Focus on Carers
Healthwatch City of London is celebrating Carers Week this week. Shirley is a full-time unpaid carer in the City and is the founder of the Carers Community which offers support and events for unpaid Carers. She has written the following article highlighting why Carers week is so important.
“National Carers Week 2021 – Theme Visible and Valued
It is estimated unpaid carers provide £132 billion pounds of care a year, a similar figure to the cost of our NHS.
Carers week is an annual campaign to raise the awareness of unpaid carers in our communities. Here in the City of London we have many unpaid carers, most are hidden looking after someone, providing care to their loved ones. In some cases, 20 hours a day during this ongoing pandemic.
Carers week is important, it allows the chance to have a national and local conversation on what caring is. Our Corporation website says “ If you support someone, friend/family member or neighbour regularly with everyday tasks that they are unable to do for themselves, unpaid, you are a carer, even if you have never recognised yourself as one”
The key point for us in the City is recognising yourself as a carer, it’s just a term, like a key to open doors of support. Opening the doors to support allows you to hear of groups or newsletters which share the ways to navigate the system, hints & tips, meet other residents who intrinsically understand what you are going through without the needing to explain. We find ways to ask for help or provide feedback to improve the situation for all of us bit by bit. Healthwatch City of London, is one of the focal parts in getting our voices heard. The Listening to Carers event, does exactly that. Success this year from Healthwatch in my view, are monthly sessions which are open and honest, each person is valued and has an equal voice and feels comfortable enough to say how it is for them. Healthwatch have enabled vaccinations to be delivered to housebound carers, feedback on the challenged of GP appointments and facilitated the delivery of temperature-controlled medicines where City’s road system hindered medicines to be delivered directly. All of these conversations have those of us that care in mind.
Carers UK have released a new report “ Breaks or Breakdown” in which “ 72% of carers have not had any breaks from their caring role at all. Of those who got a break, a third (33%) used the time to complete practical tasks or housework, and a quarter (26%) to attend their own medical appointments. “
To mark the 70th birthday of the Princess Royal the Carers Trust have a new fund for carers breaks. I am currently finding out for those City residents in need if they are eligible, as we are without our own carers centre to refer.
Back to Carers week, with the theme of visible and valued. This week City Connections, the City’s contracted service have had a timetable for carers week. Carers UK have session here, Mobilise sessions and of course here at City Carers Community we do too. The National Carers week website this year is missing City of London as a London borough. I have contacted them, next year the City will be visible. In the meantime, City Carers Community has continuation of Sound and Singing this Saturday. Sunday is our annual carers week quiz with star prizes of Hamper or Meals.
If you know of someone that is caring, perhaps ask them what makes them feel special and valued this year.”
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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 would 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.
Healthwatch City of London Board Meeting in Public – Friday 18th June
The next Board Meeting from Healthwatch City of London will be in Public on Friday 18th June between 1pm and 3pm. The meeting will be held over Zoom. We’ll be giving an update on the work we have carried out over the past few months. We will also be joined by Dr Chor and Dr Ugwu from the Neaman Practice who will give an overview of the action plans they have in place to address the issues we have raised with them recently.
If you’d like to join us, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Joining details: https://zoom.us/j/97628879229?pwd=S280MUNKNHRQalZlYXc5V2o0bGwyQT09
Meeting ID: 976 2887 9229 Passcode: 820796 Dial in: 0208 080 6591
Listening to City Carer’s event – Friday 25th June
The Listening to City Carer’s event is being held on Friday 25th June from 11:00 – 12:00. It is an opportunity for Carer’s to provide feedback on their experience of Health and Social Care. The event 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.
Meeting ID: 942 0033 0324 Passcode: 187989 Dial in: 0208 080 6592
Mental Health and Wellbeing focus group - Friday 16th July
Healthwatch City of London is holding a Mental Health and Wellbeing Focus Group on Friday 16th June from 10:30 – 11:30. It is 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. The event is also for those who have noticed an impact that Covid has had on their mental health and are not getting any support.
Meeting ID: 990 5928 3997 Passcode: 462754 Dial in: 0208 080 6592
COVID-19 vaccines are now being offered to people aged 25 and over and people who will turn 25 before 1 July 2021. There are 2 ways to get a COVID-19 vaccine, book online now for appointments at a vaccination centre or a pharmacy or wait to be contacted by your GP surgery and book your appointments with them.
Covid-19 testing and vaccinations in Tower Hamlets
Covid 19 vaccinations are administered in the following places in Tower Hamlets
- Arts Pavilion (Mile End Park), Clinton Road, E3 4QY
- Cable Street Surgery, 445 Cable Street, E1W 3DP
- Lincoln Pharmacy, 124 St Pauls Way, E3 4QA
- Lansbury Pharmacy, 85 Chrisp Street, E14 6GG
- Boots Pharmacy, 45 Bank Street, Jubilee Place, Canary Wharf, E14 5NY
Tower Hamlets Community clinics
- Granby Hall, Goldman Close, E2 6DT
- East London Mosque, 82-92 Whitechapel Road, E1 1JQ
Westfield Vaccination Centre, Montfichet Road, Olympic Park East, London, E20 1EJ. The clinic runs 8am to 8pm 7 days a week. Appointments are bookable through the NHS system or by calling 119.
Booking your appointment
Appointments for the Arts Pavilion, Cable Street Practice and community clinics (East London Mosque and Granby Hall) can be booked through the council's vaccine helpline - 020 7364 3030.
Other sites listed above including pharmacies are bookable through the NHS system or by calling 119.
Covid-19 testing options
If you have symptoms
Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 (a new or continuous cough, a high temperature or a change to/loss in normal sense of smell or taste) should book a test online through the national system or call 119.
Tower Hamlets residents will be offered an appointment at the closest testing site to them. In Tower Hamlets sites are:
- Idea Store Watney Market, 260 Commercial Street, E1 2FB
- Jack Dash House, 2 Lawn House Close, E14 9YQ
- Ecology Pavilion, Grove Rd, Bow, London E3 5TW
Appointments at all these sites are available through the national system.
If you have no symptoms
One in three people who test positive for coronavirus show no symptoms at all. Anyone can now access free rapid Covid-19 tests (Lateral Flow Tests).
Quick and regular testing can help protect you and those you live with.
There are 3 rapid testing sites in Tower Hamlets where you can be assisted to take rapid tests:
- 56 Burcham Street, Poplar, E14 0SH. Open 10am to 7pm daily
- Canary Wharf - level -2, Jubilee Place, Canary Wharf, E14 5NY. Open 11:00am to 8pm on Thursdays, and 7.30am to 4.30pm on all other days.
- Tramshed Community Centre, Digby Street, Bethnal Green, E2 0LP. Open 10am to 7pm daily
All these sites are walk-in centres but appointments can also be booked online.
Community Collect programme
Anyone who wants to take up free regular rapid testing, can also pick up tests through the community collect programme and take the tests at home.
In Tower Hamlets you can collect two boxes which include seven tests. They are currently available from all of the sites listed above and at the following community centres:
- Aberfeldy Community Centre, Aberfeldy St, Aberfeldy Village, E14 0NU
- St Pauls Way Community Centre, 83 St Paul's Way, Mile End, London E3 4AJ
- Idea Store Whitechapel, 321 Whitechapel Road, London, E1 1BU
- Idea Store Bow, 1 Gladstone Place, Roman Road, Bow, E3 5ES
You do not need an appointment to pick up the rapid tests from any of the above locations.
Over 40s vaccine clinic at St Leonard's Hospital
This new clinic will take place in Block E, St Leonard's Hospital, N1 5LZ every Thursday from 10am- 3pm and run until the 1st July. To guarantee your appointment please ring 020 8356 3111, no NHS number is needed, and you will only need to give a few straightforward details to book a place. You can also walk in without an appointment at any time between 10am and 2.30pm and you will be vaccinated subject to availability.
NHS Digital collection of Patient Data – update
In our May newsletter we informed you of the new NHS digital collection of Patient Data. The launch of this has now been delayed until 1st September to allow for sufficient communication on the scheme to allow patients to make an informed choice before opting in or out of the scheme.
City Carers community events
An introduction to Sound and Singing via Zoom, Saturday 12th & 26th June at 10am
Think you can't sing? nor can some of us, you're not alone.
Learn how to warm up your vocal cords in the way singers do, sing a mixture of songs over the years. No sheets needed, the words will be on your screen. We will be on Mute to hear Jordan Theis (Musical Director), teach us whilst he plays the piano, so you can belt out to your heart's content.
Open to City Carers, friends, family and City residents of all ages. To Celebrate National Carers week, this week we have an open Zoom link. Last week a participant said, " Jordan is Gareth Malone in the making!"
Meeting ID: 891 0576 0351
Carers week Quiz with Prizes, Sunday 13th June at 4pm - 5pm via Zoom
An annual quiz to celebrate National Carers week, organised voluntarily by residents. Two options, attend a multiple-choice quiz for the larger prize draw or enter your name if unable to attend the quiz for a smaller prize draw. Both prize draws will be held on Sunday. This quiz is open to any City Residents who are unpaid carers and the person/people you look after. If you support someone, friend/family member or neighbour regularly with everyday tasks that they are unable to do for themselves, unpaid, you are a carer, even if you have never recognised yourself as one. Choice of star prizes from Hamper, Meals to Book Tokens etc. Booking is essential, email CityCarersCommunity@gmail.com to enter.
Beyond the Data - One year on webinar event
Public Health England London Region are holding a webinar event to mark one year since the publication of the Beyond the Data: Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups report.
This event will support open discussion about the disparities facing London’s diverse communities, and what is being done to address them.
This event will take place on Tuesday 22nd June at 16:30 - 18:30 hours. It will be centred around the following themes:
- How London will build back fairer
- Building trust and cohesion
- Supporting health and social care
- Data and communication
To register for the event please go to Public Health England Events
Dragon Café in the City
The next virtual Dragon Café in the City session is taking place next Wednesday, 16 June, 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, try something new, and engage in creative activities designed to foster positive mental and physical wellbeing.
Next week’s programme includes:
- Self-massage: hands and arms
- Vocal exploration workshop
- Reading Friends Group: Lyric & song writing
The programme and a downloadable PDF poster can be found online here.
Free weight watchers programme for City residents and workers
Weight Watchers delivers a 12-week programme to support City residents and eligible City workers with a BMI of 30 or above to make positive changes to their lifestyles and create long-term change, helping them to achieve weight loss, prevent weight gain, and develop healthier eating habits.
City residents who are interested in the service should speak to their GP in the first instance.
City workers in service and/or manual roles such as construction, retail, food services, hospitality, transport and storage and manufacturing, who have a Body Mass Index of 23.5 or above, are able to access the free service and should call 0345 602 7068 (national call rate) and quote reference WWRS106 to assess their eligibility.
If you don’t know your BMI please call the number to assess eligibility. If eligible, you will be able to attend courses held in the Square Mile and access online resources for free.
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. https://hackney.gov.uk/coronavirus-data
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.
Tel: 020 3745 9563 Facebook: facebook.com/CoLHealthwatch Twitter: @HealthwatchCoL
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