Local Health Network News: May 2021

Covid-19 update

Message of support for India

News stories of how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting India are a stark reminder that the response to the virus requires a global effort.

West Sussex County Council Chief Executive Becky Shaw (pictured left) and Director of Public Health Alison Challenger (right) have issued a statement of support to communities in India and around the world.

Read their message in full and what you can do to help.

Care home visits

Care home residents can now leave to spend time outdoors without the need to isolate on their return. The change came into effect on Tuesday this week (4 May).

Some conditions apply. Residents must be accompanied by:

  • a member of care home staff
  • one or both of their nominated visitors
  • their essential care provider (where applicable)

Further information can be found by visiting gov.uk

Next steps on the roadmap

We’re due to hear from the government next week (Monday 10 May) whether or not we will move to the next step on the roadmap out of lockdown.

Moving to step three (which is due to come in on or after Monday 17 May) will mean:

  • restrictions on meeting others outdoors will be lifted
  • the rule of six people or two households will apply when meeting indoors and will remain under review as to whether this is safe to increase.

There were 130 new confirmed cases of coronavirus in West Sussex in the seven days to Saturday 1 May, the number rising compared with the previous week.

Visit our data dashboard to keep up-to-date with infection rates where you live and remember to continue to follow the hands, face, space and fresh air guidance to help take the next step safely.

Test regularly

Symptom-free Covid-19 test kits that can be used at home are available and its recommended that you test regularly. Order free packs of rapid lateral flow test kits to be delivered direct to your home at www.westsussex.gov.uk/communitytesting

Remember, if you test negative this does not completely rule out infection with Covid-19. To protect yourself and others, you must continue to follow the current restrictions in place and remember hands, space, face, and fresh air.

Check-in for test and trace to keep yourself, friends and family safe as lockdown restrictions ease.

It is a legal requirement for all over the age of 16 to check in to venues such as hairdressers, pubs, cafes, gyms when they visit. Checking in is easy; simply give your name and contact details or check in using the Covid-19 app.

  • Download the app
  • Check in
  • Protect each other.

Please share our Covid-19 update  with friends, family and people in your community who might not otherwise see it.

Thank you for your support and let’s continue to do all we can. Stop the spread of coronavirus. Act like you have it. #KeepWestSussexSafe


Latest news on Covid-19 vaccinations

This week our NHS teams are focused on making sure that those who are due their second dose can receive their vaccination, as well as beginning to offer first doses to people in the recently eligible group – those aged 40 and over.

To date, more than 9 out of 10 people aged 50 and over, with a long term health condition or a carer have received their first dose, and of those aged 70 and over, more than 8 out of ten have now also had their second dose.

Our local NHS is also on track to offer a first dose to all adults by the end of July subject to vaccine supply.

If you are in the eligible groups and you are yet to have your vaccination, please join the thousands of others locally who are helping to protect themselves and others. You can book your vaccination now by using the online service, by calling 119 or wait to receive an invitation from your GP-led local vaccination service.

Please don’t forget to follow government guidance around ‘hands, face, space and fresh air’ once you’ve had your vaccination.
For more information, please read the latest newsletter about the Sussex vaccination programme.


Natural ways to look after your mental health

If your mental health has been hit by the impact of Covid-19, then getting out and about in our stunning county could help boost your wellbeing.

Next week (10 -17 May) is Mental Health Awareness Week and this year’s theme is nature, as research has shown connecting with nature is extremely beneficial to our mental wellbeing.

Read our news story to find out more about Mental Health Awareness Week and the support available to you. You can also visit Experience West Sussex for some fantastic ideas of places to visit across the county to help boost your mental health.


Last chance to have your say!

The ten-week consultation looking at options to redesign the Early Help service will end at midnight on 17 May 2021.

Over 1,100 people have already shared their views and completed the consultation.

Early Help is an important part of our work to support children, young people and families. We want to hear from everyone who would like to share their thoughts and ideas on our proposals. If you are yet to complete the consultation and would like to take part, please do this by 17 May 2021.

In response to feedback an additional online briefing event will take place on Wednesday 12 May from 4pm – 6pm. This event is open to everyone, providing an opportunity to hear directly from senior staff and for participants to ask any questions they have. If you would like to take part you can register here

We are keen to hear views from children and young people on our proposals. To support this, we have set up a drop-in meeting for anyone aged 13-25 on Thursday 13 May at 6.00pm. If you would like to take part you can register here

You can read details and watch videos explaining the proposals, book a place on the online events and take part on our Early Help Service Consultation Page.

If you are unable to access the consultation online, please contact 01243 777807 and we will be happy to send you a paper copy to complete.


Is now the right time for you to foster?

Foster Care Fortnight starts on Monday and we’re celebrating all of our wonderful foster carers who provide secure and loving homes to children throughout West Sussex.

The pandemic has shone a light on how a caring society can bring the best out of people and tackle challenges with compassion and kindness. This has inspired lots more people to become foster carers with West Sussex County Council over the past year – but we still need many more.

So, if you have a spare room and you’re thinking about becoming a Foster Carer get in touch with our friendly fostering team and we’ll tell you everything you need to know. You can call us on 033 022 27775 or visit our website for more information.

For inspiring stories about fostering follow us on Facebook @wsccfostering and Twitter @FosterWSCC


Supporting Dying Matters Awareness Week

Residents are being encouraged to talk about death, dying, bereavement and loss as part of Dying Matters Week 2021 which runs from 10 – 16 May.

The theme of the week is the importance of being in a good place to die – physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually and digitally. There is no right or wrong place to die; it will be different for everyone. But it is important for families to think about it, to talk about it and to plan for it. To mark this national awareness week a range of events and seminars are being held including free webinars such as:

  • Freeman Brothers introduces the funeral industry – Tuesday 11 May 11am-12pm Book here and Thursday 13 May 11am-12pm Book here
  • Funeral costs and other practical tips for people dealing with bereavement, from Citizens Advice in West Sussex – available on demand. Access from Citizens Advice website from Friday 14 May.

We have partnered with other local organisations to form Compassionate Communities West Sussex. This network of organisations is working together to support people through death, dying, bereavement and loss.

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