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Direct Payments/Personal Health Budgets/Employer/Employee Advice(Covid19)

Working safely and social distancing

Guidance on how to stay safe during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is updated regularly. For the latest government guidance:

Everyone should:

  • work from home if they can
  • follow guidance on making the workplace safe
  • avoid busy commuting times on public transport where travel is essential, and wear a face covering
  • wash their hands regularly

You must not go to work if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.

Social distancing at work

In Scotland and Wales, everyone should stay 2 metres (6 feet) apart ('social distancing' or 'physical distancing').

In England, everyone should stay 2 metres apart where possible. If it's not possible, people should be at least 1 metre apart and the employer should make extra changes to keep people safe. This might include things like wearing face coverings, working side by side instead of face to face, or using screens or barriers to separate people.

An individual should not go to the workplace if they:

  • have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or have tested positive for coronavirus
  • are told to self-isolate (stay at home) by a government test and trace service, because they've been in close contact with someone who's tested positive
  • need to self-isolate because someone in their household has symptoms or has tested positive
  • need to self-isolate because they've returned to the UK after a holiday or business travel

If they're already at work, they should:

  • tell their employer immediately and go home
  • avoid touching anything, and wash their hands regularly
  • cough or sneeze into a tissue and put it in a bin, or if they do not have tissues, cough and sneeze into the crook of their elbow
  • use a separate bathroom from others, if possible
  • avoid using public transport to travel home, if possible

If someone with coronavirus comes to work

If someone with coronavirus comes to work, the workplace does not necessarily have to close, but they should follow cleaning advice.

See advice for cleaning workplaces on GOV.UK.

Supporting staff who need to self-isolate

If someone needs to self-isolate, it's good practice for employers to:

Depending on someone's circumstances, they might have to self-isolate more than once during the coronavirus pandemic. Employers should support them in the same way each time.

To find out how long someone must self-isolate for, see:

For workplace advice about the government test and trace services:

Employees and workers who who are no longer shielding may be able to return to the workplace if it's safe.

Anyone who's been shielding should talk to their employer as soon as possible about plans to help them return.

If they can continue to work from home, the employer should support this.

If working from home is not possible, options might include:

  • the employer putting extra measures in place to keep the person safe in the workplace
  • the person taking up an alternative role
  • temporarily changing the person's working patterns

Some people may be at very high risk of being severely ill if they catch coronavirus. Although shielding has been paused, someone’s doctor may advise them not to return to the workplace if they’re not fit to work.

An employee or worker affected by this should get a letter from their doctor to explain that they need to stay at home. They should share this with their employer. The employer should talk with the person to understand the issue and see how they can support them.

As of 13 March 2020, employees and workers who self-isolate must receive any Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) due to them from the first day they're absent from work if it's because:

  • they have coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • they have coronavirus symptoms, for example a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste
  • someone in their household has coronavirus symptoms
  • they've been advised to stay at home by their doctor because of an underlying health condition
  • they've been told to self-isolate by a doctor or NHS 111
  • they've been told to self-isolate by a government 'test and trace' service, because they've been in close contact with someone who tested positive ('NHS Test and Trace' in England, 'Test and Protect' in Scotland or 'Test, trace, protect' in Wales)
To be eligible for SSP, employees and workers must be off work for at least 4 days in a row. This includes non-working days.

If an employee or worker cannot work, they should tell their employer:

  • as soon as possible
  • the reason
  • how long they're likely to be off for

If someone has symptoms or has tested positive

If someone has symptoms or has tested positive for coronavirus, they must self-isolate (stay at home) for at least 10 days.

Anyone else in their household must self-isolate for 14 days.

If anyone else in the household starts displaying symptoms or tests positive, they must self-isolate for at least 10 days. This is regardless of where they are in the 14-day isolation period.

For more about households with coronavirus symptoms:

If someone is told to self-isolate by a test and trace service

If a government 'test and trace' service tells someone they've been in close recent contact with someone who has tested positive, they must self-isolate for 14 days. If they develop symptoms, everyone else in their household must self-isolate for 14 days.

For more information about test and trace:

If the employer needs proof

Employees in self-isolation need to follow their workplace's usual sickness reporting process.

Employees can 'self-certify' for the first 7 days off work. This means following their workplace process but not having to get a note from a doctor or NHS 111.

Those self-isolating due to coronavirus for more than 7 days can get an online self-isolation note from the:

It's a good idea to check your workplace's policy on absence from work. Employers might need to be flexible if asking for self-isolation notes. For example, an employee with severe symptoms might not be able to get a note straight away.

n most situations, employees and workers should use their paid holiday ('statutory annual leave') in their current leave year. This is 5.6 weeks in the UK.

This is important because taking holiday helps people:

  • get enough rest
  • keep healthy, both physically and mentally

Being flexible about holiday during coronavirus

Employers, employees and workers should be as flexible as they can about holiday during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

It's a good idea to:

  • talk about any plans to use or cancel holiday during coronavirus as soon as possible
  • discuss why holiday might need to be taken or cancelled
  • listen to any concerns, either from staff or the employer
  • welcome and suggest ideas for other options
  • consider everyone's physical and mental wellbeing
  • be aware that it's a difficult time for both employers and staff

 

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, you may be working from home, leaving your home to go to work or on ‘furlough’ (temporary leave). 

In any of these situations, you may find it hard to look after your mental health and wellbeing. For example, you may be working longer hours, be under pressure, have childcare responsibilities or find it difficult to cope with minimal social contact. 

There is no right or wrong way to feel in your situation. But some common feelings may include stress or anxiety. 

If you already have a mental health problem, it’s particularly important to talk to your manager about how you’re feeling. Your manager may be able to give you extra support. 

To help support your wellbeing you can:

  • stay in contact with people – talk to colleagues or friends about how you’re feeling
  • have a routine so you plan in advance what you’ll be doing each day
  • keep active and exercise
  • make time for activities you enjoy
  • reflect on what helps you feel more positive and what does not

The Department of Health has confirmed that PAs are included in the definition of key worker. If you are being challenged a template letter is available from us please call 01482878778 or email office@choicesandrights.org.uk

If someone becomes unwell in the workplace with coronavirus symptoms, they should:

  • If possible, get at least 2 metres (7 feet) away from other people
  • Go to a room or area behind a closed door.
  • avoid touching anything
  • cough or sneeze into a tissue and put it in a bin, or if they do not have tissues, cough and sneeze into the crook of their elbow
  • use a separate bathroom from others, if possible

The unwell person should either:

It’s best for the unwell person to use their own mobile phone to access these services if possible.

 

If you are staying at home because of COVID-19 you can now claim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). This includes individuals who are caring for people in the same household and therefore have been advised to do a household quarantine.

If you have COVID-19 or are advised to stay at home, you can get an ‘isolation note’ by visiting NHS 111 online, rather than visiting a doctor. For COVID-19 cases this replaces the usual need to provide a ‘fit note’ (sometimes called a ‘sick note’) after 7 days of sickness absence.

If you are absent from work due to sickness or if you are self-isolating because of coronavirus (COVID-19), SSP will be paid from day 1, rather than day 4, of your absence from work for every day of sickness or every day you are in isolation. This applies from 13 March.

You must tell your employer you’re self-isolating because of coronavirus (COVID-19) or sick for another reason within 7 days. You could lose some of your SSP if you do not.

To be eligible for SSP you must earn an average of at least £118 per week.

If you are not eligible for SSP – for example if you earning below the Lower Earnings Limit of £118 per week – and you have COVID-19 or are advised to stay at home, you can now more easily make a claim for Universal Credit or new style Employment and Support Allowance.

If you are eligible for new style Employment and Support Allowance, it will now be payable from day 1 of sickness, rather than day 8, if you have COVID-19 or are advised to stay at home.

 

 

You should discuss with the provider the possibility of finding different and creative ways for activities to continue. For example, in the person’s home if possible or in a safe, open air, community space.

Consider using direct payments to recruit and employ a PA to deliver support in the home. We can help with this.

Always keep in regular touch with your provider, even if they have had to stop delivering activities, as the position may change and new ideas will emerge.

 

 

 

You should discuss with your care agency and find alternative, different ways of arranging services that would continue to meet the needs of the individual. For example, reducing the number of home visits or changing the times of the visits. It’s important to be as flexible as possible – as long as you stay safe.

Direct Payments will not be stopped

Self-isolating employees are legally defined as being unfit to attend work. They should therefore notify you of their intention to self-isolate in accordance with your sickness and absence procedures.

They have the right to remain away from work for a period of 14 days from the symptoms becoming known. You can find detailed Government guidance on staying at home due to a possible Coronavirus infection here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance

As the employee is considered to be unfit for work, they are entitled to statutory sick pay (if eligible) from day one of the absence.

Statutory sick pay is payable to employees who: - are employees or workers (includes zero hours and casual workers) and have earned on average £118 per week over the last 8 weeks, and - have given you the correct notice If the employee is not eligible you must provide them with the SSP1 form to explain why, which will allow them to present a claim for possible benefits. Statutory sick pay is paid at a rate of £94.25 per week, rising to £95.85 from 6th April 2020. The Government have announced that they will repay payments of SSP, up to 14 days, for each employee. If your employee is genuinely poorly with the virus themselves, they may well need more than 14 days. The NHS would expect to hear from them if symptoms have not alleviated after 14 days and so it is likely that further medical treatment and testing would be required at that stage. If the sickness absence persists beyond 14 days your normal sickness reporting procedures will apply, as will ongoing payment of SSP. At this stage you may feel it appropriate to obtain medical evidence to support the claim for ongoing SSP.

 

If your PA can’t work

Self-isolating employees are legally defined as being unfit to attend work. It's important to stay at home and self-isolate if you are displaying symptoms.

Advice about staying at home on the NHS website.

If your Personal Assistant tells you they have symptoms of COVID-19 as described on NHS website, they should stay home or you can send them home. If they earn above the Lower Employment Limit (LEL) statutory sick pay would apply from day one.

If they don’t qualify, they can check GOV.UK to see if they can get financial support in the form Universal Credit or Employment Support Allowance.

The statutory sick pay (SSP) regulations 2020 (coronavirus amendment) came into force Friday 13 March. SSP will now be payable to those self-isolating merely under Government guidance so there’s no need for formal written notice to be given by a medical officer.

 

 

 

If your PA chooses not to work and there’s no identified high risk then no pay other than authorised annual leave will be given as this is an unauthorised absence.

 

 

PAs are considered to be key workers. This means your PA’s children is eligible continue to attend school if they can’t be safely cared for at home.

The PA will need to contact the school for more information.

 

 

 

If your PA can work, they should carry on fulfilling their duties.

You and your PA must take any new rules on health and safety procedures very seriously and implement them based on government guidance. This is for their protection and to prevent the spread of infection to other people.

 

 

Personal Assistants (PAs) are key workers and are currently eligible for testing if they have symptoms.

Your PA can apply for a test on GOV.UK. The test is available for key workers (your PA) who currently have symptoms of COVID-19, or who live with someone who has symptoms. If this criteria changes, this will be updated on the government website.  There is a testing facility at Bristol airport with a capacity of 700 tests per day.

After the test your PA will receive a text or phone call with their results.  You can ask your PA to:

  • let you know when they are having the test
  • the result when they receive it

 

 

 

 

This new guidance, published on 21 April (updated on 6 July 2020), is for people who buy care and support through a direct payment, as well as local authorities, clinical commissioning groups and those who provide care and support. It sets out key messages to managing a direct payment during this time and help slow the transmission of COVID-19.

Read updated information (formerly the Q & A) on using direct payments during the coronavirus outbreak, an updated Easy Read Guide to Direct Payments and a useful headline list of 7 things direct payment holders need to know during the outbreak.

This guidance includes examples of emergency direct payments and using direct payments during the Covid-19 pandemic including:

The direct payment recipient needs to make sure that the health and safety procedures are always fully explained to their personal assistants and that they enforce these procedures.

For general advice on infection control and the appropriate equipment and clothing see Coronavirus: Infection, Prevention and Control.

For more specific advice on the Personal Protective Equipment to use in the community depending on your circumstances see:

Yes.

Choices and Rights biggest responsibility is to protect the health and safety of our community – both customers and staff. In order to reduce exposure to the virus we have made some changes to our services. From 17th March 2020 our offices will be closed until further notice, but we will continue to offer telephone on 01482878778 and email support at office@choicesandrights.org.uk
We have taken the decision to stop all home visits. This began on 17th March 2020 and will be in place until further notice.

No we ask you do not come to the office.

Choices and Rights biggest responsibility is to protect the health and safety of our community – both customers and staff. In order to reduce exposure to the virus we have made some changes to our services. From 17th March 2020 our offices will be closed until further notice, but we will continue to offer telephone on 01482878778 and email support at office@choicesandrights.org.uk
We have taken the decision to stop all home visits. This began on 17th March 2020 and will be in place until further notice.

Assuming your PA employees are themselves fit and willing to attend work, they should carry on fulfilling their duties. It is essential that you and they take very seriously any new rules on health and safety procedures you implement based on government guidance. It is not just for their own protection but also to prevent the spread of infection to other people in the household, fellow colleagues and the public at large when leaving your home.

If my personal assistant has to self- isolate as they or someone in their household have shown signs of a consistent cough or fever, what do they do?

Self-isolating employees are legally defined as being unfit to attend work. They should therefore notify you of their intention to self-isolate in accordance with your sickness and absence procedures.

What are my PA’s rights if they have to self-isolate?

They have the right to remain away from work for a period of 14 days from the symptoms becoming known. You can find detailed Government guidance on staying at home due to a possible Covid-19 infection here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance

They will get paid Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if they are eligible (earn over £120/week). They will be paid from day one rather than the

fourth day of their illness. This will be applied retrospectively from 13th March 2020.

You do not need evidence from your PA to be able to claim SSP for them.

If they are self-isolating and then become sick, they should let you know

They can get a sick note from NHS 111 by following the link here https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note/

What if my PA does not earn enough to be eligible for SSP?

They will be able to apply for Universal Credit and can receive an advance without physically attending a job centre. Please visit https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus/

If I or my PA becomes sick with symptoms relating to coronavirus, can I send them home?

Yes, if your Personal Assistant lets you know they have symptoms described by the government guidelines you should send them home to Self-isolate.

What do I do if as the Direct Payment employer I feel it is safer for my Personal Assistants to self-isolate at home for your safety, even though they have not displayed symptoms?

You will need to pay them full pay if they are on contracted hours.

If because of coronavirus, my personal assistant does not want to come to work and neither my PA or myself (as the employer) are showing any symptoms. Do I still have to pay my personal assistant?

If the PA chooses not to work and there is no identified high risk then no pay (other than authorised annual leave) will be given as this is an unauthorised absence.

Please note that Statutory Maternity Pay, Statutory Paternity Pay, Statutory Shared Parental Pay and Statutory Adoption Pay are not affected.

 

You need to develop a contingency plan. This is where you plan for such eventualities such as: is there a Care Agency who could cover, can other staff pick up shifts, could you get ex staff to work for you again. You could also ask your friends and family to help out.

There are also volunteers or community group that could help.

If the replacement staff member has been ‘furloughed’ by another employer, they need to get permission from their employer to take on paid work for anyone else. They can support you but it will have to be unpaid.

If they are currently unemployed and receiving benefits, they must declare this new employment.

If they are currently receiving Carers’ Allowance, they must declare that they are now a paid carer.

New Paid staff must receive Terms & Conditions of Employment from their employer on their first day of paid work.

Please call our team on 01482878778 to get further support or email office@choicesandrights.org.uk

 

Please call us on 01482878778 or email the office at office@choicesandrights.or.guk for support.

You will need to speak to your local authority to discuss this, you will need to justify why the expense is beneficial. They may agree to fund the additional expense, but this may not necessarily be by using the Direct payment funds. Please do not spend any money on such purchases without authorisation.

This is a template of a COVID 19 Contingency Plan for your care that you may use for your own needs. It help you put down the essential things that you need for your care and support with on a daily basis: Contingency plan template

An example of a contingency plan for home if any one of the household gets ill. It sets out: How they can care for each other whilst minimising risk of cross infection and how they can manage illness as far as possible at home and absolutely minimise the need for hospital treatment. Home contingency template example

Contingency planning is a key part of any personalised care and support planning
process and it is likely that you will already have covered this in your personalised
care and support plan. However, in this difficult period there is a greater chance that
any paid or unpaid care arrangements you have in place could break down due to
sickness or self-isolation and it is important that you, and your carers, are prepared
for this eventuality.

General Covid 19 Information

 

 

Organisations must be fit for funding. This means having good governance, appropriate financial management policies and processes in place and appropriate standards of safeguarding for staff, volunteers and those using their support or services.

 

As part of our application checks organisations are required to show they have the following:

 

• A governing document e.g. a constitution which explains your organisation’s aims

 

• Relevant Safeguarding & Diversity & Inclusion Policies 

 

• A bank account in the organisation’s name

 

• Recent annual accounts (which have been independently examined or audited if required).

 

click here to read more

 

Coronavirus: Social gatherings above six banned in England from 14 September

A law change will ban larger groups meeting anywhere socially indoors or outdoors, the government said.

But it will not apply to schools, workplaces or Covid-secure weddings, funerals and organised team sports.

It will be enforced through a £100 fine if people fail to comply, doubling on each offence up to a maximum of £3,200.

Several exemptions apply to the new rules - which come into force on 14 September - with households and support bubbles bigger than six people unaffected.

BBC NEWS update click on link for more information - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-54081131

The self-isolation period has been extended to 10 days for those in the community who have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or a positive test result.

In symptomatic people COVID-19 is most infectious just before, and for the first few days after symptoms begin. It is very important people with symptoms self-isolate and get a test, which will allow contact tracing.

Evidence, although still limited, has strengthened and shows that people with COVID-19 who are mildly ill and are recovering have a low but real possibility of infectiousness between 7 and 9 days after illness onset.

We have considered how best to target interventions to reduce risk to the general population and consider that at this point in the epidemic, with widespread and rapid testing available and considering the relaxation of other measures, it is now the correct balance of risk to extend the self-isolation period from 7 to 10 days for those in the community who have symptoms or a positive test result.

This will help provide additional protection to others in the community. This is particularly important to protect those who have been shielding and in advance of the autumn and winter when we may see increased community transmission.

Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Chris Whitty
Chief Medical Officer for Northern Ireland, Dr Michael McBride
Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, Dr Gregor Smith
Chief Medical Officer for Wales, Dr Frank Atherton

It is important to self-isolate and get a test if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • 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

If you have symptoms, get a test to check if you have coronavirus as soon as possible.

The test needs to be done in the first 5 days of having symptoms.

Link: Get a test to check if you have coronavirus

  • How to self-isolate:

You must not leave your home if you're self-isolating.

Don't

  • do not go to work, school or public places – work from home if you can
  • do not go on public transport or use taxis
  • do not go out to get food and medicine – order it online or by phone, or ask someone to bring it to your home
  • do not have visitors in your home, including friends and family – except for people providing essential care
  • do not go out to exercise – exercise at home or in your garden, if you have one

· Get an isolation note for your employer if you're unable to work

If you need to self-isolate, you can get an isolation note to send to your employer as proof you need to be off work.

You do not need to get a note from a GP.

Coronavirus has affected all aspects of our lives and there are constant news updates about the pandemic which can make it feel never-ending. It is impacting our lives in so many ways which in the long term can affect our Mental Health. Juggling work, home schooling and trying to keep things “normal” can be hard work so it is important to take time out for yourself, exercise, do a hobby where possible and have some down time.

Mental Health & Parenting

Mental Health

 

Coronavirus has affected all aspects of our lives and there are constant news updates about the pandemic which can make it feel never-ending. It is impacting our lives in so many ways which in the long term can affect our Mental Health. Juggling work, home schooling and trying to keep things “normal” can be hard work so it is important to take time out for yourself, exercise, do a hobby where possible and have some down time.

 

This Change curve is really helpful in understanding all the emotions we are going through right now and how we respond to it.

There are quite a few Facebook pages you can join, where other parents’ share thoughts and ideas, it is also helpful to share your experiences with others. It helps to connect through calls, text and the internet, social media can be full of great ideas  and support not always doom and gloom.

Also please click on the download below for a  list of Virtual Field trips and museum tours  you and your family can enjoy.

Facebook groups to join - search:

‘Family Lockdown Tips and Ideas’

‘Dads Matter’ also web page https://www.dadsmatteruk.org/

Hereford group – ‘Mums Local’

NHS - Every Mind Matters page also has some great information , try out the mind plan quiz  and get top tips and advice for you. 

https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/your-mind-plan-quiz/

If you do have any free time why not look into some further education to busy your mind and stimulate your brain:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-52447539

 

Young people's voices

Headstarters blog

  • Blogs from young people in Hull on their experience of life in lockdown. Read them here.

How I'm coping on down days in self-isolation

  • Laura, 21, blogs for Young Minds on how she's coping on the down days when she feels a bit low or anxious. Read it here.

Life in Lockdown

  • Aodhán Roberts, 17, blogs for Headliners about life under lockdown in Northern Ireland. Read it here.

Partnership for Young London: Youth blogs

  • Salem, 17, writes about experiencing lockdown, including issues like the cancellation of exams. Read it here.

Young Devon: Inspiring stories

 

 

Mental health and wellbeing support

A few places you might be able to find support if you need it

Youth Access 

Find your local service using the Youth Access Service Directory:

www.youthaccess.org.uk/services/find-your-local-service

*Note: Youth Access is a network of community organisations. They do not offer frontline support services themselves.

The Mix

Phone: 08080 808 4994

Or use the 1-2-1 chat online
www.themix.org.uk/

Support and advice for under 25’s

Young Minds

www.youngminds.org.uk/

Mental health information and advice 

NSPCC’s Childline

Child line 24-hour helpline: 0800 1111
or 1-2-1 chat with a counsellor

www.childline.org.uk/get-support/contacting-childline/

A safe place for you to talk

Kooth

www.kooth.com

Councillors available until 10pm every day.

Free, safe and anonymous online counselling for Young People  

Barnardo’s: See, Hear, Respond

www.barnardos.org.uk/see-hear-respond

Online counselling and remote one-to-one support for children at risk during the Covid-19 pandemic.

No Panic

Helpline: 08449674848

Every day, 10am – 10pm

Charity offering support for sufferers of panic attacks and OCD

CALM

Helpline: 0808 802 5858
Or use the webchat

www.thecalmzone.net 

The campaign against living miserably for men aged 15-35

Samaritans

116 123 Free 24-hour helpline

www.samaritans.org.uk

Confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair

Student Minds

www.studentminds.org.uk

mental health support for students at university. 

Mind

Phone: 030 0123 3393
Mon – Fri, 9am – 6pm

www.mind.org.uk

Visit the Mind A-Z to find out more information about a range of mental health related topics.

Students Against Depression

Students Against Depression

www.studentsagainstdepression.org

Offers information and resources to help find a way forward.

OCD Action

Phone: 0845 390 6232

Mon – Fri, 9.30am – 5pm

Support for people with obsessive compulsive disorder

Anxiety UK

Phone: 0844 4775774

Mon – Fri, 9.30am – 5.30pm

www.anxietyuk.org.uk

Support for people experiencing anxiety

Sane

0845 767 8000

Mon Friday 6-11
www.sane.org.uk

Confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair 

Shout

Text 85258

4/7 text service, free on all major mobile networks, for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere.  

Beat (eating disorders)

0345 634 7650 (under 25s Helpline)
Monday to Friday

www.b-eat.co.uk

Support for people with an eating disorder.

Bipolar UK

www.bipolaruk.org.uk

Charity helping people living with manic depression/bipolar disorder

apple store logoandroid store logo

Download the NHS COVID-19 app today

The free NHS COVID-19 app is a vital part of the NHS Test and Trace service in England, and the NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect service.

Get help downloading the app.

Public health emails and text messages are being sent from 26 September.

https://youtu.be/Pj_tV1v9MR8

 

Stop the spread of coronavirus and keep on protecting each other.
Wash hands. Cover face. Make space.

To stop to spread of coronavirus it is still vital that we all continue to wash hands, wear a face covering, and make space. Watch the video to see how coronavirus can spread and the ways we can prevent it. #handsfacespace

https://youtu.be/Y_N1rTPhv04

If you don't already have something that would cover your face, such as a scarf or mask, then you can make your own face covering to help stop the spread of coronavirus. Watch this short video to learn how to make a face covering.

https://youtu.be/YWZkiXAQQUQ

 

Tens of thousands of people are now using video appointments and other digital means to get care and health advice from their family doctor. GP practices have been upgrading or expanding their digital healthcare capabilities to keep people well, while maintaining social distancing during Covid-19. Video consultations are now available in GP practices covering 99% of the population in England. Meanwhile, online consultations, where a patient can contact their GP practice directly via the internet, are now available in almost 6,000 practices, covering 90% of the population. Patients are typically using video appointments and online consultations to get care, report illnesses, ask for advice on managing symptoms, and make requests. Go to https://www.nhs.uk/health-at-home/ to find out more.

video here>https://youtu.be/gNQ6mSfnSRs

 

 

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans.  In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Other symptoms that are less common and may affect some patients include aches and pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but only have very mild symptoms.

Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing hospital treatment. Around 1 out of every 5 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart and lung problems, diabetes, or cancer, are at higher risk of developing serious illness.  However, anyone can catch COVID-19 and become seriously ill.  People of all ages who experience fever and/or  cough associated withdifficulty breathing/shortness of breath, chest pain/pressure, or loss of speech or movement should seek medical attention immediately. If possible, it is recommended to call the health care provider or facility first, so the patient can be directed to the right clinic.

Video: Five things to know about COVID-19 transmission

 

If you have minor symptoms, such as a slight cough or a mild fever, there is generally no need to seek medical care. Stay at home, self-isolate and monitor your symptoms. Follow national guidance on self-isolation.

However, if you live in an area with malaria or dengue fever it is important that you do not ignore symptoms of fever.  Seek medical help.  When you attend the health facility wear a mask if possible, keep at least 1 metre distance from other people and do not touch surfaces with your hands. If it is a child who is sick help the child stick to this advice.

Seek immediate medical care if you have difficulty breathing or pain/pressure in the chest. If possible, call your health care provider in advance, so he/she can direct you to the right health facility.

https://youtu.be/Pj_tV1v9MR8

Advice about avoiding close contact with other people (social distancing), looking after your wellbeing and using the NHS and other services during coronavirus.

Find out about coronavirus (COVID-19) health research studies and how you may be able to take part.

https://youtu.be/nnk85UrQNB0

https://youtu.be/o09mQuvRMAQ

 

Stay well this winter and flu jabs

Cold weather and flu can make some health problems worse and even lead to serious complications, especially if you are 65 or older, or if you have a long-term health condition.

The best way to avoid getting flu is to have a flu vaccine, which is a free injection.

The NHS have made some helpful easy read resources about how to stay well this winter and protect yourself from flu

PHE_Flu_Easy_Read_Winter_2020_leaflet_A4_

Updated information about coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Government have made some new rules for parts of England where the number of coronavirus cases are rising very quickly. The rules will be in place from Wednesday 14 October 2020.

The government have put some rules in place to help stop coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading.

When can I leave my home?

You can leave home to shop, exercise, travel beyond your local area, spend time outside or to get medical treatment.

In England businesses like restaurants, pubs, cinemas, hotels and campsites can open as long as they follow social distancing guidelines. Certain business may still be closed and different places will be closed depending on if you are England, Wales or Northern Ireland.

From Thursday 24 September, pubs and restaurants in England must not stay open later than 10pm.

Local lockdowns

Some places in the UK have more coronavirus cases than other parts of the country.

To help keep people safe in these areas some rules may be put in place which may affect you if you live there, especially if you are someone who is most likely to get very poorly from coronavirus. If you are one of these people you will be on the shielded patients list.

The following areas have higher cases of coronavirus in the UK and are taking advanced measures. Click on each location to visit the Gov.uk website and find out more about what is happening there:

Everyone on the shielded patients list who lives in one of these areas will receive a text and a letter to tell them that advanced measures are being taken in their local area, what the instructions are for them, and where they can find more information and support.

People who live on their own (aka single households) can now spend time at another household in a ‘support bubble’.

These support bubbles only apply to single adult households or single parents with children under 18. Support bubbles cannot be used by people who are shielding.

These facts come from the World Health Organization. They correct common, untrue rumours about coronavirus (COVID-19).
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When properly worn, medical masks won't make you breathe in too little oxygen or too much carbon dioxide
Medical masks, also known as surgical masks, are flat or pleated masks that attach to the head with straps or loops. Medical masks may feel uncomfortable if worn for a long time, but they won't make you breathe in too little oxygen or too much carbon dioxide.
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Drinking alcohol won't prevent or cure COVID-19
Drinking alcohol will not protect you against COVID-19. Consuming too much alcohol can increase your risk of other health problems.
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Consuming bleach or disinfectant is dangerous and won't prevent COVID-19
Bleach and other disinfectants are poisons. Do not spray, drink or otherwise put them into your body under any circumstances. They should only be used to carefully disinfect surfaces.
Protect yourself and others
Help stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) by following common prevention tips. 

Learn More
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Drinking methanol or ethanol is dangerous and won't prevent or cure COVID-19
Methanol and ethanol are poisons. Drinking them will not kill the COVID-19 virus in your body. It can cause disability or death. Methanol and ethanol are sometimes used in cleaning products that can be used to carefully disinfect surfaces.
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Holding your breath isn't a test for COVID-19
Being able to hold your breath for 10 seconds or more without coughing or feeling discomfort does not mean that you are free from COVID-19 or any other lung disease. The best way to confirm whether or not you have the COVID-19 virus is through a laboratory test.
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Eating garlic doesn't prevent or cure COVID-19
Garlic is a healthy food that may kill some microbes, but there is no evidence that it protects people from COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is to keep a safe distance from others and wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
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Young people can get COVID-19
People of all ages can be infected by the COVID-19 virus. Everyone, no matter how old, should practise prevention measures, such as cleaning your hands regularly and keeping a safe distance from others.
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Heat and humidity don't stop the spread of COVID-19
You can catch COVID-19 no matter how sunny or hot the weather is. Countries with hot weather have reported cases of COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is to keep a safe distance from others and wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
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Eating hot peppers won't cure or prevent COVID-19
Peppers may be tasty, but they can't prevent or cure COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is to keep a safe distance from others and wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
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No drugs have been proven to cure, treat or prevent COVID-19
There is currently no proof that any drug can cure or prevent COVID-19, although several drugs are being tested. The best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is to keep a safe distance from others and wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
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Antibiotics can't treat or prevent COVID-19
Antibiotics only work against bacteria, not viruses. COVID-19 is caused by a virus. Patients with COVID-19 may receive antibiotics to treat bacterial infections that occur at the same time.
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Hot baths don't prevent COVID-19
No matter how hot your shower or bath is, your normal body temperature remains about the same. Bathing with extremely hot water can cause burns. The best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is to keep a safe distance from others and wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
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Cold and snow don't prevent COVID-19
Cold weather does not cure, treat or prevent the spread of COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is to keep a safe distance from others and wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
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Pneumonia vaccines don't prevent COVID-19
The COVID-19 virus is so new and different that it needs its own vaccine. Existing vaccines are highly recommended, however, to protect your health from pneumonia.
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Hand dryers don't prevent COVID-19
Hand dryers cannot kill COVID-19. To protect yourself from COVID-19, frequently wash your hands with alcohol-based hand sanitiser or soap and water. Dry them thoroughly with paper towels or a warm air dryer.
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Regularly rinsing your nose with saline doesn't prevent COVID-19
There is no evidence that regular saline rinses protect people from COVID-19 or other respiratory infections. There is some limited evidence that they can help you recover faster from the common cold.
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Ultra-violet lamps shouldn't be used to prevent or cure COVID-19
UV lamps should not be used to disinfect your skin or hands. They can irritate your skin and damage your eyes. Cleaning your hands with alcohol-based hand sanitiser or soap and water is the most effective way to remove the COVID-19 virus.
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Mosquito bites don't spread COVID-19
There is no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 can spread through mosquito bites. COVID-19 spreads mainly through droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. It can also spread if you touch an infected surface and then touch your eyes, nose or mouth. To protect yourself, wash your hands often and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home.
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Houseflies don't spread COVID-19
There is no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 is spread through houseflies. COVID-19 spreads mainly through droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. It can also spread if you touch an infected surface and then touch your eyes, nose or mouth. To protect yourself, wash your hands often and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home.
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5G mobile networks don't spread COVID-19
Viruses, including the one that causes COVID-19, cannot travel on radio waves or mobile networks. COVID-19 is spreading in many countries that do not have 5G mobile networks.
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It's very unlikely that shoes spread COVID-19
The likelihood of COVID-19 being spread by shoes is very low. As an extra safety step, consider leaving your shoes at the entrance of your home, particularly if infants or small children play on the floors. This will prevent contact with dirt or waste from the soles of shoes.
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COVID-19 is caused by a virus, not by bacteria
The virus that causes COVID-19 belongs to a virus family called Coronaviridae. Antibiotics do not work against viruses. Some people with COVID-19 also develop a bacterial infection at the same time. In this case, antibiotics may be recommended by a healthcare provider.
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Most people recover from COVID-19
Most people who get COVID-19 have mild or moderate symptoms and can recover with medical care. If you have symptoms such as a cough, fever or difficulty breathing, seek medical care. Call a doctor by telephone before going into a doctor's surgery or hospital. If you have a fever and live in an area with malaria or dengue fever, call a doctor immediately.
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Thermal scanners detect fever, not COVID-19
Thermal scanners can detect people who have a fever, which can be due to COVID-19. However, not everyone who gets COVID-19 develops a fever. Thermal scanners also cannot detect people who are infected but not yet ill with a fever. This is because it takes 2 to 10 days for people infected with COVID-19 to develop a fever.
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Older people aren't the only ones at risk from COVID-19
People of all ages can be infected by the COVID-19 virus. People who are 60 or over and those with conditions such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease are at higher risk of becoming severely ill. Everyone should practise prevention measures such as washing your hands regularly and keeping a safe distance from others.
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Hydroxychloroquine hasn't been proven to cure or treat COVID-19
Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are treatments for malaria and other diseases. They have been studied as possible treatments for COVID-19, but current data shows that they don't reduce deaths from COVID-19 or help people with moderate illness. Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine can treat malaria and autoimmune diseases. However, using them for other diseases or without medical supervision can have serious side effects and should be avoided.

The rate of COVID-19 infections is rising rapidly across the UK.
After discussions with local leaders, the following areas will move from Local COVID Alert Level Medium to High from this Saturday.
▶️London (all 32 boroughs)
▶️Essex County Council area
▶️Elmbridge
▶️Barrow-in-Furness
▶️York
▶️North East Derbyshire
▶️Erewash
▶️Chesterfield
More details 👇🏼

Take breaks
Give yourself breaks from checking the news. Seek out positive news when you can.
Stay in touch with friends
Get in touch with friends and family to hear a familiar voice and feel close when you aren't together.
Make healthy choices
Exercising, eating healthy foods and getting a good night's sleep can support overall health.
Find time to relax
Do healthy activities you enjoy to ease stress and anxiety.
Create a plan
Set goals for yourself with a daily or weekly routine.

Local COVID Alert Levels are now in force.
Find out what restrictions are in place in your area and what you can or cannot do ⬇️

It is vital that everyone follows the guidance set out to help contain #COVID19.
Remember to:
▶️ wash your hands regularly
▶️ make space
▶️ wear a face covering
▶️ self-isolate and get a test if you have symptoms

Ask your pharmacist or GP today if you’re eligible for the free flu vaccine of follow the link for more infomation ⬇️

With COVID-19 impacting our everyday lives, it's more important than ever for us to maintain good mental health.
We recently published a blog highlighting our work advancing good mental health for all.

With rising #COVID19 cases across the country, hand hygiene is more important than ever this year.
Remember to wash your hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds.
Watch 👇🏽

During COVID-19, taking precautions is essential when you travel by ✈️.
Here are steps you can follow before taking a flight

Here are some tips on how to make your own fabric mask during COVID-19

There’s now a three-tiered system of local COVID Alert Levels:
➡️ Medium
➡️ High
➡️ Very high
Hull is currently medium.
More information about yesterday’s announcement

we’re encouraging everyone to take a moment to check in with themselves to find out if you would benefit from accessing extra support.
Watch the video for find out more.
For details on how you can get support for your mental health visit humber.nhs.uk/checkin.htm