Please find Covid19 information below the update from Healthwatch. Information also attached from the Council’s community hub.
We will answer your queries just as soon as we can. If you are self-isolating and need shopping or a prescription delivered or just a chat on the phone, both Hannah and I are more than happy to help.
If you have a neighbour who would like to be added to these emails, or you want to be removed please drop me a line.
Please stay safe!
Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty
Green Party Councillor for Brunswick and Adelaide, Brighton and Hove City Council
Subject: Coronavirus (COVID-19) update
Date: 4:30pm Monday 27 April 2020
Briefing number: 37
Contact: Queries about this briefing can be sent to:
This briefing is sent out daily on weekdays to share the latest actions being taken in response to Covid-19 coronavirus.
These daily briefings include the latest information from across the council and partner organisations in Brighton & Hove.
The latest briefing will be published online soon after you are sent it. This is the link for sharing.
Additional briefings will be sent at other times if information needs to be shared urgently.
If the daily early evening Downing Street announcement requires major service changes to be made locally, this will be communicated as soon as possible. Updates will usually follow the next working day when changes are agreed.
Government guidance and announcements are available from the government website.
In this briefing
- Service changes
- Supporting our city’s businesses
- Second round of Covid-19 grants for community groups
- Support for travellers and van dwellers in the city
- Food update
- ‘Fake’ council posters
Supporting our city’s businesses
So far, we have paid out more than £32.1m to around 2,000 businesses in Brighton & Hove with another 2,000 on track to be completed by the end of this week.
We have also trained an additional 23 staff to join our business rates team who have been working 7-days-a-week to process these applications.
You can read more on this in council leader Nancy Platt’s address, including more information about the support available to local businesses.
Second round of Covid-19 grants for community groups
Another 17 community and voluntary organisations have been awarded grants from the council’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency fund.
Grants awarded from the fund now total more than £100,000.
Projects benefitting this round include groups providing emergency food and community meals, support for older isolated people and help for victims of domestic abuse. These include:
- The Bevy – to cover costs of providing community meals
- Brighton Women’s Centre – to cover costs of additional demand and phones for victims
- Time to Talk Befriending – to cover additional support for isolated older people
- RISE – for home working equipment to continue help and support for victims of domestic abuse
- Fareshare – to cover management of extra volunteers recruited to cover crisis
- St Richards Church & Community Centre – to support the emergency food hub and cover lost income from the partial closure of the centre
Support for travellers and van dwellers in the city
We have been working closely with people living in vans to make sure they have the support they need to keep themselves safe during the crisis.
The chair of the council’s housing committee, Councillor Gill Williams, said: “We have visited all the city’s van dwellers and offered them alternative accommodation.
“This would provide people with the facilities they need over the time of the pandemic, and enable them to self-isolate if that is required.
“However, we cannot force them to accept this offer.
“Our traveller support team has carried out welfare checks and given advice in line with government guidance.
“The team will continue to be in regular contact with people in lived-in vehicles at all the locations we are aware of.
“We have also given information to people in lived in vehicles about available toilets, water supplies and refuse points across the city.”
Most of the public toilets have been closed in the city following the continued government requirement for people to stay at home. We’ve had increasing difficulties operating and maintaining them safely, including a rise in anti-social behaviour and vandalism.
We have kept a number of toilets open for people who do not have access to any other toilet facilities. This includes people living in vans.
Albion in the community has started delivering food to vulnerable families and fans with help from Brighton & Hove Food Partnership, the Ivy in the Lanes in Ship Street and Bill’s restaurant and bar in North Road.
So far, more than a thousand meals have been delivered in Brighton & Hove, Lancing, Adur and Worthing. To find out more you can read more from Albion in the community here.
‘Fake’ council posters
We are aware that a number of fly-posters have been put up in the city with various lines about staying at home and including the council logo.
While we support any messages which encourage people to stay at home, we can confirm that these posters are fake and have nothing to do with the council.
Covid-19: Healthwatch update
We are hope you are all keeping well. This week’s briefing includes information on new GP Covid-19 hot hubs, Urgent Dental Care hubs, looking after your mental health, cancer support and advice from Ageing Well. We have included more information on the Brighton and Hove Community Hub, plus the latest numbers of positive cases and deaths in the City and across Sussex. Lastly, we have included the latest guidance produced by Healthwatch.
To ensure patients remain safe and get the care they need during the
Covid-19 pandemic, dedicated sites and areas within some practices, called
‘hot sites’, are being introduced. These are for anyone with Covid-19 symptoms, and for anyone who is isolated at home with household members with Covid-19 -symptoms.
A service is now available at Withdean, but others are expected to open in due course. PLEASE NOTE that this is not a drop-in service, it is by GP referral only, and only patients booked in will be seen. Patients cannot directly contact or visit the Withdean site.
If you have any health concerns you should continue to contact your own GP surgery first, or call NHS 111. Healthwatch has produced a guide which provides more information about seeing a GP which you can access here.
Dentists – Urgent Dental Care Hubs
Patients can still contact a dentist if they require medical help. Whilst face to face dental appointments have mostly stopped, dental practices have replaced these with telephone consultations. Dentists can still prescribe medications such as pain relief and antibiotics.
If a dentist thinks you need to be seen for urgent treatment, they will make a referral to one of the new Urgent Dental Care Hubs. PLEASE NOTE that you cannot self-refer to one of these Hubs.
Some Hubs are based outside of Brighton, but support is available to help
you travel to these sites. Healthwatch has produced a guide which provides more information about seeing a dentist which you can access here.
Looking after your mental health
The NHS has created a webpage containing expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing. Information is provided to help you cope with this current health situation, to help support any children and to help you whilst you work or stay at home. Healthwatch has also updated its guide providing top tips for looking after your mental health and staying physically active
The Macmillan Horizon Centre Schedule (for April and May 2020) includes phone and virtual support:
Phone support: 01273 468770. Counselling, welfare benefits advice, information and support, check in calls
Virtual Support sessions: Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 10:30 – Managing anxiety; cookery session; breathing workshop; yoga and Pilates
If you are worried that you may have cancer-related symptoms you should
contact your GP immediately. If your GP is concerned, you will be referred
to hospital, and should be seen within two weeks. Look out for future communications from Healthwatch on this topic.
Ageing Well support and advice
To help support people during the outbreak of Coronavirus in the UK, Ageing Well have collated a detailed list of local and national services, primarily for those aged 50 and over.
Brighton and Hove update
As at 23 April, the city’s total number of positive cases stood at 334, with just over 350 deaths across Sussex healthcare trusts (not just Brighton & Hove).
Brighton & Hove Community Hub
The Council has established a Community Hub which offers additional help in coping with coronavirus. We have attached a document produced by the Council which provides more detail.
Healthwatch information and advice
We have updated our guide to local health and social care services, FAQs, dedicated Covid-19 webpage and top tips for staying active and looking after your mental health.
We are currently collating information to understand how easy it is to obtain dental appointments and urgent treatment. Do get in touch if you have a story that you would like to share with us.
If you need information on a particular topic please let us know firstname.lastname@example.org
Healthwatch website. Information is available in a variety of formats and our fully accessible Covid-19 webpage can be accessed via: here https://covid.reciteme.com/healthwatchbrightonandhove/