Covid 19 Community Champions Newsletter – 24/11/2020

Hello Lewisham COVID-19 Community Champions!

Welcome back to another week of COVID-19 updates and information that you can share with your community, friends and family. This week we will be discussing Accessing Healthcare in the Pandemic.

Topic of the Week

We have been told to stay at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This is important, but what if you have a health problem that isn’t related to COVID-19?

The answer is: ask about it!

GP Surgeries, hospitals, pharmacies and other healthcare settings are open! They might look or operate a bit differently to usual but this is to ensure they are completely safe for people to use. There are healthcare professionals waiting to offer you help and support.

We don’t want anyone to be sitting at home anxious about their health or scared to ask about it. This will only create more problems with increased anxiety and the chance of late diagnosis. 

See this video from the NHS about picking up early signs of cancer.

Which service should I attend?

Self Care:

  • Minor cuts and grazes
  • Bruises and minor sprains
  • Coughs and colds

Pharmacy

  • Minor illnesses
  • Headache
  • Stomach upsets
  • Bites and stings

NHS 111

  • Feeling unwell?
  • Unsure?
  • Anxious?
  • Need help?

GP advice

  • Persistent symptoms
  • Chronic pain

A&E or 999

  • Choking
  • Chest pain
  • Blacking out
  • Serious blood loss

Screening programmes

Screening programmes are delivered by the NHS and designed to detect early certain serious diseases such as cancer. They work by asking asymptomatic people in certain age or gender groups to come in for a routine test. In most people the results will be negative, but if they do detect and early sign of disease it will be more likely to be treatable than if is found at a later stage. They are a life-saving process!

Examples of UK Screening programmes are:

  • Cervical Screening (smear tests)
  • Examples of UK Screening programmes are:
    Cervical Screening (smear tests)
  • Breast Cancer screening (mammograms)
  • Diabetic foot and eye checks
  • Bowel Cancer Screening
  • Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm scan

Individuals are invited to screening tests when they are eligible for them. A full list with further information is found here. 

Throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic uptake of screening programmes has declined. We want to change this by encouraging more people to attend their routing screening appointments. Encourage someone to attend and you could be saving their life!

Updates and Guidelines  

Talk Cancer

Tying in with our Topic of the Week we would like to remind you about the opportunity for Community Champions to join Talk Cancer Training.

“We are mindful that due to COVID-19, there has been a huge impact on community members accessing health services. We also know that community members respond well to factual information being provided by trusted sources, by people that they know.

Cancer Research UK are offering Lewisham community members the opportunity to take part in Talk Cancer training. This training aims to equip and empower attendees to raise awareness of cancer and increase confidence to talk about cancer.

Due to the current restrictions around COVID-19, the training also outlines the importance of seeking health support and access to local and GP services promptly with any concerns.

The training will be delivered online and has been arranged to take place on Tuesday 8 December 2020, 10.30am – 12.30pm. Please contact healthimprovement@lewisham.gov.uk to book a place”

COVID-19 Vaccination

More information is being announced about COVID-19 vaccinations every day. This week there have been promising results from the Oxford/AstraZeneca trial, to add to the results from Pfizer and Moderna. Having more than one vaccination to combat a disease is normal in the UK. For example we use different flu vaccinations for the over and under 65s. The news coming from the labs continues to be promising so watch this space!

Flu Vaccination

Don’t forget your flu vaccination! There is a change from 1 December meaning that all people over the age of 50 will be eligible for a free flu vaccination, as well as those on this list.

Please ask your pharmacy or GP Surgery when they are giving out flu vaccinations. 

Google Drive

We have set up a Google Drive, which we will be updating with all previous emails, webinar slides, FAQs and other resources. Here is the link to access the drive.

Government Guidelines

England continues to be in a period of lockdown, to be reviewed by 2 December. We will keep you informed with information about coming out of this lockdown when we know it. In the meantime remember to stay at home, unless you need to go out for particular services, including NHS appointments.

Your input

The Lewisham Health and Wellbeing Board will be meeting on 3 December between 3-5pm and we would love to have some of our Champions attend the meeting to share their experience of being a COVID-19 Community Champion to date.

If you would like to attend the board, please email covid19champions@lewisham.gov.uk by Friday 27November 2020 at 5pm to express your interest.

As always, please continue to send your community related COVID-19 questions and stories to covid19champions@lewisham.gov.uk. If anyone would like to share a particular story or tips at the Webinar this week please let us know. 

Next Webinar

Our next webinar will be on Thursday 26th November 2020 at 6pm (45 minutes). You can access the meeting via this link.

Meeting ID: 936 4942 4146

Passcode: 0wh6fu

This link will be the same for all webinars. 

We will be discussing: COVID-19 Recovery and accessing healthcare services.

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