Healthwatch City of London Bulletin 18

The launch of NHS 'long Covid' clinics in London, an award for a local unpaid carer and Carers rights day all feature in this week's bulletin.
Carers rights day

Latest Covid-19 statistics for the City of London

The joint City and Hackney Public Health Intelligence Team produce regular statistics on Covid-19 levels in the City. The site below breaks down the cases in the City, and in Hackney, and by Ward, this enables residents to see the wider picture of infection rates. The site is updated regularly.

NHS launch ‘long Covid’ clinics

The NHS has announced the opening of 40 ‘long Covid’ specialist clinics to help patients suffering debilitating effect of the virus months after being infected. There are five clinics earmarked for London.

The clinics, due to start opening at the end of November, will bring together doctors, nurses, therapist and other NHS staff to physical and psychological assessments of those experiencing enduring symptoms.

Patients will be able to access services through a GP referral or referral from other healthcare professional, allowing doctors an opportunity to rule out any other possible underlying causes for symptoms, such as suspected stroke, lung cancers or respiratory conditions.

Healthwatch City of London will inform you are the locations of the clinics once the information is available.

Update on Rapid Covid Testing

In last week's bulletin we wrote that the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced that several areas across England, including the City of London, will be prioritised for the first phase of a rapid community testing (also know as lateral flow asymptomatic testing) pilot based on the local prevalence of COVID-19. 

More information on this is expected from the UK government over the next few weeks, after which City Corporation public health officials will decide how best to deploy the tests to prevent the virus spreading and save lives. In the meantime you can read about the pilot here:

Anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 should continue to use the existing testing system. There are five testing sites are now based in the City of London and Hackney, including one at Guildhall Yard, as well as sites across London.

More information about booking a COVID-19 test can be found here:, or you can call 119.

Carers Rights Day 26th November 2020

Healthwatch City of London, is supporting Carers Rights Day. The annual awareness day, initiated by Carers UK. In a recent survey of nearly 6,000 carers, Carers UK found:

  • Four in five unpaid carers are providing more care for relatives
  • 78% reported that the needs of the person they care for have increased during the pandemic
  • Two thirds (67%) worried about how they will cope through further lockdowns or local restrictions.

Carers organisations want to empower carers with information and support, to feel confident asking for what they need. They also want carers to know how to challenge things when their rights are not being met. Details of local/national events will be posted on our advice and information pages as soon as we have them.

Award for new City Carers Community run by Carers

Congratulations to Shirley Islam, who has been awarded a grant from the Culture Mile Imagine Fund for her project ‘City Carers Community’. The grants programme was established to support local people to develop ideas for the area which will help create a better future for all.

Shirley is an unpaid carer herself, she volunteers her time for unpaid Carers in the City with regular zoom meetings and creation of the carers community for support and advice. In our newsletter next week, we’ll have a feature article on Shirley to hear what she hopes to achieve with the micro grant.

‘Help Us, Help You’ Campaign

The Public Health England Campaign ‘Help Us, Help You’ has been launched. It aims to encourage patients to contact their GP if they are worried about symptoms of bloating, diarrhoea and tummy trouble that could be the signs of abdominal cancers.

The key messages are:

  • If you’ve been suffering from tummy troubles such as diarrhoea, bloating or discomfort for three weeks or more, it could be a sign of cancer
  • It’s probably nothing serious, but finding cancer early makes it more treatable and can save lives
  • Speak to your GP
  • Your NHS is here to see you, safely.

The NHS has introduced a range of measures to ensure the safety of patients, including COVID-secure wards.

Dragon Café in the City

The next virtual Dragon Café in the City session, is taking place on Wednesday 25th November on Zoom.

The award-winning Dragon Café in the City is free and open to anyone working or living in the City and provides a (virtual) space for them to release the pressure, take a break from their busy routines and engage in creative activities designed to foster positive mental and physical wellbeing.

Next week’s programme includes:

  • Knit and Natter
  • Greeting Card Workshop
  • Healthy Festive Eating
  • Yoga for Mental Health

The programme can be found online here.

Keep up to date with the latest advice

HWCoL are constantly updating our advice and information pages. Please make sure you visit them regularly.

Get in touch with Healthwatch City of London

Visit our website for more information, news and events, have your say about your care, and spread the word about Healthwatch City of London. email:

Tel: 020 3745 9563 Facebook: Twitter: @HealthwatchCoL

Portsoken Health and Community Centre, 14-16 Little Somerset Street, London E1 8AH

Looking for information about health and care?

Find advice and information to help you stay well and make decisions about your health and social care support.

Find advice and information