Covid-19: Healthwatch update and the latest guidance

April 25, 2020

This week’s briefing from Brighton & Hove Healthwatch 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. It provides more information on the Brighton & Hove Community Hub, plus the latest numbers of positive cases and deaths in the city and across Sussex, and the latest guidance produced by Healthwatch.

GP hubs

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 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. While 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 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 while 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.

Cancer support

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 has 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.

Healthwatch information and advice

Healthwatch has updated its 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.

This week it published new guides which provide information about visiting a dentist, GP and collection of prescriptions.

It is 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.

If you need information on a particular topic please let Healthwatch know

Healthwatch website. Information is available in a variety of formats and our fully accessible Covid-19 webpage can be accessed via: here