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Covid-19 Stakeholder Briefing from NHS in Norfolk and Waveney

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Click here to read information on the status of Community Action Norfolk's Services. As well as links to other information and advice
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Community Action Norfolk are sharing this information from NHS Norfolk and Waveney, please contact them directly with any queries.

Update on what the NHS in Norfolk and Waveney is doing to respond to coronavirus  (11 May 2020)

Local testing available for key workers, including care home staff 

Here’s a reminder of the different options for key workers and members of the public to get tested for coronavirus: 

  • Key workers (including NHS, care home staff, teachers and household members if eligible) can use a dedicated local arrangement or the national booking system. The local arrangement and the national system offer appointments in different places. Please see below for more details. 
  • Members of the public (who are not key workers) who are eligible according to the latest government criteria should use the national booking system. 
  • Find out who can be tested

Key workers

All key workers are invited to apply for testing, if eligible, at one of three sites in Norfolk and Waveney. Their household members may also be eligible. The sites are at:

  • James Paget University Hospital
  • The Centrum Centre near Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital
  • Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s Lynn

The service is by appointment only. Appointments for these locations cannot be booked using the national portal, they must be booked using our local system:

  • NHS acute hospital staff: Use your organisation’s existing booking arrangements.
  • All other NHS employees can email [email protected]
  • All other essential workers, including care home staff: Ask your employer/line manager to email [email protected] with their name, job title and contact number to obtain a unique code for your organisation. Once you have that, please ask for an appointment by email: [email protected]

If you choose to book via the national booking system, you will be directed to centres at Ipswich, Peterborough or Stansted, or a mobile testing centre if available. 

Members of the public 

Members of the public who are not key workers must book using the national booking system. You will be offered a choice of a home testing kit or travelling to a regional testing centre. The nearest regional testing centres are at Ipswich, Peterborough or Stansted, but from time to time mobile testing centres will also be set up. Appointments for these will be shown on the national booking system when available. 

Advice for parents and carers on spotting the signs of serious illness

Spotting serious illness in children can be tricky and it can be hard to know when your child needs medical care. NHS support is still here for your family and it's important to get help when you need it. A dedicated webpage has been created by health professionals in Norfolk to give advice on how to spot the signs of serious illness and what to do next: https://justonenorfolk.nhs.uk/spottingseriousillness 

New online counselling service for Norfolk and Waveney’s young people 

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) has commissioned a counselling and emotional wellbeing support service to help young people through the coronavirus pandemic and beyond. 

Called Kooth, the free website offers 11 to 25-year-olds across Norfolk and Waveney access to online counselling delivered by qualified counsellors 365 days a year, either on a drop-in basis or through bookable chat sessions. It also gives young people the chance to benefit from peer support and a wide range of self-help materials, as well as contribute to moderated forums. It has worked well in Suffolk since it started in 2019.

Young people can use the website to seek support or advice on any topic they wish, from managing their feelings during the pandemic or coping with exam stress or bullying to seeking help for an eating disorder, dealing with suicidal thoughts or handling sexual abuse. They can also track their mood with a goal tracker, as well as note their thoughts in an online journal. 

Kooth is accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). Young people can access the website by visiting www.kooth.com.   

Mental health support for adults 

As a reminder, NSFT has launched a 24/7 helpline offering immediate support for people experiencing mental health difficulties during the coronavirus pandemic. The freephone service, called First Response, is staffed by mental health professionals from the Trust. It provides reassurance, self-help advice, support and signposting designed to avoid the need for people to attend hospital, except in the case of a medical emergency. First Response is available on 0808 196 3494.  

Helping families keep in touch with loved ones 

Our hospitals and community health services are continuing to adapt how they work in order to keep patients and families connected. Many local services are using tablets for ‘virtual visiting’, but they are also providing other new services too: 

  • The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital has established the Relatives’ Liaison team. The team comprises of clinical staff who are unable to work on the wards due health and shielding requirements, who have volunteered to act as a link between patients’ relatives and ward staff during the coronavirus outbreak. Every day these staff contact as many wards as possible to get a handover of a patient’s overall health and future developments in their care. They then phone relatives giving priority to those who are more vulnerable, such as those who can’t use Skype or video calls to keep in touch with their loved ones. The new service does not replace the clinical conversations that doctors have with patients’ relatives. Instead, it is there to ease pressure off ward staff and alleviate some of the anxieties for relatives of patients.
  • Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust (NCH&C) has introduced a new service to help families keep in touch with loved ones called #ThinkingOfYou. Families can fill in a form at www.norfolkcommunityhealthandcare.nhs.uk to send a message to a loved one currently at one of NCH&C’s inpatient units, which include: Pineheath ward, Kelling Hospital, Alder ward, Beech Ward, Priscilla Bacon Lodge, Pine Cottage, Caroline House, North Walsham Memorial Hospital, Swaffham Community Hospital, Foxley ward, Dereham Hospital, Ogden Court, Benjamin Court, Mill Lodge and Squirrels.

People’s experience of care

Healthwatch in Norfolk and in Suffolk are asking for people to share their experience of accessing information, care and support during the coronavirus outbreak. People are being asked to complete a survey which can be found at www.healthwatchnorfolk.co.uk/hwn-covid-19-survey, or https://healthwatchsuffolk.co.uk/news/covidsurvey