The NHS continues to work very closely with partners in the care home and homecare sector, including LinCA, to ensure we are doing all we can to support this vitally important part of the local health and care system.
Please find below a number of updates on specific issues which we hope are of interest to you.
Thank you again for all your support for the NHS at this time, it is really appreciated.
· Nearly 100 student nurses will be joining the frontline NHS Lincolnshire teams to help fight back against the coronavirus pandemic. The University of Lincoln final year students will join all three Lincolnshire healthcare providers – LPFT, LCHS and ULHT – at the end of April, and will play important roles supporting acute hospitals, community services, and mental health and learning disability services.
· An LPFT employee is raising money for the trust’s charity through the sale of canvas prints of Lincoln Cathedral bathed in blue. Andrew Scott, Information Governance Lead, LPFT, has organised the fundraiser to support LPFT’s charity, which enhances services and facilities not otherwise funded by the NHS, and has already raised £1,600. The prints are available to buy here http://www.lincolncharitycanvas.co.uk/
· Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, demand for mental health services is increasing and the role of voluntary and community sector organisations has never been more important, as they work alongside the NHS to support anyone who has a mental health problem. To help VCS organisations in England continue to provide mental health services – or provide additional support – they can now apply for a Coronavirus Mental Health Response Fund grant of either £20,000 or £50,000 for projects lasting up to 12 months.
· A family has said thank you to the NHS in Lincolnshire for saving the life of their little girl who is amongst the youngest in the country to recover from coronavirus. Agata and Michael Peters’ daughter Leah was born prematurely at 32 weeks and five days, and, having been admitted to Pilgrim Hospital with a cough, subsequently tested positive for coronavirus, but was sent home the day after and is doing really well at the moment.
· Are you looking for a creative way to say thank you to the dedicated NHS staff providing care and support to COVID-19 patients across Lincolnshire? LCHS has launched a postcard competition to do exactly that, with the chance to win a £25 Amazon gift voucher donated by Lincoln-based Selenity. Four age related categories are available for young people to enter and the final shortlisted designs will be framed and presented to the winners at a special presentation event later this year.
· Micronclean, a Lincolnshire firm who specialise in high grade cleaning for the healthcare industry, is helping accommodation providers in the area adapt to the challenges surrounding covid-19. Whilst most establishments are now closed, a handful remain open to house key workers and, following a recent survey, many hotels and others in the hospitality sector have requested guidance and advice on cleaning.
· In line with national guidance issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, dental practices in Lincolnshire are currently closed for routine “face to face” dental appointments. People seeking help with dental problems should not visit local dental practices but instead phone, between the hours of 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday, for information on alternative arrangements in place. During evenings after 5pm, weekends and bank holidays patients should contact NHS111.
· Research into COVID-19 is a vital strand of the government’s strategy to stop the pandemic. As part of the COVID-19 trials that are now rapidly coming online, LPFT’s research team have completed an induction with ULHT, and are now part of the rota covering COVID-19 research with acute colleagues at ULHT’s Boston, Lincoln and Grantham sites as part of a countywide research workforce, the focus of which will be to look at treatment and vaccine for COVID-19. Find out more at www.bepartofresearch.nihr.ac.uk
· For a web version of this update please click here;
· Stay home. Protect the NHS. Save lives
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