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Council providing door-to-door support to residents shielding from Coronavirus

Sefton Council’s Area Coordinators and ward councillors are out knocking on doors across the Borough to identify people who are shielding due to Coronavirus and who may need help.

There are almost 3,000 Sefton residents the NHS says should be shielding due to Coronavirus whom the national contact centre has been unable to contact and has referred to the Council to follow-up.

Sefton’s door-to-door approach aims to make contact with these local residents and identify any needs or support they may have. This is particularly the case for those who may be vulnerable due to age or underlying health conditions.

Sefton Council is reminding residents that anyone carrying out these calls will be wearing ID and will also be happy to provide a telephone number residents can use to check if they are unsure or concerned.

Cllr Paul Cummins, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care said: “We have names and addresses for these people who should be shielding due to Coronavirus but the national contact centre has told us it has not been able to get in touch with them and has passed their details onto us.

“So, the Council’s Area Coordinators and ward councillors are out pounding the streets, knocking on doors to make sure these people are managing OK or to offer help and support they might need.”

Cllr Cummins has been among the Sefton ward councillors who have been carrying out these visits.

Cllr Cummins added: “In my experience, even where the people we’ve contacted have been receiving support from family and friends and are doing OK, which has been the case with most I’ve spoken to, they have really appreciated us calling, which has been heart-warming.”

Anyone who is shielding from Coronavirus and needs support can contact Sefton Council’s team, who are working closely with Sefton CVS (Community Volunteer Service), on 0345 140 0845.

They can help with things like food deliveries, loneliness, prescription collection and assistance with getting online.

Find more about the local support available.  

Coronavirus Mobile Test Centre in Litherland this week

After several successful sessions in Southport and Maghull, Litherland will play host to its first Coronavirus Mobile Test Centre this week.

Located at Litherland Sports Park on Wednesday 3rd, Thursday 4th and Friday 5th June, the site will provide clinical diagnosis tests that tell people if they currently have the Covid-19 virus.

Tests will be available for anyone but they need to have made an appointment first at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus  or by calling 119.  Essential workers still need to book through www.gov.uk/apply-coronavirus-test-essential-workers.

Through the Government’s new NHS Test and Trace service, anyone who tests positive for coronavirus will be contacted and will need to share information about their recent interactions. This could include household members, people with whom they have been in direct contact, or within 2 metres for more than 15 minutes.

Those people identified as having been in close contact with someone who has had a positive test result will then be required to stay at home for 14 days. They must do this even if they do not have symptoms, to prevent them spreading the virus without knowing.

People in isolation who develop symptoms can book their own test at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus  or by calling 119. If they test positive, they must continue to stay at home for 7 days or until their symptoms have passed. If they test negative, they must complete the 14-day isolation period.

Last week, the Government announced it was starting to provide Antibody tests, which indicates whether someone has previously had the virus but this is currently only for NHS workers and patients.

Testing is vital to the ongoing work to overcome COVID-19 and enable key workers who test negative to return to that work and almost 2,500 people have already been tested at the Borough’s previous Mobile Test Sites.

Questions & Answers on Test and Trace and Antibody testing.

 

 

Council agrees additional £2.5 million Coronavirus funding for Borough’s care homes

At its meeting on Thursday, Sefton Council’s Cabinet approved arrange of measure to provide £2.5 million of additional funding for the Borough’s Care Homes.

The decision will mean an extra £1.8 million being paid to Care Home Providers from the Government’s Infection Prevention Control fund and £720,000 in placement payments dating back to the start of April. This is in addition to the £650,000 that has already been provided to help homes meet the added costs caused by the Coronavirus pandemic

Additionally, Sefton Council remains committed to paying Care Homes an additional £50 per placement per week until the Government provides specific details of how the remainder of the Infection Control Fund should be used. This equates to an ongoing weekly commitment of £170,000.

A report setting out the support that has been provided to Sefton’s Care Homes is being submitted to the Government this week. Councillors at the meeting heard that the Council had provided both financial and practical support, such as the supply of PPE to the Borough’s Care Homes and that the ongoing support is part of a continued joint commitment of support with the Sefton Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).

Practical support has also entailed supplying Care Homes with smart phones to enable a daily call with all of them, at which managers and owners can highlight problems they are facing, to take place.

Cllr Paul Cummins, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care told the meeting he was proud that while at times it had been close, the Council had been able to help prevent any of the Borough’s Care Homes running out of PPE.

Cllr Cummins said he also felt for people who had lost loved ones in Care Homes and staff who had done so much to care for people.

He said: “I spoke to the Manager of a care Home in my ward who said her staff had been incredible and that she had also said she was grateful for Sefton Council’s support, which was nice to hear.”

The report agreed at the ’ Cabinet meeting also explained that Care Home providers are being reminded to notify Sefton Council if they believe they are facing severe financial that could mean failure. It also proposed that urgent work takes place to investigate the possibility of making emergency payments to providers experiencing severe financial hardship.

Sefton Council’s Adult Social Care team has written to the Borough’s Care Homes to provide an initial overview of the proposals agreed by Cabinet and to provide more details together with anticipated payment dates.

You can find details of Thursday’s Cabinet meeting here.

Covid-19 Antibody Testing

Along with the new NHS Test and Trace service designed to identify, contain and control Coronavirus, reduce the spread of the virus and save lives, the Government has announced it is starting Antibody testing for the virus.

Over the coming weeks, Antibody tests will be available to some NHS staff and patients who suspect they may have had Covid-19. Also, people who are already having blood taken as part of other tests (either in hospital or in their GP practice) will be asked whether they would like an antibody test.

A positive Antibody test result indicates that the person has previously had the virus and may have developed some form of immune response

It is not yet known how long the antibody response lasts or whether it means the person cannot transmit the virus to others and this testing on NHS staff, including those Sefton residents who work for the NHS, will help scientists learn about the level and length of immunity following infection. It will also tell them how the virus is spreading across the country.

This means a positive result will not be an ‘immunity passport’ and anyone testing positive will still be required to comply with social distancing measures and government guidelines.

The Government has said it plans to extend Antibody testing to other groups beyond NHS staff and patients later in the summer.

Questions & Answers on Test and Trace and Antibody testing.

Coronavirus Test and Trace & Antibody testing FAQs

NHS Test and Trace

 

What is Test and Trace?

Test and Trace means that anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 will be contacted by NHS and asked to share information about their recent interactions with other people.

This could include household members, people with whom they have been in direct contact, or within 2 metres for more than 15 minutes.


What happens then?

Those people identified as having been in close contact with someone who has had a positive test result must then stay at home for 14 days.

They must do this even if they do not have symptoms, to prevent them spreading the virus without knowing.

 

What happens if those people in isolation develop symptoms?

People in isolation who develop symptoms can book their own test at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.

If they test positive, they must continue to stay at home for 7 days or until their symptoms have passed.

If they test negative, they must complete the 14-day isolation period.

 

What about other members of those peoples’ households?

Other members of their household will not have to stay at home unless the person identified becomes symptomatic, at which point they must also self-isolate for 14 days to avoid unknowingly spreading the virus.

 

What are the symptoms I should look out for?

If you develop a new, continuous cough, a high temperature or a change in their sense of smell or taste you should immediately report these symptoms and book a test at nhs.uk/coronavirus.


If I am told to stay at home, will I be eligible for sick pay?

The Department for Work and Pensions has announced that those having to self-isolate will be eligible for statutory sick pay if they are unable to work from home.


If I am contacted by Test and Trace, how will I know what to do?

The Government has said that people who are contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service will be given clear information explaining what they must do and how they can access local support if needed.

Guidance is also available online at gov.uk/coronavirus.


What local support is available?

Local support can include things like:

  • Urgent Food delivery
  • Local Food shop delivery information
  • General help with loneliness – A friendly call
  • Prescription collection
  • Help to get online, we can support you with your Wi-Fi Connection, Emails, Online Shopping and Skype and Zoom Calls to stay connected with friends and family
  • Access to YouTube so you can watch things like cookery demonstrations, exercise workouts etc.

Find out more about local support available during Covid-19.

 

Antibody Tests

Are Antibody tests available?

The Government has announced it is starting Antibody testing for the virus.

Initially these will be for NHS staff and patients who suspect they may have had Covid-19. Also, people who are already having blood taken as part of other tests (either in hospital or in their GP practice) will be asked whether they would like an antibody test.

This will include some of the large number of Sefton residents who work for the NHS.


What are the tests for?

The tests are to help scientists learn about the level and length of immunity following infection.

It will also tell them how the virus is spreading across the country.


What does a positive Antibody test mean?

A positive Antibody test result indicates that the person has previously had the virus and may have developed some form of immune response

 

Does a positive Antibody test mean you are immune from Covid-19?

It is not yet known how long the antibody response lasts or whether it means the person cannot transmit the virus to others.

Funding this out is part of the reason for the test.

 

Does a positive Antibody test mean you are safe to go out as normal?

A positive result will not be a kind of ‘immunity passport’.

The government has made clear that anyone testing positive will still be required to comply with social distancing measures and guidelines.

 

When will Antibody tests be available to more people?

 

The Government has said it plans to extend Antibody testing to other groups beyond later in the summer.

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