Update from Healthwatch Blackpool
We will endeavor to continue to provide our community with regular updates via our social media channels and website. We are operational and can still engage with you via email and telephone as usual contact us here.
Where it is deemed safe to do so , we are beginning to start some face to face , socially distanced engagements.
We recommend that you follow us on Twitter @HealthwatchBpl or Facebook @Healthwatchblackpool where we will continue to share resources and information.
We wish you all the very best at this challenging time.
The Healthwatch Blackpool Team
National Guidance & Local Restrictions
Roadmap Out of Lockdown
To read more about the Governments roadmap out of lockdown click here
Step 3 – After 17 May
As part of Step 3, the government will look to continue easing limits on seeing friends and family wherever possible, allowing people to decide on the appropriate level of risk for their circumstances.
- Indoor entertainment and attractions
- 30 person limit outdoors. Rule of 6 or two households indoors (subject to review)
- Domestic overnight stays are allowed
- Organised indoor adult sport
- Up to 30 people can attend most significant life events
- Limit for funerals to be decided by venues
- Care home residents allowed up to 5 named visitors, and more freedom for visits out of the home
- Social distancing with close family and friends will be a matter of personal judgement. You should emain cautious around close contact, like hugging
- Social distancing will remain in place in social care, medical, retail, hospitality and business settings
- Remaining outdoor entertainment (including performances)
- Remaing accommodation (hotels, B&Bs, guest houses)
- Indoor hospitality venues (pubs, bars and restaurants) may open indoors
- Indoor entertainment venues (museums, cinemas, theatres, children’s play areas) may reopen
- Organised adult sport and exercise classes may restart indoors
- Face coverings will no longer be required in secondary schools
- International travel can resume under strict conditions
Care Home Visiting
Close-contact indoor visits are now allowed now with one designated person as long as they have had regular negative test the last being on the day of the visit and they wear appropriate PPE.
Visits can take place with arrangements such as substantial screens, visiting pods, or behind windows. Many care homes have already implemented such arrangements to facilitate safe visits which can continue.
No visits are permitted in the event of an outbreak (except in exceptional circumstances such as end of life).
From 17 May the rules for care home residents visiting out and receiving visitors will change, allowing up to five named visitors (two at any one time), provided visitors test negative for COVID-19.
What to do if you have Coronavirus symptoms
The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
Most people with coronavirus have at least 1 of these symptoms.
- Get a test to check if you have coronavirus as soon as possible.
- You and anyone you live with should stay at home and not have visitors until you get your test result – only leave your home to have a test.
Anyone in your support bubble should also stay at home if you have been in close contact with them since your symptoms started or during the 48 hours before they started.
To arrange a Coronavirus test click here
Stay at home and use the NHS 111 Online Coronavirus Service to find out what to do IF:
- you’re worried about your symptoms
- you’re not sure what to do
It is advised that you only call 111 if you cannot get help online. For a medical emergency dial 999.
You can choose to take the test:
- At a test site (if one is locally available to you)
- With a home test kit
There are lots of coronavirus test appointments available in Blackpool if you have any symptoms of COVID-19. You can select walk in or drive through options when booking your appointment.
Please note: If you cannot get a test now, or the location or time are not convenient, try again in a few hours.
You cannot be tested for coronavirus at your GP surgery.
Or call 119 to get a test if you are unable to use the internet.
Local Covid-19 Information Line
The #COVID19 Vaccine Hotline will answer your questions about the COVID-19 vaccine including if you are eligible for the vaccine, where you can get vaccinated, and the effects of having the vaccine. Call 0300 7906856.
Symptom Free Testing For Everyone
Twice weekly coronavirus testing is now being offered to everybody in England.
You can pick up free rapid tests at local test sites and participating local pharmacies.
The community testing hubs in Blackpool are also available for those with no symptoms to drop-in to get a rapid COVID-19 test done in a few minutes, with a result sent by text message after 30 minutes. Find out where your nearest community hub is by clicking here
NHS test and trace
This service is in place to help return life more to normal, in a way that is safe and protects our NHS and social care.
The NHS track and trace service will help to control the rate of reproduction (R), reduce the spread of the infection and save lives. By playing your part through the actions set out below, you will directly help to contain the virus by reducing its spread. This means that, thanks to your efforts, we will be able to go as far as it is safe to go in easing lockdown measures.
You can help in the following ways:
- if you develop symptoms, you must continue to follow the rules to self-isolate with other members of your household and order a test to find out if you have coronavirus
- if you test positive for coronavirus, you must share information promptly about your recent contacts through the NHS track and trace service to help us alert other people who may need to self-isolate
- if you have had close recent contact with someone who has coronavirus, you must self-isolate if the NHS test and trace service advises you to do so.
Vaccines are important
The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine is safe and effective. It gives you the best protection against coronavirus.
Getting the COVID-19 vaccine
The NHS is currently offering the COVID-19 vaccine to people most at risk from coronavirus.
In England, the vaccine is being offered in some hospitals and pharmacies, at hundreds of local vaccination centres run by GPs and at larger vaccination centres. More centres are opening all the time.
It’s being given to:
- People aged 30 and over, or you’ll turn 30 before 1 July 2021
- People at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable)
- People who live or work in care homes
- Health and social care workers
- People with a condition that puts them at higher risk (clinically vulnerable)
- People with a learning disability
- People who are carers for someone at high risk from coronavirus
You also need to be registered with a GP surgery in England. You can register with a GP if you do not have one.
The order in which people will be offered the vaccine is based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
Corona Kindness Campaign
If you are impacted by Covid-19 and would like to request help or advice you can contact Corona Kindness on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0808 196 3080 from 9.00am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday.
Advice in other languages
Doctors of The World have information about Coronavirus available in to download in 20 different languages. Available here.
Information in Easy Read
Mencap have produced Easy Read information about Coronavirus. Available here.
Information in British Sign Language
Sign Health have produced British Sign Language (BSL) videos about Coronavirus. Available here.
Healthwatch Together: Coronavirus Survey Summary
Healthwatch Together have endevoured to learn how it has been for our community in the Covid-19 pandemic. We have worked in collaboration under Healthwatch Together to find out how people were feeling and coping in light of restrictions and uncertainty in the pandemic.
We created a survey and have since produced two summary reports , click below to read more: