Last week the Healthwatch Network came together online to learn, share and celebrate. The Healthwatch Conference usually takes place face-to-face, but this year over 400 staff and volunteers took part in 23 virtual events over a four-day period. The conference kicked off with a personal message from Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, about the difference he believes Healthwatch is making by ensuring that NHS and social care services hear and act on people’s views about care. You can watch his message here.
You will be aware that we have now entered a national lockdown until 2nd December. I want to reassure you thatduring the period of tighter restrictions all primary care services (GP practices, dental practices, pharmacies and optometry providers) will remain open to treat patients, offering care which is safe, necessary and clinically prioritised.
The Government have announced a new financial support package for people on low incomes who are unable to work because they must self-isolate. From 28 September 2020, if you have received a notification to self isolate from NHS Test, Track and Trace with a unique 8 digit identifier number and satisfy the conditions set out here, you may qualify for a Test and Trace support payment of £500. This payment will be made by local Councils on behalf of the Government.
Text/WhatsApp Service now live
My Care Record
Joining up information to deliver better care across Bedfordshire, Luton & Milton Keynes
Health and care organisations across BLMK are working together to implement a new approach called My Care Record.
My Care Record enables health and care professionals involved in your care to access information about you, even if they work for a different organisation or in a different location. For example, a hospital specialist or community nurse could view information from your GP record.
Dr. Paul Singer, Luton GP and Chief Clinical Information Officer for BLMK Integrated Care System explains:
“We know that when information is made available in a more joined-up way, we can provide faster, more effective care. The Coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the need to work together across services to deliver care, often from different locations. My Care Record is a key tool for making this happen.”
Several different secure computer systems are used across the region with more investment being made. The approach provides an agreement between all the health and care organisations involved. In line with GDPR, this means they commit to sharing information in a secure way to help improve care.
This year it is more important than ever that people at risk of getting flu have a free flu vaccination. The vaccine will help protect you against flu, which is an unpleasant and potentially serious infection, and it will reduce the risk of you passing flu to other.
We would like to draw your attention to the following bits of information:
While the influenza uptake for 2-3 year olds is the highest it has ever been at this point in the season we are now contacting those parents/guardians that have not yet taken the opportunity to have their child vaccinated so that we can increase understanding of the reasons why and to encourage uptake. As a result, some parents/guardians may receive a call from the number 0300 561 0230 and will be announced as the NHS Immunisation Management Service.
You may be at risk of an allergic reaction to the flu vaccine injection if you have an egg allergy. This is because some flu vaccines are made using eggs. If you have an egg allergy, ask a GP or pharmacist for a low-egg or egg-free vaccine.
Click here for a Children’s flu vaccine Myth busting sheet
Flu vaccinations for carers and people with a learning disability:Two short films have been produced on flu vaccinations. The first is for carers of people with a learning disability about the importance of vaccinating themselves and the people they care for. The second is about vaccinating people with a learning disability and autistic people with certain health conditions. Both cover why it is important, who is eligible for a free vaccine, where you can get the vaccine and reasonable adjustments.
Milton Keynes and COVID-19
We continue to update our website with the most up to date national guidance and local information so please continue to check our Milton Keynes and COVID-19 page (link below).
The Government announced new National Restrictions from Thursday 5 November 2020. For information on the new national restrictions, including what they mean for working from home and business closures, why they are being introduced and the financial support available, click here.
Clinically extremely vulnerable receive updated guidance in line with new national restrictions. This can be found here.
Milton Keynes Mental Health Services is undertaking a piece of work to look at how you, as a member of your local community in Milton Keynes, have looked after your mental health and wellbeing during Covid-19; and how local mental health services, can better support you, your families and your communities.
You are invited to complete a short survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/BYWQNNX
Your feedback / comments will provide MK Mental Health Services with an opportunity to work with you / your community representatives to help identify and respond to any mental health themes and trends highlighted; and continue to empower all to break the stigma around mental health.
The survey is anonymous but you can leave your name and contact details in the response if you wish. Alternatively, you can contact Nav Ranautta, Clinical Effectiveness Coordinator for MK Mental Health Services on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Understanding the psychological and social impact of the pandemic
The COVID-19 Social Study is a research study run by University College London, exploring the effects of the virus and social distancing measures on adults in the UK during the outbreak of COVID-19. The results from this study are vital in informing the advice given to people, the support made available, and the decisions taken.
Over 72,000 participants have now contributed over 760,000 questionnaires over the last 32 weeks. We have also conducted over 190 telephone or video call interviews but we are still looking for more participants from specific groups to tell us about their experiences during the pandemic (in return for a £10 gift voucher).
Young people aged 13-21 from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups
Parents aged 18-28 years old who have young children
Key workers from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups (public transport workers, postal workers, delivery drivers, police officers, funeral service workers)
If you identify with any of these groups, or if you know anyone else who does and who would like further information about the telephone interview study, please contact Alex Burton.
Mount Vernon Cancer Services
Review Patient and Public Involvement Opportunities
The NHS in the East of England and in North London is reviewing the Mount Vernon Cancer services.
To decide what the best options might be for the future, we are looking at each cancer pathway and want to hear from patients and carers about what does and does not work well for you, and what your priorities would be. We want to gather as many views as possible because we need to make the best possible changes.
Click the link below to find out how you can get involved.
Covid-19 has certainly changed a lot of things this year, and Christmas here at Milton Keynes University Hospital will be no exception, with all toy and gift drops on hold for 2020. We recognise that this will be disappointing news but know that the local community will understand that the safety of our patients, as well as our amazing staff, is absolutely paramount. This year we have created a new virtual way to give a gift to patients in hospital this Christmas, as well as staff, by setting up an Amazon wish-list. This allows people to continue to give if they wish!