Healthwatch Update

We hope you are all keeping well.

This week’s briefing includes information on:

  • Healthwatch activties:
    • Our cancer webinar
    • Our Hospital Wellbeing Discharge project
    • Our Volunteers Week celebrations
    • Publication of our briefing paper on complaints and a co-produced leaflet for infromal carers
  • Health and Social care updates, including:
    • Information about the Carers Festival 2020 (8-14 June) and dental services
  • Local COVID updates:
    • Council advice around COVID data and how it relates to our city, and a COVID briefing document produced by the Sussex Health and Care Partnership
  • COVID:
    • Government updates
  • Support and resources around:
    • Quitting smoking
    • Sexual health testing
    • Wellbeing for young people
    • Bereavement support

Your Healthwatch

Cancer webinar

A reminder that you can still register for our online webinar “Cancer Services in Sussex during COVID-19: What this means for you”. The webinar takes place on Thursday, 11th June between 17:00 and 18:00. To register to take part, please Twitter and new Instagram pages.

We have already received questions from members of the public for our panel of experts, so don’t miss this opportunity to join in, or watch the discussion. Please see the attached poster for more information.

Healthwatch Wellbeing Discharge project

The project started on 7 April in partnership with Brighton and Hove City Council, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust and the Sussex Health and Care Partnership. Since then, over 330 people have been referred to us and our volunteers have now spoken to over 230 individuals, referring on over 40% to community services for additional support. The project has been a huge success and may be extended.

Volunteers’ Week

(1-7 June). This week we celebrated the work of our volunteers. We hope you enjoyed our article published earlier this week, but if you missed it then please do take a minute to read about the work our volunteers do for us. You can also watch some videos made by Nick, Rebecca and Josh, as well as watch the personal ‘thank you’ from Fran McCabe Chair of Healthwatch Brighton and Hove.

Supporting carers

Healthwatch has been working with our local NHS Trust, Council and the Carers Hub and other community groups to produce a leaflet providing advice for anyone who is looking after a relative or a friend with a health problem. If they need to go into hospital or a care home, or need extra care at home in the next few months, this information will help you to know what to expect, and to prepare for the new environment.

Complaints briefing published

Over the summer of 2019, Healthwatch Brighton and Hove conducted research to gain a better insight into the information available to people who are looking to make a complaint, raise a concern or provide feedback about health and social care services. We wanted to understand how easy or difficult it might be for people to find useful information. We had hoped to raise our findings with city leaders but our plans have been disrupted by COVID-19. We are still keen to explore this topic further and will determine what we can do after lockdown has ended. In the meantime, we have decided to publish the findings of our review, which includes four annexes.

If you have tried to make a complaint, or have already done so, and would like to share with us what your experience was like, then do get in touch

Health and Social care updates

Carers Festival, 8-14 June

Next week marks and celebrates the amazing contribution and support all family/friend carers make towards looking after someone who relies on them and to acknowledge their contribution to the local community. Each day throughout Carers Week (8th-14th June 2020) the check out the website throughout the week for all the relevant links and information.

Dental services

You may have heard in the guide.

COVID in care homes

Data for the weekly number and percentage of care homes reporting a suspected or confirmed outbreak of COVID-19 can be found here.

Local COVID updates

Our local Council offers advice on data relating to COVID and our city

Brighton and Hove Council has The R number (Reproduction number) refers to the transmission rate of the coronavirus. A high R number means the transmission rate is increasing, a low number means it is declining.

Our Council has confirmed that it is not possible to calculate meaningful R values at a very local level, such as one specific for Brighton & Hove. To date, the rate of diagnosed cases in our city has been relatively low compared to the national picture. However, there has been a small increase recently in the number of cases and the Council and NHS colleagues are monitoring this situation very closely. Because of increased testing and the government’s test and trace programme going live (see below), it is possible that numbers will show an increase in the coming weeks. The Council is constantly monitoring data from a wide variety of sources including from Public Health England and NHS England. You are advised to treat data with caution, and rely on official statistics.

Sussex CCGs Public Involvement Weekly News Briefing on COVID-19

We have attached a briefing document produced by the Sussex Health and Care Partnersip (SCHP). The SCHP brings together 16 organisations all working together to meet the changing needs of all the people who live in our area. The briefing includes messages around COVID, including support for BAME groups and bereavement support, and other issues of interest.

Local data on COVID

As at 4 June, there are 457 confirmed cases in Brighton and Hove, out of a local population of 290,885; and 136 coronavirus-related deaths up to the 22 May. In this area 21% of all deaths involved coronavirus between 29 Feb and 22 May. (NB: Cases only include people who have had a positive test for the virus. Not everyone with the virus will have had a test. Deaths include any death where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate. Death data updated weekly; cases updated daily).

This link provides data on the Number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and risk in the UK

The Office for National Statistics is publishing a wide range of data. This link will enable you to enter your postcode and see the number of confirmed deaths in your area (scroll down to Section 6: Middle Layer Super output Areas).

Government COVID updates

You can click this link to access Slides and datasets to accompany last night’s coronavirus press conference (4 June).

COVID-19 Testing

This link to the government website explains all you need to know about how to get a test.

And you can click here for information explaining how the government’s test and trace programme works, and what you need to do.

Government announcements

The current situation means that new guidance is being issued daily. Below we have provided links to some announcements which may be of interest.

Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: Frequently asked questions on what you can and can’t do during the coronavirus outbreak.

Answers to the most common topics asked about by the public for the government’s coronavirus press conference

What parents and carers need to know about schools and other education settings during the coronavirus outbreak

Health measures being introduced at the border in response to coronavirus

How to self-isolate when you travel to the UK

Support & resources

Quit smoking during lockdown – there’s never been a more important time to quit

People who smoke may be more likely to suffer from a serious respiratory infection if they get COVID-19. As well as reducing the risks from COVID-19, quitting smoking quickly improves your circulation and breathing, and reduces the risks of other health problems such as heart attacks and strokes. There are financial benefits too.

Find out more, including quotes from professionals and people who have used the Brighton & Hove Healthy Lifestyles team’s service.

Time to Test campaign

COVID-19 has given us a unique opportunity to reduce, and potentially stop, the onward You can order a free STI self-test to your home. It’s not just HIV that you can test for during lockdown. Anyone who is sexually active can get a sexually transmitted infection (STI) and should test regularly. launched

Do you know a young person that is struggling with their wellbeing or mental health? YMCA DownsLink Group in partnership with Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, for young people in Sussex. It provides advice, support and a clear pathway to local services for any young person in need. This website has been created in partnership with young people and encourages them to practice techniques to support their own mental health and reach out for professional support.

Bereavement support during COVID-19

The Sussex Bereavement Helpline has been set up to provide you with information and guidance, and is run by a team of experienced support workers, who can talk to you about the tasks that need to be completed after a death – such as registration of the death, arranging a funeral or informing other people and organisations. The Helpline can also give you information about sources of help and support for you and your family and friends as you grieve.

The Sussex Bereavement Helpline is available to you Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 17:00.

Please call 0300 111 2141

Please click here to see the full resource to help you through this very difficult time.

Healthwatch information and advice

The following Healthwatch COVID-19 guides are available (these are being regularly updated):

If you need information on a particular topic, please let us know