Chat from the Chair
May I take this opportunity to wish you all a belated Happy New Year. Let us hope that 2022 proves to be the year when our lives can return to something approaching normality. We know that may not be possible for everyone as so many of us have seen our lives altered either by loss, illness, or the stress of the last two years. As the government has now reverted to Plan A covid restrictions, we encourage you to remain vigilant and stick to the rules. Although face masks are no longer mandatory some supermarkets are encouraging customers to continue to wear them in their stores, and of course there is still a requirement to wear them on London public transport. We need to remain thoughtful of each other especially the most vulnerable in our community.
We are back up and running in what promises to be a very busy year for us at Healthwatch! The roll out of the Integrated Care System (ICS) has been delayed nationally by three months, it was announced on Christmas Eve, to the 1st July. ICSs are new partnerships between the organisations that meet health and care needs across an area, to coordinate services and to plan the provision and delivery of services in a way that improves population health and reduces inequalities between different groups. We’ll be part of the North East London ICS, and our role is to act as a critical friend to ensure that your voice is heard. At our next Public Board meeting (details below) you will be able to find out more about the new ICS and how they plan to engage with residents. We’ll also hear from the City of London Commissioner on the delayed Home Care Contract renewal and tender process.
We continue our work around access to the services you want. I have met with Barts Health and Dr Chor from the Neaman Practice to talk about access to non-invasive cardiac tests. The Barts team and the Neaman practice are now working together to try and improve access, we will continue to monitor this and update you. I’ve also written to the CCG about referral pathways to the Homerton and raised your concerns about travel times to attend appointments. If you are experiencing problems accessing services or have concerns with appointment referrals, please do let us know.
We are refreshing our webinars programme for the New Year, we’d like to hear about any ideas you have for topics you would like to learn more about, or indeed people from across the Health and Social care sector that you’d like to hear from. Let us know!
We will also be asking you to participate in a series of surveys over the next few months so you can share your experiences of Health and Social care, these will range from access to dentistry, patient engagement/involvement to patient choice and your health priorities. So please do look out for these and give us your views.
I look forward to seeing you all soon at either one of our webinars or at a Public Board meeting.
Changes to COVID rules are now in effect
You will not be required to wear a face covering, including in communal areas of schools, but the government suggests you continue to wear one in crowded and indoor spaces where you may come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
You’ll no longer need to show your NHS COVID Pass at venues and events by law.
The legal requirement to self-isolate if you test positive for COVID will remain for the time being, although the timeline for this is being reviewed.
We advise that you check on any local variation as some shops and venues are still encouraging the wearing of masks
Tackling Health Inequalities in City and Hackney
The City and Hackney Health Inequalities steering group (HISG) was formed in November 2020 in the context of the Coronavirus pandemic. It was set up to coordinate the work being done locally to reduce differences in health outcomes between groups and communities.
The group is Chaired by Dr Sandra Husbands, City and Hackney’s Director of Public Health with membership to represent the four pillars of the population health system –
- the wider determinants of health,
- health behaviours and lifestyles,
- places and communities and
- the Integrated Care System (ICS).
Members are drawn from local authorities, North East London CCG, NHS Trusts and PCN Clinical Directors. Members are all part of the Health and Wellbeing Board on which Healthwatch City of London sit.
The aim of the group to address the inequalities using their combined resources.
One year on they’ve published a report, identifying the 10 areas they want to focus on.
- Equalities data and insight
- Tools and resources
- Tackling structural racism and systemic discrimination
- Community engagement, involvement and empowerment
- Health in all policies
- Anchor networks
- Strengths- based preventative approach to service provision
- Staff health and wellbeing
- Digital inclusion
- Tailored, accessible information about services and wider wellbeing support
To find out about this important work and how it will affect our local population please visit their information page https://democracy.cityoflondon.gov.uk/mgCommitteeDetails.aspx?ID=994
One of our new volunteers is going to be helping us to disentangle data from the existing combined City and Hackney data so that we can help target our work and intervention specifically for City residents. Once the data has been analysed, we’ll be setting up focus group so we can explore our findings and raise your priorities with the ICS.
Health Inequalities Survey Shoreditch Park and City
Building on the above you can help our Primary Care Network address health inequalities.
GP Practices and Neighbourhoods within Shoreditch Park and City area have worked and continue to work with local communities and health and social care partners to gather data to help improve the outcomes of the local population including those that are most vulnerable. They would like your input in deciding where their focus should be to help address health and social care issues in our communities.
Tell the PCN your views here https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/GJHNRCX
Get Boosted now!
The most important thing that anyone can do is get vaccinated and have your booster (and flu jab) The NHS is seeing the benefit of vaccination on the severity of illness. If you are already vaccinated, please encourage friends and family to get their vaccination and booster jabs as soon as possible.
People aged 18 or over can pre-book a booster dose appointment 2 months after their second vaccine dose. You can get your booster dose 3 months after your second vaccine dose. Book your booster vaccination appointment or find a walk-in vaccination site.
Upcoming COVID-19 vaccination clinics in the City - visit our website for details of where to get your vaccinations.
Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is one of the key measures to reducing your risk of severe disease, hospitalisation, and death from the disease. Anyone aged 12+ can now access a first, second, or booster dose.
You do not need to show ID, or to be registered with a GP or have an NHS number to get vaccinated. Many sites are walk-in clinics and waiting times are short:
- Thursday 3rd and Thursday 10th February, Boots inside Liverpool Street Station, 9am-6pm (Moderna)
- Boots (120 Fleet Street, EC4A 2BE) (Moderna), and Sai Pharmacy (19 Stable Walk, E1 8EJ) (Moderna)
Most booster doses will be Pfizer or Moderna, which may be different from the vaccine someone may have had for their first or second dose.
The vaccination centre at Guys and St Thomas’s is open too, please visit their website for opening times and location https://www.guysandstthomas.nhs.uk/patients-and-visitors/coronavirus/vaccination-coronavirus.aspx
Spring Hill Practice, 57 Stamford Hill, N16 5SR. Every Sunday in January
Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccination. Priority given to people needing first and second doses.
Every Sunday in January 10am-6pm.
walk-in or book via 020 8356 3111
no ID or NHS number required
male and female vaccinators available
Tell us about your experiences of accessing vaccination services in our upcoming vaccination survey or email us now.
Healthwatch City of London Board meeting in Public
Join us for our next Board meeting in public, we’ll give you an update on our current work and we’ll be joined by Amy Burgess, Senior Engagement Manager at NHS North East London Clinical Commissioning Group and North East London Health and Care Partnership who will present on “Explaining the NEL Integrated Care System: what this means for local people and how we are embedding patient and resident participation across NEL”. We will also be joined by Ian Jarman who is the City of London Commissioner responsible for the new Home Care contract, Ian will tell us about the City’s plan for the tendering process and share timelines.
The meeting will be held via zoom on Friday 11th February between 2pm – 4pm. If there’s something you’d like to us please email us firstname.lastname@example.org , you can join us by clicking on the following zoom link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/93219874359?pwd=Q0FZVEk4SHBGSlczRE5VNlhGZHZnUT09
Meeting ID: 932 1987 4359
Change to the frequency of our newsletters
Our bulletins and newsletters will now appear in your inbox and on our website on a fortnightly basis, after this edition. We remain committed to keeping you up to date with all the latest developments and information regarding Health and Social Care services, so please do keep checking the news section of our website, where we’ll publish the latest news. https://www.healthwatchcityoflondon.org.uk/news-and-reports
Hundreds of thousands more dental appointments to help recovery of services
NHS England have this week announced a funding injection of £50 million which will provide patients with hundreds of thousands more dental appointments.
Funding will secure up to 350,000 additional dental appointments nationally, allowing people suffering from oral pain, disease, and infection to get the care they need, as services return to pre-pandemic levels.
Children, people with learning disabilities, autism, or severe mental health problems, will be prioritised as part of a dentistry treatment push over the coming months, with the one-off funding available until the end of the financial year.
Locally, NHS teams will use the funds to secure increase care capacity amongst local dentists already operating to help patients suffering from oral ill-health.
Dentists involved in the scheme will be paid more than a third on top of their normal sessional fee for delivering this care outside of core hours, such as early morning and weekend work.
Healthwatch City of London will work with City dentists to understand how they will use the grants and what extra appointments are available.
Tell us about your experiences of accessing dental care, we are keen to hear. Email us on email@example.com and look out for our upcoming survey on access to dentistry in the City.
Minor injuries at Bartholomew’s Hospital to reopen
The minor injuries unit at St Bartholomew’s Hospital is to reopen on Monday 31 January.
The service has been closed due to the pandemic.
Conditions that can be treated at a minor injuries unit include: sprains and strains, suspected broken limbs, cuts and grazes, minor head injuries, bites and stings, and skin infections and rashes. The team can also order X-rays where required.
The unit will be open from Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm with the last patient booked in at 3.45pm
For further information please visit their website https://www.bartshealth.nhs.uk/news-from-st-bartholomews/minor-injuries-to-reopen-12484
HWCoL upcoming webinars and events
Healthwatch City of London have a programme of webinars and events for your interest and information. Please see the details and how to join below. If there are any areas on which you’d like to hear more please let us know firstname.lastname@example.org
Accessing Long Covid Services in City and Hackney Webinar
Wednesday 2nd February 3pm – 4pm
We will be joined by Joanna Lyndon-Cohen, Highly Specialist Occupational Therapist from the City and Hackney Long Covid Services team. Joanna will be giving an overview of the services on offer for City residents who are suffering with symptoms of Long Covid.
Please register here to join us or you can join directly via zoom https://us06web.zoom.us/j/83226929521?pwd=WlYrSCs5elFWNHFRY2gzUTUyajVDUT09
Meeting ID: 832 2692 9521
Listening to City Carers
Friday 4th February 10.30am-11.30am
An opportunity for Carer’s to provide feedback on their experience of Health and Social Care, raise any issues and ask advice.
Meeting ID: 818 0268 6730
Healthwatch City of London Board Meeting in Public
Friday 11th February 2pm-4pm
We’ll give an update on our current work and we’ll be joined by Amy Burgess, Senior Engagement Manager at NHS North East London Clinical Commissioning Group and North East London Health and Care Partnership who will present on “Explaining the NEL Integrated Care System: what this means for local people and how we are embedding patient and resident participation across NEL”. We will also be joined by Ian Jarman who is the City of London Commissioner of the delayed new Home Care contract, who will tell us about the City’s plan for the tendering process and timelines.
you can join us by clicking on the following zoom link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/93219874359?pwd=Q0FZVEk4SHBGSlczRE5VNlhGZHZnUT09
Meeting ID: 932 1987 4359
If there’s something you’d like to us please email us email@example.com ,
AGE UK Empower Energy Awareness workshop
Empower Project Coordinator Ruby will be running her next free Energy Awareness workshop in February. She will be sharing tips and tricks on how to save money on your electricity, water and gas bills, while staying comfortable and warm at home. Topics include lighting, appliances, understanding tariffs and bills, and assistance schemes and grants. There will be plenty of time to ask any questions and to arrange a one-to-one meeting with Ruby to discuss any areas you want some personal advice on, regarding your energy usage and costs.
When: Monday 7th February, 14.00-15.30
Where: Online – Zoom
Open to: Anyone living in Tower Hamlets, Newham, Hackney and the City
Contact: Ruby Farrell (Empower Project Coordinator for Age UK East London) directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on 07514 670270.
To receive the Zoom details on the day, please complete registration via this online form, or contact Ruby if you would prefer to do this over the phone: https://forms.office.com/r/YbGj5pHwwN
Free Information Session - Winter Vaccines (Covid 19 and Flu)
Age UK London and the NHS are running a winter vaccines information zoom session on Thursday 10th February 11am – 12.30pm
This event is aimed at Housing Associations and their tenants and looks at what we all need to know about winter vaccines (Covid 19 vaccine and booster, plus Flu vaccine). Also, how communities can be empowered to make informed decisions about their health and access balanced information on vaccines.
Register to attend using this Eventbrite link https://londonvaccines.eventbrite.co.uk
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. https://www.healthwatchcityoflondon.org.uk/advice-and-information
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. www.healthwatchcityoflondon.org.uk email: email@example.com Tel: 020 3745 9563 Facebook: facebook.com/CoLHealthwatch Twitter: @HealthwatchCoL
Portsoken Health and Community Centre, 14-16 Little Somerset Street, London E1 8AH