Healthwatch City of London Bulletin 33

This week's bulletin provides an update on the increasing level of planned services post COVID and details of our next Board meeting in Public on Friday 14th May.
woman holding it starts with you campaign poster in foyer

Healthwatch City of London Board Meeting in Public

Our next Board Meeting in Public is on Friday 14th May between 13:00 and 15:00. The meeting will be held via Zoom due to the current restrictions.  

We will be giving an update on progress at the Neaman Practice and the provision of the Podiatry clinic. As we start to focus on the increasing level of planned services post COVID, we will be joined by Chris Pocklington, Director of Group Operations from Barts NHS Trust, who will talk to us about services returning to normal post the COVID pandemic and waiting lists.

If you’d like to join us, please send an email to

Neaman Practice update

Healthwatch City of London have asked the Neaman Practice to confirm the dates and frequency of the podiatry clinics on their website.  We have been working hard with the Practice in the background to establish the new timings. This is part of the returning to normal post covid so please bear with the practice team whilst they make this happen. If you have any problems do let us and the practice know.

Many of you have told us about the issues you have been experiencing in getting through to the practice and making appointments. The team have been working hard to implement a new telephone system and are very aware of the issues.  We are meeting with them on the 20th May and hope to report on how well this has gone and see the improvements it has bought about.  We know the practice are working hard to make things right and look forward to hearing some positive feedback.  

If you do have a complaint to make, you can do so by following the Practices’ complaints procedure and completing their on-line form.  It helps the practice to know what you are finding difficult because unless they know they aren’t able to make things right. To help us help you please do get in touch with us at  Your complaint will remain anonymous if you so wish.

Healthwatch City of London have also asked for information from the City and Hackney Integrated Care Partnership regarding the commissioning of podiatry, and what services were commissioned from the Homerton Hospital.

There continues to be some difficulties in getting appointments for the clinics. Healthwatch have been working hard to make sure everyone is clear about how to access the service. We will continue to update you in our bulletins, but in the meantime the form for self - referral is on the Homerton Hospital website. You can access it here Podiatry self-referral | Homerton University Hospital Foundation Trust

If you have any difficulties with the form or have any other problems accessing the service please do let us know. 

St Leonards redevelopment project update

In our March newsletter Malcolm Waters, Trustee at Healthwatch City of London, gave us an overview of the St Leonards hospital site redevelopment, and our role in ensuring a proper consultation process. Here is an update on the project from Malcolm.

“Healthwatch City of London are working together with our colleagues at Healthwatch Hackney to ensure that City and Hackney residents are fully involved in shaping plans for the redevelopment of St Leonard’s Hospital. To that end, the two Healthwatches have put together a public engagement programme that is designed to give residents the opportunity to have their say in creating a new community hospital that will meet the needs of local people well into the future. The programme was discussed at a roundtable meeting of local health leaders convened last month by the chairs of both Healthwatches. The next stage will be to agree a funding mechanism for the programme and a mandate for the two Healthwatches to lead the process of public engagement.

We are still at a relatively early stage, but we hope it will be possible to hold a public meeting on the future of St Leonard’s in July, at which local people will be able to hear a presentation on the redevelopment process and have the opportunity to ask questions and express their views on the future of the hospital. Our current intention is that the meeting will be followed by a survey of City and Hackney residents and a series of focus groups in each of the eight neighbourhoods which make up the City and Hackney area. The two Healthwatches would then draw together the views expressed by local people and integrate them into a People’s Plan for the future of St Leonard’s.

In whatever form the engagement programme finally emerges, we and our colleagues at Healthwatch Hackney are determined to do all we can to ensure that City and Hackney residents have a proper opportunity to express their aspirations for the services and facilities that should be provided at a redeveloped St Leonard’s.”

Barts Health service update

Barts Health has restarted routine face-to-face outpatient appointments across many of its services if you need to be seen in person. If you have been asked to attend hospital for your appointment or you should attend as normal. The Trust continues to offer telephone and video consultations for patients who do not require a face-to-face appointment. As fewer Covid-19 patients need care in hospital, Barts Health has been able to restart planned procedures and teams are working hard to ensure patients are seen as promptly and safely as possible.

You can hear more about the restarting of planned care across the Trust by joining us at our Board Meeting in Public on Friday 14th May, where we’ll be joined by Chris Pocklington, Director of Group Operations from Barts NHS Trust.

Mental Health awareness

Mental health is important to all of us and at times in our lives nearly all of us can find ourselves struggling to cope both mentally and emotionally.

COVID 19 has resulted in many adults and children experiencing prolonged periods of low mood and feelings of anxiety and stress for the first time. Others already experiencing mental ill health may have noticed their symptoms are worse.

Next week sees Mental Health awareness week, so we have carried out some research on services available across the City, if you did want to reach out for help.

We will be holding our Mental Health and Wellbeing Focus group on Friday 14th May between 11am and 12 where we will be joined by colleagues from MIND, East London Foundation Trust and City Connections. All the details of how to join are below.

Accessing services and advice

If you would like help for yourself, a dependant or someone you know, here is how you can access both NHS and charitable organisations.

  • City and Hackney Crisis line

If you need urgent help because you are worried that you might harm yourself or someone else, call the 24-hour City & Hackney crisis helpline freephone 0800 073 0006

  • East London NHS Foundation Trust Update

All services are currently open for business and receiving both routine and urgent referrals.

People who are known to the service can contact their Duty Worker, as usual.

The Donald Winnicott Centre covers the City of London and their phone number is 020 7033 6100.

  • Find support services map

The find support services map shows organisations that are open but providing an online or phone alternative to their usual activities in response to coronavirus

  • City and Hackney Wellbeing Network

The City and Hackney wellbeing network offers free support to help people prevent the onset of mental health problems and alleviate issues such as stress, anxiety and low mood. They also offer support to adults with severe and enduring mental health conditions. They offer a range of groups and courses to support people to improve their mental wellbeing, physical health, social networks and daily living skills.

You can read more about them by visiting City and Hackney Wellbeing Network

  • Dragon Café in the City

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, try something new, and engage in creative activities designed to foster positive mental and physical wellbeing.

The sessions are held on Wednesday fortnightly. The programme of events can be found here Dragon Café in the City (

  • Kooth

Kooth is a free online counselling and emotional well-being support service for young people aged 11-19 years in City and Hackney. Kooth has no referrals or waiting lists and young people can access it anonymously. It’s open 365 days a year from noon to 10pm weekdays and from 6 to 10pm on Saturday and Sundays.

  • Every Mind Matters

A campaign run by Public Health England giving tips and advice to help you look after yours mental health and wellbeing. Every Mind Matters | One You (

Second COVID 19 vaccinations

If you booked your vaccinations via the National Booking System or 119, you should have booked your second appointment at the same time as booking your first. If you received your vaccination at a Primary Care site, John Scott Centre or the Bocking Street Centre, you will be contacted by your GP surgery to book your second vaccination appointment. If you have not received this within 77 days of your first vaccination, please contact the GP confederation on 0207 729 7236.

Vaccination availability

Vaccinations are now available if you’re aged 40 or over, of if you'll turn 40 before 1 July 2021. You can book appointments at a larger vaccination centre or pharmacy now, or wait to be invited to go to a local NHS service.

BSL guide to vaccinations and blood clotting

The government has released an updated BSL guide to vaccinations and blood clotting. You can view the guide here BSL video guide on COVID-19 vaccination and blood clotting - GOV.UK (

Regular rapid self - testing

To continue to stop the spread of COVID 19 now lockdown is easing, it is important to take twice weekly tests. About 1 in 3 people with coronavirus do not have symptoms but can still infect others. 

Getting tested regularly is the only way to know if you have the virus. If people test positive and self-isolate, it helps stop the virus spreading. The government is urging everyone to take these tests, even if you have had the vaccination and has published a guidance video and instructions in different languages COVID-19 self-test help - GOV.UK (

Anyone in England who does not have symptoms can now get regular rapid lateral flow tests to check for coronavirus. So how to get regular rapid tests? There are two ways.  

Go to a test site 

You can go to a rapid lateral flow test site to get a rapid test. 

If you go to a test site: 

  • you may need an appointment, so check before you go 
  • a trained helper might be able to help you do the test 
  • you'll get a text or email with the result when it's ready 

Find your nearest rapid lateral flow test site 

Get a test to do at home 

You can get rapid tests to do at home. 

You can collect up to 2 packs of 7 tests from a local pharmacy or test site: 

Here is a link to the pharmacy sites in North East London where you can collect the test packs 

You can get a pack of 7 tests sent to your home. Order rapid lateral flow home test kits on GOV.UK 

If you do tests at home, you'll need to report your results online or on the phone. 

Let us know how useful you have found the information we provide on COVID 19, the test and trace system and the vaccination programme.  

We have devised this really short survey to find out your views.  

Vaccination Centre 9th May

Do you want to get your COVID vaccine? Are you 40 or over and live in Hackney or the City of London? If yes, please go to a walk-in clinic at John Scott Vaccination centre this Sunday 9th May, between 9:30 and 14:30 pm. Please note that this is for first dose vaccinations only.

No appointment is needed, however the vaccination will be administered on a first come first served basis. The help the clinic run smoothly, it would be useful if you had your NHS number to hand. You can find this in advance here:

Translators will be available on the day.

The John Scott Vaccination Centre is at 220 Green Lanes, N4 2NU. Please see the document below for all of the details and a map of the site.

John Scott vaccination centre details

City Connections May newsletter

Please see below the City Connections May newsletter that gives an overview of their upcoming events for the month.

As well as their usual activities they will be hosting Compassion in Dying for the Carers Call on 24th May to talk about planning for treatment and care.

Their first in-person activity of the year will be a Walk and Talk with the Huguenots of Spitalfields on 1st June. Please contact if you’re interested in attending.

City Connections May newsletter

Worried about nuisance calls?

The City of London Police are reaching to residents to understand the volume of nuisance calls they are receiving. The force has partnered up with trueCall, who provide technology able to block unwanted scam calls, and have a number of call blocker units available for the most vulnerable residents. Please see the attached leaflet below for more details.

City of London Police Nuisance Calls leaflet

Endoscopy Community Survey

Barts Health NHS Trust are asking the community to help us improve their service.

The endoscopy service has high numbers of patients cancelling, or not turning up to their endoscopy appointments. Endoscopies are camera tests used to investigate symptoms and diagnose health problems.

The Trust want to understand why there is such a high number of cancellations and no shows, so they can try and improve their service. This is vital in order to improve the health of our community. 

The survey includes information on what endoscopy is and why it is used, then asks you some questions that will take about 5 minutes to complete.

You can access the survey by clicking the following link

Upcoming Healthwatch City of London Events

One of Healthwatch City of London’s purposes is to understand the needs, experiences and concerns of people who use health and social care services and to speak out on their behalf. To ensure we hear about and know of your concerns we run regular events. Ideally, we’d like to hold them face to face, but because of the current pandemic we are restricted to Zoom events.

Please see a list of our events below with joining details.

Mental Health and Wellbeing Focus Group – Friday 14th May

Overview: An opportunity for residents, workers, students and service providers to discuss mental health provision in the City of London, identifying access issues and any gaps in service provision. We will be joined by colleagues from MIND, East London Foundation Trust and City Connections.

Time: 11:00 – 12:00

Joining details:

Meeting ID: 918 7411 1747 Passcode: 276063 Dial in: 0203 481 5240 United Kingdom

Healthwatch City of London Board Meeting in Public – Friday 14th May

Overview: Healthwatch City of London will be giving an update on the work we have carried out over the past few months. We will also be joined by Chris Pocklington, Director of Group Operations from Barts NHS Trust, who will talk to us about services restarting post the COVID pandemic and waiting lists.

Time: 13:00 – 15:00

Joining details: If you’d like to join us, please send an email to

Listening to City Carer’s event – Friday 21st May: An opportunity for Carer’s to provide feedback on their experience of Health and Social Care.

Overview: This week we will be joined by Jordann Birch, Partnership and Engagement Assistant Public Health from CoL who will discuss what support carers need that is currently not being met. This group is for all unpaid carers who live in the City of London. We would love to hear from young carers too, if you know a young carer please let them know about this forum.

Time: 11:00 – 12:00

Joining details:

Meeting ID: 947 2686 3167 Passcode: 510073 Dial in: 0203 481 5237 United Kingdom

Healthwatch City of London Drop-in session – Thursday 27th May

Overview: An opportunity for residents, workers and students to raise issues about their experience of Health and Social care with the staff of Healthwatch.

Time: 14:00 – 16:00

Joining details:

Meeting ID: 920 4126 2576 Passcode: 166020 Dial in: 0203 901 7895 United Kingdom

City Carers Community - resident led event

An Introduction to Latin Dance via Zoom - 8th & 15th May

Learn the basics of Latin Dancing from a little Salsa to Chacha and more. Suitable for beginners. Taught by the enthusiastic Mauricio, he has been teaching Latin moves, promoting and Djing for over 25 years.

Open to City Carers, friends, family, and City residents of all ages. 2.45pm- 3.45pm starting 1st May 2021.Come and join in the fun session. Booking is required, for the zoom link email to:

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 and vaccination uptake data in the City. The site is updated regularly and accessible at.

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

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