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Easy-to-follow guide for parent & carers on COVID-19 procedures for pupils

To help reassure parents and carers who are concerned about what will happen if a pupil or student becomes unwell with COVID-19 at a school or college, Sefton Council has produced a new, easy-to-follow-chart, which maps the process.

Symptoms

It explains that if a pupil is ill with the symptoms of COVID-19 – a new, continuous cough or a high temperature or a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell – they must stay away from school or college.

Parents and cares should inform the school or college and book an appointment for a coronavirus test at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus  or by calling 119.

The child should isolate for at least 10 days from when symptoms start and other members of the household including any brother and sisters should self-isolate for 14 days from when the symptoms began.

If the child is not showing coronavirus symptoms, parents and carers should follow the normal sickness procedure for the school or college.

Positive test result

The chart explains that if the child with COVID_19 symptoms receives a positive test result, they must continue to self-isolate for at least 10 days and their school or college should be informed immediately. After the 10 days are complete, if their symptoms are only the cough or loss of sense of smell or taste, they can go back. If they still have a high temperature, they should continue self-isolating until their temperature returns to normal. Other members of their household should continue self-isolating for the 14 days.

Negative test result

If the child with COVID_19 symptoms receives a negative test result, they can return to school or college and stop self-isolating when they are well and free from symptoms. Other members of their household can stop self-isolating too.

Becoming unwell while at school or college

If a pupil becomes unwell with COVID-19 symptoms at school or college, they will be sent home and should follow the ‘stay at home’ guidance for households with possible or confirmed ‘coronavirus infection’ along with other with members of their household.

While the pupil is awaiting collection, actions to improve ventilation and minimise contact will be taken and once they have been collected, staff will follow hand hygiene processes and will clean any affected area.

The school or college setting will inform parents, carers and pupils if additional actions are required.

When a pupil or staff member has tested positive, parents and carers will be informed about any actions required.

Testing positive after attending school or college

If a pupil or member of staff tests positive after attending school or college, parents and carers will be told if any additional actions are required.

If an outbreak is confirmed in a school, Public Health England advice will be followed. This may include larger numbers of pupils and staff members having to self-isolate.

Anyone who is contacted by Public Health England as a contact of a case, must self-isolate for 14 days even if receive a negative test result.

 

 

 

Today’s World Suicide Prevention Day 2020 marked by release of updated Stay Alive app

Today, Thursday 10 September, is the International Association for Suicide Prevention’s (IASP) World Suicide Prevention Day.

This year the Stay Alive app has been updated with changes to services in Sefton following the Coronavirus pandemic.

Sefton residents are being encouraged to download, use and share the Stay Alive app which is available free on iOS and Android devices.

The Stay Alive app, which was developed by charity Grassroots, is a pocket-sized suicide prevention resource that gives people the tools to start a conversation about mental health. The app is designed to help both those who are having suicidal thoughts and those who are concerned about someone else who may be considering suicide.

World Suicide Prevention Day marks the start of the Sefton In Mind campaign, aimed at improving mental health of all residents. Look out for the hashtag #SeftonInMind to find information about local support services over the next 30 days of the campaign.

It is also five years since the launch of the ‘NO MORE Suicide’ strategy across Cheshire & Merseyside. During that time, there have been many successes and steps forward in the work to ensure all can remain safe from suicide.

The NO MORE Suicide Partnership Board brings together representatives from sectors including emergency services, suicide prevention charities, mental health trusts, HM prisons, public health and more. Through the Board’s effective collaborative working, Cheshire & Merseyside has rolled out extensive measures to prevent suicide, ensure safer care within health and care services and provide support after suicide.

Suicide prevention community training has been delivered to 3,662 people from 2017-2019. The training was delivered to a targeted work force of non-mental health specialists who have regular contact with potentially vulnerable people such as taxi drivers and barbers and welfare workers.

Support after suicide service, Amparo, are now commissioned to deliver their liaison service to those who have been bereaved by suicide in all nine local authorities across Cheshire & Merseyside. In five years, Amparo have provided immediate and practical information and support to 4,800 people who have been bereaved by or exposed to suicide.

Street triage teams have been adopted across Cheshire & Merseyside through partnerships between Merseyside Police, Cheshire Police, British Transport Police, North West Ambulance service and local NHS providers. The teams are staffed by both emergency and mental health professionals who can advise, coordinate, and assess the response needed for mental health related emergency and crisis incidents.

These are just some examples of the work that has been carried out and is ongoing across Cheshire & Merseyside. It is this work and more which meant that in July 2020 Cheshire & Merseyside had confirmation that they had received the Suicide Safer Communities Award from Living Works in Canada – becoming the first sub-region in the UK to receive the award.

Margaret Jones, Sefton’s Director of Public Health said: “We are delighted to have received the Suicide Safer Community Award from Living Works, which symbolises the fantastic collaborative work that has been ongoing over the last five years in Cheshire & Merseyside.

“It is an even greater accolade to be the first sub-region to receive the award. This is evidence of the huge amount of hard work that goes into working together as system partners to deliver programmes over a larger footprint area.

“There is of course more to be done and we will continue to work towards our ambition of Cheshire & Merseyside being a zero-suicide area.”

Jane Lunt, interim chief nurse, NHS South Sefton and NHS Southport & Formby CCGs said: “Since its introduction we have been strong advocates of the NO MORE Suicide strategy and continue to support and interact with the services and organisations that ensure the care and safety of people around the issues of suicide and suicide prevention. The updated Stay Alive app is a welcome addition to our resources with a wealth of useful information to support anyone who may have suicidal thoughts and to keep them safe.”

“The experiences and challenges of the past few months during the COVID-19 pandemic will have affected people in many different ways so it’s important that we use this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day to reinforce the message that there is support and advice for everyone.”

In addition to the Stay Alive app, a new 24/7 helpline – 0151 296 7200 – has been launched across Cheshire & Merseyside to help people struggling with their mental health.

People can contact:

Cheshire Wirral Partnership – Call 0800 145 6485 (For Adults and Children & Young People)

Mersey Care Mental Health Trust – Call 0151 296 7200 (Adults)

Alder Hey Crisis Care Team – Call 0151 293 3577 (For Children & Young People in Liverpool & Sefton)

North West Boroughs Healthcare Trust – Call 0800 051 1508 if you live in Halton, Knowsley, St Helens and Warrington (For adults, children and young people)

Support is available from:

Samaritans – A safe place to talk 24 hours a day about whatever is troubling you Call 116 123

Papyrus – For Children and Young people under 35 who are experiencing thoughts of suicide or anyone concerned that a young
Call 0800 068 41 41

Amparo – Support for anyone affected by a suicide
Call 0300 088 9255

 

 

 

 

Action could be taken at COVID-denying business – update

Update – Wednesday 9 September

Our Environmental Health Officers visited the premises concerned yesterday and also had a constructive meeting with the Salon’s owner this morning.

The poster has been taken down permanently we are satisfied that all the measures currently required for the safe operation of the premises are in place and will be holding ongoing discussions to ensure this remains the case.

Environmental Health officers were made aware that the business has been claiming in a poster that masks are not being worn at the salon despite rules requiring staff to wear surgical face masks and visors to limit the spread of the disease. The poster also denies the existence of COVID-19, which has been the cause of death for over 1,000 people in Merseyside hospitals, and bans mention of the pandemic.

Cllr Paulette Lappin Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services said: “Once our Environmental Health team was made aware of this disappointing situation, we contacted the owner of the company and have arranged a visit today. We will be meeting with the owner on Wednesday morning.

“If the situation cannot be resolved satisfactorily during this meeting, and we are not satisfied that measures to keep customers and staff safe are in place, we will consider taking formal enforcement action.”

Merseyside Police officers will be attending the salon today to speak to the staff and owner to make sure they are aware of their responsibilities.

Sefton Council is reminding local businesses and their customers of the importance of following the Government’s COVID-19 guidance, which includes the distancing, cleaning and face-covering measures required to help keep clients and staff safe. For customers, this means following any of the measures in place for their protection and making sure they provide any Test and Trace information requested on arrival.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “As well as protecting individual businesses and their customers, these measures are there to support the whole economy by helping to reduce the possibility of a wider COVID-19 outbreak and the potential need to introduce local restrictions, which would have a negative effect on everyone.”

Sefton Community Policing Superintendent Graeme Robson said: “My officers will be visiting the salon to speak to the staff and manager and reminding them of their continued responsibilities around Covid-19 and the safety and wellbeing of their staff and customers.

“We will also be linking in with colleagues in the Environmental Health team at Sefton Council.

“We continue to remind the public and our local businesses that they should be continuing to follow the current Government guidance around social distancing, face coverings and Test and Trace.”

Sefton Council’s Environmental Health team has been working with businesses across the Borough to help them put in place the measures needed to keep employees and customers safe.

Back to school blues? Mental health support is available

As children and young people are preparing to go back to school health organisations across Sefton are reminding residents that mental health support is available. Parents, carers, and guardians are being urged to be alert to signs that children could be experiencing anxiety, distress, or low mood as pupils head back to the classroom after months away.

 Dr Susan Gough, mental health lead for NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “It is more important than ever to look out for our children and young people and to help them access the support they need. We know it is not easy to talk about mental health, we would really like to encourage young people to have open conversations about their wellbeing, and to reach out for help if they need it.”

Signs that parents should look out for include:

  • You might find they are more upset or find it hard to manage their emotions
  • They may appear anxious or distressed
  • Increasing trouble with sleeping and eating
  • Appearing low in mood, withdrawn or tearful
  • Reporting worried or negative thoughts about themselves or their future
  • For younger children, there may be more bedwetting.

“If you’re worried about how your child is coping, trust your instinct and reach out for help you can talk to your GP, your child’s school or NHS mental health services.”

This week, The Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust has launched a mental health campaign. Using the hashtag #WellnessWednesday, the trust will share and promote information about local services and resources for children and young people on social media. The trust also has a webpage which hosts useful videos, including hints and tips to help children and parents dealing with anxiety about going back to school.

 Margaret Jones, director of public health for Sefton Council, said: “We’d like to reassure parents and pupils that they can get back to school safely and protective measures are in place. Your child’s school or college will be able to give you more information about the specific measures they have put in place, but the government has also released information and practical guidance to support parents, carers and students returning to school or college.”

 Dr Hilal Mulla, mental health lead for NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said:

“As many children start to return to school, it’s vital we continue to give them the support they need to maintain their mental health and wellbeing and deal with any feelings of uncertainty or worry they may be experiencing.

“The NHS offers a large amount of mental health support for children and young people, and if a child needs urgent mental health support or advice, check the NHS website for services in your area, including 24/7 crisis support.

“Parents should contact NHS 111 online or a GP immediately if they notice any physical injuries on a child, such as deep cuts or burns.”

Local mental health and wellbeing support and helplines available:

·       Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) – there are a number of local mental health support and advice services available to young people and their families at this time. For more information and to find your local service visit: South Sefton CCG CAMHS or Southport and Formby CCG CAMHS

·       Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust 24/7 CAMHS Crisis Care Team – if a child or young person requires urgent mental health support the team can be contacted 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 0151 293 3577 or free phone on 0808 196 3550.

  • Kooth – This free online service for young people aged 11 to 18 years offers self-help materials and a safe online community 365 days a year.

National helplines and support available:

  • Childlinecall 0800 1111
  • The Samaritanscall 116 123
  • YoungMindsCrisis Messenger: text YM to 85258
  • Papyrus Hopeline UKsuicide prevention helpline: call 0800 068 4141 or text 07860 039967
  • The Mix a support service for young people. You can talk to with the online community, on social, or through the confidential helpline or our counselling service. Call 0808 808 4994 (Sunday to Friday, 2pm to 11pm)
  • If you identify as male, you can call the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM)on 0800 58 58 58 (5pm to midnight, every day).

Useful links for children and young people’s mental health:

·       For information about the Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust Back to School Resources, visit: https://covid19.alderhey.nhs.uk/back-to-school-resources-for-parents-and-children/

·       To view the Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust Mental Health Help video series, visit: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL4zniovSeRnCh_aHl7C7U_8lc7vjphc

Care homes, hospitals, schools among locations to benefit from new, dedicated Contact Tracing Hub

A new Contact Tracing Hub for COVID-19 infections in complex settings and cases has been established in Cheshire and Merseyside.

Led by Public Health England and the region’s Directors of Public Health, The Hub, works with the national Test and Trace programme to manage complex outbreaks of COVID-19 using data and local intelligence. It is one of many interventions put in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in local communities and prevent any future lockdowns or restrictions of movement.

The Hub’s purpose is to receive information from the national Test and Trace service and local authorities relating to positive cases of COVID-19 that are identified as a complex case or in a complex setting.

Complex settings include environments like schools, NHS settings like GP practices and hospitals, care homes and workplaces like office blocks and police and fire stations. A complex case may not necessarily be linked to a physical setting but could be a complex cohort like rough sleepers or members of faith communities, or complex individuals and households like those who are shielding, those with learning disabilities, substance misusers or those in complex socioeconomic circumstances.

Positive cases are triaged locally and the Hub works to identify contacts who will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days. This happens quickly, minimising the chance of wide transmission of the disease in local communities.

The Hub is currently staffed by a team of 25 local contact tracers, who have received training from Public Health England and are supported by Consultants and Senior Health Protection Practitioners. In addition, local authority teams are available to support with on-going operational issues and consequence management.

This work is a collaborative effort between Public Health England and Cheshire and Merseyside’s Directors of Public Health, and represents a scaling up of existing arrangements. It is hosted by Wirral Council and day-to-day operations are facilitated by the Champs Public Health Collaborative Support Team.

Julie Webster, Director of Public Health for Wirral and lead for the Contact Tracing Hub, said: “I am extremely grateful to colleagues across Cheshire and Merseyside, who have worked tirelessly to establish this Hub within an incredibly tight time-frame.

“It is internationally recognised that containing and managing a disease like COVID-19, especially within complex settings and with complex cases, is only achievable with robust contact tracing. I am confident that as we continue to scale up the Hub, we will play an important role in reducing the spread of the disease.

“This is, of course, only one method of preventing the spread of COVID-19 in local communities and I cannot stress enough how important it is for each and every one of us, no matter our age, to continue to maintain social distancing, wear a face mask or covering when appropriate and wash our hands regularly.”

Margaret Jones, Sefton Council Director of Public Health said: “Although children are returning to school and more people are going into work and socialising and travelling on public transport, COVID-19 is still very much with us and Test and Trace programme is an important way of helping prevent its spread, particularly in complex settings.

“This new, Cheshire and Merseyside Hub will be a vital tool in speeding up the identification process and reduce the likelihood of restrictions needing to be re-introduced locally.”

Find out more about Test and Trace.

 

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