Oakenhurst Medical Practice

Oakenhurst Medical Practice, Barbara Castle Way Health Centre, Simmons Street, Blackburn, BB2 1AX

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Shielding Advice for Blackburn with Darwen

  1. I am classed as ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ – what clinical advice should I be following now?

The shielding guidance published on 23rd June remains in place and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable in the Blackburn with Darwen area should continue to follow it for the foreseeable future. This means:  

  • you are strongly advised to stay at home as much as possible and keep visits outside to a minimum; 
  • you are advised to continue working from home;
  • if you wish to spend time outdoors this can be with members of your own household or you may choose to spend time outdoors with one person from another household if you live alone, ideally the same person each time. You should maintain social distancing and avoiding gatherings of any size; and
  • you are advised not to be part of a support bubble.

The relaxation of some shielding measures across England on 1 August will not apply to those living in the Blackburn with Darwen area.

The shielding guidance for Blackburn with Darwen will be reviewed on a regular basis and as part of the wider measures in place in the area. 

  • I am classed as ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ and I’m worried about the infection rate, am I at greater risk now?

The government has always been clear that it will continually monitor the transmission of the virus in our communities and if rates rise too much, our advice to those who are shielding may change.  

The latest scientific evidence shows you are now more likely to come into contact with the virus in your local area than nationally. Therefore, the government is advising those shielding in Blackburn with Darwen to continue following the current shielding guidance and not follow the relaxations to guidance on 1 August, as is the case nationally. 

The shielding guidance for Blackburn with Darwen will be reviewed on a regular basis and as part of the wider measures in place in the area. 

  • What happens next? When will shielding end?

The shielding guidance for Blackburn with Darwen will be reviewed on a regular basis and as part of the wider measures in place in the area. 

The government has always been clear that it will continually monitor the transmission of the virus in our communities and if rates rise too much, our advice to those who are shielding may change.   

  • How will you communicate the different shielding advice for those living in Blackburn with Darwen?

We will send text messages and write to all those on the Shielded Patient List in the affected area to explain the specific guidance that they are advised to follow. The text messages should arrive on 27 July, with the letters arriving from 28 July.

  • Shielding advice for the rest of England is being relaxed on 1 August. If Blackburn with Darwen is still locked down at that time, will I still need to shield?

Yes. We will continue to those on the Shielded Patient List up to date with any changes in advice and will write out once we are able to indicate when advice to shield will be paused. The latest guidance will also be kept up to date in the Local Authority website (www.blackburn.gov.uk).

The shielding guidance for Blackburn with Darwen will be reviewed on a regular basis and as part of the wider measures in place in the area. 

  • What support is available while I continue to shield?

If you urgently need food or care, please contact Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council’s Help Hub by calling 01254 588111 (Monday to Friday between 09:00 and 17:00) or by visiting https://www.blackburn.gov.uk/helphub.

  •  Priority supermarket delivery slots provided by seven supermarkets will continue beyond the end of July for those already signed up for support.
  • Arrangements to have medicines delivered to people’s homes by local community pharmacies or their dispensing doctor will continue while advice to shield is in place.
  • You can also contact the NHS Volunteer Responder scheme for help collecting shopping, medicine or other essential supplies that you need delivered to your home, or for someone to check in with you if you would like a chat. You can call them for free on 0808 1963646.

Blackburn with Darwen Coronavirus Alert

Introducing new local measures to control virus spread

July 15, 2020

Blackburn with Darwen’s Director of Public Health has today announced new local measures to help control the spread of Coronavirus.

These measures, specific to Blackburn with Darwen, are aimed at helping avoid a local lockdown by getting a grip on the rise in cases of the virus.

For the next month, Dominic Harrison recommends everyone in the borough follows these five measures:

  1. A limit of two people from the same household allowed to visit another household

At the moment national guidance allows two families to meet indoors as long as they keep to social distancing guidance. We are asking residents to limit the numbers of people meeting indoors to people who live in the house plus only two members from a second household at any one time.

  1. Wearing cloth face coverings in all enclosed public spaces

All residents will be strongly recommended to wear a cloth face covering (or non-surgical mask) in all enclosed public spaces. This means in all shops, workplaces, libraries, museums, health centres, hair and beauty salons etc.

  1. Greeting and embracing

Rather than give handshakes or a hug, we’re asking people to only bump elbows with anyone outside of their immediate family. If we all do it, no one will be offended or think we’re being rude!

  1. Support for small shops

We are stepping up our Public Protection advice and support to small shops across the borough to ensure that measures such as wearing face coverings, social distancing, good hygiene practice and increased ventilation are being followed to help reduce the risk of virus spread in these businesses.

  1. Testing

We are doing more targeted testing this week, with the arrival of a mobile testing unit at Witton Park Academy in addition to the testing facility at Royal Blackburn Hospital. You don’t need to have symptoms to be tested – this will help us with case finding, identifying people who have no symptoms but who carry the virus.

Dominic Harrison commented:

“We know that people have been worried by the release of figures that show an increase in Coronavirus cases in Blackburn with Darwen, and don’t want a second lockdown to be introduced.

“The Council does not want the borough to be in that position either, which is why we are introducing these new measures to give everyone simple steps they can follow to do their bit to help keep the spread of the virus under control.

“These steps will help and we are appealing to everyone in Blackburn with Darwen to follow them to protect themselves and their loved ones. If we don’t, a local lockdown, like in Leicester, becomes a very real possibility.

“The council is working with the NHS and the wider community on this – it’s up to us all to help each other stick to the advice that’s been given. We can only avoid further lockdown measures if we work together.

“In the next week to 10 days, we will see a rise in the number of cases in the borough due to the increased targeted testing we are doing in communities most at risk, and because we have opened a Pillar 2 testing site next to the hospital last week.

“In another two weeks, if the rates are continuing to rise, we will have to consider reversing some of the national lockdown lifting measures locally one by one until we see a reversal in the current rising trend. It’s up to everyone to make sure we don’t have to do that.”

Blackburn with Darwen is in the top ten list of local authorities that have higher rates of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 than the national average. The borough is currently at a rate of 40 cases per 100,000, making us fourth highest.

The borough also has a higher positivity rate, which is currently 7% — this is the rate of confirmed cases per 100,000 as a percentage of all who take a test. The national average is 2–5%.

Mental Wellbeing Workshops

Health and Wellbeing Service

  BwD Help Hub supporting local people in need
Care Network and community organisations across Blackburn with Darwen are working with the Council to deliver coordinated support through a central hub to support residents during the Coronavirus outbreak. By providing food and essential items to people in need By helping arrange deliveries to people in isolation who have the means to buy their own food and essential items By having someone to talk on the phone while isolating at home. Anyone in Blackburn with Darwen who has no support they can call on through family, friends or neighbours can get in touch with the Help Hub: By filling in the online form here  By calling 01254 588111 – 9am – 5pm Mon to Fri, and 9am – 12pm Sat & Sun The BwD Help Hub can provide a range of support, from organising deliveries of food and essential supplies to people in need, and providing information and advice. Additionally, staff working through the Help Hub will make regular weekly telephone calls to help keep people’s spirits up during periods of isolation.     Care Network continues to provide…
Continuing to provide a responsive and effective service that meets customers’ needs is a priority for us. Information and signposting: We are working closely with partners to find out about current and changing local activity and can also provide information on national phone lines to support your health and wellbeing.  Safe Trader Scheme: We are now only passing on referrals for essential works and services. When customers contact the helpdesk, we will ascertain that the service/work is essential. Emergency works and services include, but are not limited to: repair of broken boilers, cookers, electrical repairs safety & security shopping & food delivery services any other services/work deemed essential/necessary e.g. leaks through the ceiling or burst pipe Healthy Homes: We’re doing all we can to provide advice over the phone and support any energy and fuel tariff enquiries. If you’re struggling practically or emotionally, or you know someone who is – get in touch with us – if we don’t know the current state of play of some services we’ll find out and get back to you.   Ways to get in touch with Care Network… If you need any services or support you can call us on 01254 507255 Message us, or fill out a self-referral form and we will get in touch with you. Click here to make an online referrals  Email enquiries: info@carenetwork.org.uk Follow us for helpful tips and information or message us on social media – Facebook www.facebook.com/Care.Network and Twitter https://twitter.com/CareNetworkUK   Call backs: if you or someone you know doesn’t have credit let us know via any of the means above and we can call you.   Our Care Network Hub Facebook page aims to keep you up to date with local services as well as helpful tips and resources that support will support your health, wellbeing, and independence at home.      Government and NHS guidance  To ensure the safety and wellbeing of yourselves and others, we ask that anyone showing the symptoms of coronavirus follows official advice www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ 

NHS coronavirus advice available in 34 languages https://www.doctorsoftheworld.org.uk/coronavirus-information/ 

Mental wellbeing from the NHS while staying at home https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/coronavirus-covid-19-staying-at-home-tips/

Full guidance on staying at home and away from others https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/full-guidance-on-staying-at-home-and-away-from-others/full-guidance-on-staying-at-home-and-away-from-others Take care and keep in touch.  .
With best wishes, 
All of us at Care Network 
 

Coronavirus Research Help

Get an isolation note

An unprecedented number of patients will be off work or self isolating due to household contacts. This will lead to issues around sick notes.

If you are personally affected – patients should self certify for the first seven days as normal. If you are unwell for more than seven days then complete the NHS111 online assessment on www.111.nhs.uk

If you are self isolating due to household contact – self isolate as per government advice for 14 days. You do not need a sick note from the GP. If you are concerned you can ring the practice and they will note that you are self isolating but you will not be seen by a GP for this.

In short: there is no need to get in touch with the GP practice with regards to self isolation and NHS111 should be accessed.

Please help us to help you by avoiding contacting the practice for this purpose.

Use this service if you have to stay at home because of coronavirus and you need a note for your employer.

If you have to stay at home but feel well enough to work, ask your employer if you can work from home. If you can work from home, you will not need an isolation note.

You can also use this service for someone else.

https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note

Sick notes for self isolation

An unprecedented number of patients will be off work or self isolating due to household contacts. This will lead to issues around sick notes.

If you are personally affected – patients should self certify for the first seven days as normal. If you are unwell for more than seven days then complete the NHS111 online assessment on www.111.nhs.uk

If you are self isolating due to household contact – self isolate as per government advice for 14 days. You do not need a sick note from the GP. If you are concerned you can ring the practice and they will note that you are self isolating but you will not be seen by a GP for this.

In short: there is no need to get in touch with the GP practice with regards to self isolation and NHS111 should be accessed.

Please help us to help you by avoiding contacting the practice for this purpose.