Healthwatch Milton Keynes E-Newsletter Covid-19 Update

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CEO’s Blog

It is nice to be able to report that he NHS Covid Vaccination programme has met the Government target of vaccinating 15 million people in the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) priority groups 1-4. Now the NHS is ramping up the vaccination programme further to offer the covid vaccination to next JCVI priority groups 5-9.

Moving on from the covid vaccination news, Healthwatch Milton Keynes is seeking new Trustees to join our Board. If you would like to help steer us through our next phase of development, then please consider applying and help us to help improve your health and social care services (details below in the email).

Building on the success of our series of #SpeakOutToHelpOut virtual sessions (this year we have already covered access to NHS dental services; communication with NHS and care services; Covid Vaccination Myth Buster; and the next one on developing MK as a Dementia-friendly city) we would like to hear from you, our members, on which subject areas you would like us to cover next. Drop me a message on what our next #SpeakOutToHelpOut sessions should cover.

Finally, thank you to all of you who have been using our new Whatsapp text service (07759298450) to provide us with feedback – it is hugely appreciated as it gives us the evidence we need to be able to advise the people who pay for and provide the health and social care services you use on the ways in which you need them to operate.  Keep it coming!

Government: Stay-At-Home National Lockdown 2021

National lockdown: Stay at Home. Although new coronavirus infections are falling, overall cases remain high across the country. You must stay at home. The single most important action we can all take is to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives. This advice is subject to change.

Read the detailed guidance on the national lockdown 2021:

Click Here

Come Join us:
Healthwatch Milton Keynes is seeking new Trustees

Healthwatch Milton Keynes is inviting our members to apply to join its Board of Trustees.

Do you want to help ensure that the people of Milton Keynes have a say in the way health and social care services are designed and delivered, and in influencing service change for the better? Do you live in, or have a broad interest in health and social care issues in Milton Keynes and feel that you have the skills to support us as a Trustee?
The Board of Trustees is the main governing body of Healthwatch Milton Keynes and is responsible for setting strategic objectives and ensuring that Healthwatch Milton Keynes delivers is statutory duties. At present it has 7 members. We are interested in hearing from members with practical or professional experience of Equality and Diversity, Strategy, Human Resources, Communications and Marketing and Governance but our interest is not limited to these areas of knowledge and expertise; if you feel you have something to contribute to our Board, please do apply, or contact us to have an informal discussion.
Time commitment: The Board of Trustees meets 4 times a year on Wednesdays. You will need to be able to attend these meetings and commit time to prepare for them, reading papers in advance. The Board delegates some specific tasks and areas of work to 2 Committees. Trustees are asked to commit to membership of one Committee. Committees meet 4 times a year.
If you are interested in applying, please e-mail or write to us and you will be sent an application pack and more information about the process. To express an interest and request an application pack, please email: , or write to us at: Healthwatch Milton Keynes, 113 Milton Keynes Business Centre, Linford Wood, Milton Keynes, MK14 6GD. You may ask for the application pack to be sent to you either by email or by post.
If you would like to have an informal chat prior to expressing an interest or completing your application please contact Tracy Keech, Interim CEO at or on 01908 698800.

The deadline for returning an application is 31 May 2021.

A new group of people will be sent a letter asking them to shield.

If you’ve been told to shield, you’re strongly advised not to attend work, school, college or university. You can read the guidance on who counts as clinically extremely vulnerable.

  • New predictive risk model to help clinicians identify adults with multiple risk factors that make them more vulnerable to COVID-19
  • Over 800,000 adults will now be prioritised to receive a vaccine as part of the current vaccination cohorts
  • Research is developed by subgroup of NERVTAG, led by the University of Oxford and funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)
New technology has been introduced in England to help clinicians identify, for the first time, a new group of people who may be at high risk from COVID-19. Over 800,000 adults will now be prioritised to receive a vaccine as part of the current vaccination cohorts.
The technology analyses a combination of risk factors based on medical records, to assess whether somebody may be more vulnerable than was previously understood, helping clinicians provide vaccination more quickly to them and ensuring patients can benefit from additional advice and support.
This assessment is made possible today for the first time thanks to new technology and emerging evidence about the impact of COVID-19 on different groups and who could be most vulnerable – which means further steps can be taken to protect those most at risk.
The research, commissioned by England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty and funded by the National Institute of Health Research, found there are several health and personal factors, such as age, ethnicity and body mass index (BMI), as well as certain medical conditions and treatments, which, when combined, could mean someone is at a higher risk from COVID-19. READ the Government news announcement in full here.

The previous shielding guidance extended until 21 February. It will now be extended until 31 March.

Please continue to follow National lockdown laws including social distancing, even if you have had the covid vaccine, until advised otherwise by the government.

Covid-19 vaccination to be offered to those aged 65 and over and people with underlying health conditions which mean they are clinically vulnerable to COVID-19

The NHS will be writing to invite all those aged 65 and over and those with underlying health conditions to book their covid-19 vaccination.

The government aims to offer a vaccine to all priority cohorts 1 to 9 by May and all adults by September.
As large numbers of people from at risk groups are vaccinated, we will be able to gather the evidence to prove the impact on infection rates, hospitalisation and reduced deaths. If successful, this should in time lead to a reassessment of current restrictions.
Until then it is essential that everyone continues to stay at home if possible whether they have had the vaccine or not. It’s as important as ever to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.
Background information
A total number of 15,300,151 people have received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in the UK. 539,630 people have received their second jab.
The full list of priority groups is as follows:

  1. residents in a care home for older adults and their carers

  2. all those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers

  3. all those 75 years of age and over

  4. all those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals

  5. all those 65 years of age and over

  6. all individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality

  7. all those 60 years of age and over

  8. all those 55 years of age and over

  9. all those 50 years of age and over

£18.5 million to tackle long COVID through research

DHSC News item: 19th February 2021
People experiencing the longer-term effects of long COVID to benefit from research projects to help better understand the causes, symptoms and treatment..

  • 4 research studies funded to better understand and address the longer-term effects of COVID on physical and mental health
  • Approximately 1 in 10 people with COVID-19 continue to experience symptoms beyond 12 weeks
  • Government funding for the projects approved in partnership with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)
The projects were chosen following a UK-wide call to find ambitious and comprehensive research programmes to help address the physical and mental health effects of COVID-19 in those experiencing longer-term symptoms but who do not require admittance into hospital. Read the news announcement in full here.
BLMK ICS Strategic priorities engagement

BLMK CCGs need your help to look at the strategic priorities that have been developed following the guidance within the NHS Long Term Plan.
Do you have time to commit to 3 x 1 hour long meetings between 24 February and 31 March 2021 to help review current priorities and ensure they will meet the needs of our local communities in the future?
If you are interested, would like more information or to discuss, please contact Ruth Adams via email: or mobile: 07788 360154

Vaccination Public Patient Enquiry Line

A patient enquiry line has been established to help people who can’t find the answer to their vaccination query on the FAQ sheets on the CCG website

Vaccination Public Patient Enquiry Line:
0300 7900 267

This help line cannot be used to discuss personal patient information or to book a vaccination appointment. It is another channel to keep people informed if they are uncertain about the Covid-19 vaccination programme.

Covid Vaccination Update from NHS England:

The following figures cover the period 8th December 2020 to 18th February 2021
Published by NHS England on 8th February 2021. Note Milton Keynes is under East of England figures.

NHS England also publishes weekly and monthly covid vaccination figures by age group and Region, these can be viewed at NHS England’s Vaccination webpage.

Diabetes UK – Milton Keynes Local Group plan to hold a virtual presentation on the Covid-19 vaccine.

Dr Adeel Riaz, will explain the difference between the vaccines plus their potential side effects. He will dispel myths around the vaccine and  be happy to answer any questions relating to Covid and/or the vaccine.

Dr Riaz is a GP  who has been specially assigned to delivering COVID-19 vaccine to patients in the Midlands. He has held various other roles within the NHS and abroad and is the founder member of The British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA).

As medical experts need to ensure sufficient numbers will attend in order to  justify their time away from their other main responsibilities, we are asking first for expressions of interest:

Would you attend this session, providing the date given is convenient?  If so, please reply to  by Wednesday 24th February

COVID-19 Research Volunteers Wanted

Can you help researchers ensure the NHS has the right COVID-19 vaccines for everyone? Volunteers are still needed for trials to ensure the health service has the best vaccines that work for different groups of people. Researchers also want to learn more about preventing infection and transmission and the best number of doses. If you’re aged 18 and older, you can sign up to the NHS COVID-19 vaccine research registry at to be told of vaccine studies near you that you can take part in. You don’t have to take part in studies and you can remove your details at any time.

More than 2,000 people in Milton Keynes have signed up: could you?

Research has enabled the UK to roll out its vaccination programme but more studies are still needed to ensure we have vaccines that work for all. Different vaccines work in different ways and we still need to collect important information about:

  • Which vaccines work best
  • Which vaccines work best for different groups of people
  • How effective vaccines are at, for example, preventing severe infection, preventing infection as a whole and preventing transmission
  • The best number of doses
  • To check long term that there are no safety concerns.

Join a NIHR National Research Funding Committees

We currently have voluntary opportunities for public members on our national research funding committees. This opportunity may appeal to a wide range of people so we are asking our contacts and network who support health and social care research to please circulate on our behalf. Click here for more information. 

Vaccine information in community languages

NHS doctors, nurses and other frontline staff have come forward to help reassure communities that COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective and have been independently tested to the highest standards.
NHS Clinicians have recorded messages in some of the most commonly spoken languages

معلومات اللقاح بلغات المجتمع

تقدم أطباء وممرضات NHS وغيرهم من موظفي الخطوط الأمامية للمساعدة في طمأنة المجتمعات بأن لقاحات COVID-19 آمنة وفعالة وتم اختبارها بشكل مستقل وفقًا لأعلى المعايير.
قام أطباء NHS بتسجيل الرسائل ببعض اللغات الأكثر شيوعًا
सामुदायिक भाषाओं में वैक्सीन की जानकारी

एनएचएस डॉक्टर, नर्स और अन्य फ्रंटलाइन कर्मियों को आश्वस्त करने में मदद करने के लिए सामने आ रहे हैं कि 
सीओवीआईडी ​​-19 टीके सुरक्षित, प्रभावी और स्वतंत्र रूप से उच्चतम मानकों पर परीक्षण किए गए हैं।
एनएचएस डॉक्टरों ने कुछ सबसे आम भाषाओं में संदेश रिकॉर्ड किए हैं

ਕਮਿ communityਨਿਟੀ ਭਾਸ਼ਾਵਾਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਟੀਕੇ ਬਾਰੇ ਜਾਣਕਾਰੀ ਐਨਐਚਐਸ ਡਾਕਟਰ, ਨਰਸਾਂ, ਅਤੇ ਹੋਰ ਫਰੰਟਲਾਈਨ ਕਰਮਚਾਰੀ ਕਮਿ communities
ਨਿਟੀਆਂ ਨੂੰ ਭਰੋਸਾ ਦਿਵਾਉਣ ਲਈ ਬਾਹਰ ਆ ਰਹੇ ਹਨ ਕਿ ਕੋਵਿਡ -19 ਟੀਕੇ ਸੁਰੱਖਿਅਤ, ਪ੍ਰਭਾਵਸ਼ਾਲੀ ਅਤੇ ਸੁਤੰਤਰ ਤੌਰ ‘ਤੇ ਉੱਚੇ ਮਿਆਰਾਂ ਦੀ
ਜਾਂਚ ਕੀਤੇ ਗਏ ਹਨ. ਐਨਐਚਐਸ ਡਾਕਟਰਾਂ ਨੇ ਕੁਝ ਬਹੁਤ ਸਾਰੀਆਂ ਆਮ ਭਾਸ਼ਾਵਾਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਸੰਦੇਸ਼ ਰਿਕਾਰਡ ਕੀਤੇ ਹਨ

Informații despre vaccin în limbile comunității Medicii NHS, asistenții medicali și alți angajați din prima linie
vin să ajute comunitățile să asigure că vaccinurile COVID-19 sunt sigure, eficiente și testate independent
la cele mai înalte standarde. Medicii NHS au înregistrat mesaje în unele dintre cele mai frecvente limbi

Informace o očkování v komunitních jazycích Lékaři, zdravotní sestry a další pracovníci v přední linii
vycházejí, aby pomohli uklidnit komunity, že vakcíny COVID-19 jsou bezpečné, účinné a nezávisle
testované podle nejvyšších standardů. Lékaři NHS zaznamenali zprávy v některých z nejběžnějších jazyků

Информация за ваксините на езици на общността Лекарите, медицинските сестри и други служители от фронтовата линия излизат, за да успокоят общностите, че ваксините COVID-19 са безопасни, ефективни и независимо тествани по най-високите стандарти. Лекарите на NHS са записали съобщения на някои от най-често срещаните езици

An Easy Read Vaccine booklet is also available to read and download from our website

We want to hear your experiences of local health and social care services so that we can work to improve them. The more feedback we receive, the more powerful our message becomes.

Healthwatch Milton Keynes advertises health & social care funded, charity and community activities/groups/events to its members. We are only able to advertise trusted sources, for example services that are BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) accredited or CQC regulated. It is usually not within Healthwatch Milton Keynes’ remit to endorse paid for services to its members. However, all content is considered on a case by case basis.

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Suite 113 Milton Keynes Business Centre
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