This week Andy Williams, Chief Executive, Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Leicestershire Clinical Commissioning Groups, Angela Hillery Chief Executive, Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust and Rebecca Brown Acting Chief Executive, University Hospitals of Leicester issued a letter in the counties newspapers to stress the immense pressure the NHS is facing locally due to COVID-19.
The new variant of COVID-19 is even more contagious and is spreading quickly; this puts many people at risk of serious disease and is placing a lot of pressure on the NHS.
Our hospitals are currently treating double the patients with COVID-19 compared to the height of the first peak, with more than a quarter of all in-patients testing positive for the virus. The number requiring intensive care is also significantly higher than during the summer. These are people of all ages and all backgrounds, and not all of them have pre-existing conditions. This is in addition to the normal increases in seasonal illnesses for this time of year and pressure is being felt right the way across the local NHS system. The letter also urges the public to follow the national lockdown guidance and stay at home.
Approximately 1 in 3 people who have COVID-19 will not experience any symptoms and could be spreading it without realising, which is why it’s essential everyone stays at home. If you must leave home for a ‘reasonable excuse’ remember to: hands – wash your hands regularly and for at least 20 seconds face – wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet space – stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings) To read the letter in full visit: https://www.leicestercityccg.nhs.uk/news/ccg-news/an-important-message-from-your-local-nhs-regarding-coronavirus/
2.Coronavirus vaccination – what you need to know
The coronavirus vaccination programme is the biggest immunisation programme in the history of the NHS. Vaccines are the way out of the pandemic; they will protect people from coronavirus and will save thousands of lives. However, a lot of misleading information is circulating, particularly on social media.
To help you get the answers to your questions, senior representatives from the NHS in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are holding a question and answer session for the public about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the roll out of the vaccination programme. Panel members will tell you about their experiences of the pandemic, the impact on the community and the NHS, and why vaccination is so important.
Coronavirus vaccination: what you need to know will give you the opportunity to ask any particular questions you have and find out more about the progress of the vaccination programme. Panel members are: Caroline Trevithick – LLR Clinical Commissioning Groups Executive Director, Chief Nurse and Vaccination Programme Lead for LLR Ivan Browne, Director of Public Health Leicester City Andrew Furlong – Medical Director, University Hospitals Leicester NHS Trust Dr Sulaxni Nainani, GP and Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group Governing Body Jennifer Briggs - Consultant in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, University Hospitals Leicester NHS Trust Zuffar Haq, Lay member for Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group The webinar is a collaboration between Willows Health and LLR CCGs and follows a successful event last year on the impact of Coronavirus on the community. Feedback from members of the public was very positive so we do hope you take the opportunity to take part in this discussion.
3. Local GP urges BAME communities to accept the COVID-19 vaccine Leicester GP, Sulaxni Nainani, has recorded a video in English and Hindi urging local BAME communities to take up the COVID-19 vaccine when invited. Evidence shows that people from BAME communities are more likely to become seriously ill or die from COVID-19 therefore it is essential that people accept the vaccine.
Sulaxni Nainani also highlights that the vaccine does not contain any alcohol or animal fats in the hope to reassure members of the public who may have been concerned. Last week the British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA) also released a statement recommending the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine for eligible individuals in the Muslim community. You can read the statement in full by visiting https://britishima.org/covid19-vaccine-az/.
4. Vaccinators needed - help us overcome the virus Healthcare professionals are being asked to come forward to help administer the COVID-19 vaccines in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
A number of new vaccination centres are being set up, and each one requires dozens of staff to administer the jabs.
Any registered healthcare professional can play a part after appropriate training – most of which they can do online at home. Retired professionals can join a temporary register up to five years after they have left the permanent register.
Administrative staff are also being recruited to welcome patients and help ensure accurate records are kept for members of the public receiving the vaccination.
In addition, this project is looking for volunteers to help patients at the vaccination sites.
5. Jonathon Ashworth MP thanks NHS vaccinators and volunteers This week, Jonathon Ashworth MP visited the Kube vaccination centre at Leicester Racecourse to thank NHS staff & volunteers for their role in delivering the COVID-19 vaccination programme.