County Council Update - 31st March 2020
Published: 01 April 2020
Council provides essential supplies for most vulnerable shielding from Coronavirus
Parcels of food and emergency supplies for the most vulnerable in our communities who are shielding from the Coronavirus are being delivered to residents across the county from this week.
The Government has promised that a national food distribution scheme will be up and running very soon, to support 1.5million people nationally who need to be shielded from the virus for at least 12 weeks because of serious health and medical conditions.
Every one of those people is being contacted by the NHS to advise them of this, and to ask whether or not they have a reliable support network in place to make sure they receive food and medicines, and other supplies, to prevent them from having to leave their homes. Those who don’t have such a network will be provided with food and medicines via a national scheme which is being developed with food wholesalers, supermarkets and community pharmacies.
In the period up until this national scheme is fully operational, Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council have been working with the British Red Cross to ensure that those residents who need food, medicine and emergency supplies are looked after.
During the weekend council staff telephoned residents who they knew were shielding to see if they needed help and then arranged deliveries of items to those that did.
Yesterday (Monday) a team of council staff and British Red Cross volunteers packed tens of boxes with emergency supplies which have been delivered by the Government, which will be delivered to residents who are shielding at home in the coming days and weeks.
The council and British Red Cross have also been supported by a planner from the military and staff from Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service.
A warehouse facility has been secured in the centre of the county, from which distribution of the parcels will take place via the local hubs network.
Residents are asked to note that they will NOT be asked for payment or bank card details, either at the door or by any other contact.
If you are at home and shielding because of serious health or medical conditions and we have not been in touch, please visit our Coordination Hub page or call us on 0345 045 5219
Please visit our Cambridgeshire or Peterborough websites for further contacts details.
Shielded Patients List
NHS Digital has published the shielded patients list (SPL) which is enabling partner organisations across government to support and protect those who need shielding at this time.
People who have not yet received a text or letter from NHS, can self-register (or register a family member) if they are extremely vulnerable and think they should be on the NHS Shielded Patient list https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable
People who believe they have been included in error on the list can ignore the communication provided they have checked the list of identified conditions does not apply to them, and may wish to contact their GP or clinical specialist for advice
Community translation videos
The Government’s information about staying at home for all but essential reasons, keeping your distance when you must go out, and washing your hands when you return is vitally important for everyone to know and understand to prevent the spread of the virus. Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council identified that there was a problem reaching some people in our communities with this message who may not have understood the important public health messages, either because they cannot read or understand English or because they cannot access translations.
As a result we have worked with people across our communities to produce video messages of this advice in other languages. Video blogs have been produced covering 29 different languages so far – with more being added every day - and these are available to view and share on our websites and on all our social media sites. People across our communities have been sharing the messages and we are asking other organisations to use them widely to reach as many people as we can. Cambridgeshire Constabulary is already doing this.
Please help us to share the videos as widely as you can, helping to reinforce the message that people must stay at home unless for the reasons set out by Government. Take a look at the video blogs on the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough websites.
Domestic abuse and COVID-19
We know that this is a difficult and worrying time for everyone – but particularly so for adults and children living with domestic abuse, and the professionals working hard to support them.
During the current coronavirus ‘stay at home’ situation, one of the concerns is that there will be an increase in reports of domestic abuse. Home is not likely to be a safe place for victims and survivors of domestic abuse and they will be increasingly isolated from sources of support.
The window of opportunity for anyone with an abusive partner to make a call and seek help is often very limited and that window is now likely to be even smaller. Research undertaken in China during the Wuhan lockdown revealed an increase of a third in reported domestic abuse incidents.
Councillor Mark Goldsack, White Ribbon ambassador and lead member for community safety and domestic violence at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “As a White Ribbon ambassador, domestic abuse of all kinds is constantly in my mind. Under current rules for COVID-19, families will be under new and different pressures which could put vulnerable people in a heightened risk of domestic abuse.
“We want to make sure that despite the conditions our support services are available for those that may need them. Please stay safe and contact specialist support services or the police if you are suffering any form of domestic abuse, sexual violence or coercive behaviour.”
Councillor Irene Walsh, Cabinet Member for Communities at Peterborough City Council, said: “Under the new ‘stay at home’ rules in place for coronavirus, families will be under new and different pressures which could put vulnerable people at a heightened risk of all kinds of domestic abuse.
“We want to make sure that despite the current circumstances, our support services are available for those that may need them. Please stay safe and contact specialist support services or the police if you are suffering any form of domestic abuse, sexual violence or coercive behaviour.”
Find all the contact details and read more here on our news pages at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
Dr Liz Robin vlog
Today Dr Liz Robin, Director of Public Health, reminds us the measures we are taking will help to beat the spread of coronavirus and give us five simple tips that you can do every day to improve your mental and physical health.
Click here to watch today’s video blog.
Dr Liz Robin is available for down the line interviews about the current COVID-19 situation or the contents of today’s Vlog. Please contact the Communications team if you would like to set one of these up.
Businesses in Cambridgeshire
The Peterborough and Cambridgeshire Combined Authority (CPCA), working with the County Council and Peterborough City Council, wants to ensure businesses across Cambridgeshire are fully aware of the various financial support measures being made available by Government and that as many businesses as possible secure the support they are eligible to receive.
The CPCA have set-up an email address to receive and respond to general business queries - firstname.lastname@example.org
Further support and advice for businesses can be found on our websites: Cambridgeshire and Peterborough
Children in school are all smiles
While the current situation may be difficult for many of us, it is certainly not holding back those children attending Cherry Hinton Primary School in Cambridge. Not just content with keeping the positivity to themselves, they have been helping those passing by the school keep in good spirits too!
Coronavirus: what you need to do
- Stay at home
- Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home)
- Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
- Wash your hands as soon as you get home
Anyone can spread the virus.
Full guidance on staying at home and away from others