Welcome to the last Healthwatch Wandsworth E-Bulletin in 2021
We would like to hear from carers about hospital discharges
Do you know a resident or carer who has supported someone in Wandsworth, as a carer, when that person was discharged from hospital since May 2021?
Please put them in touch with us to discuss whether they might be interested in spending an hour speaking to us about their experience either on the phone or online between December and mid-January. We are offering a £40 voucher as a thank you. We are especially looking for male carers and young people to contact us as they are underrepresented in our interviews, but others are very welcome and encouraged to take part.
Please feel free to share this information.Find out more on our websiteFind out more on our websiteHealthwatch Wandsworth
Age UK Wandsworth is looking for volunteers
Age UK Wandsworth relies on volunteers to help them offer vital services in the local community. Almost anyone can be a volunteer for AgeUK. They have a wide range of roles which suit different people. You must be over 18 and be able to volunteer without children or pets.
As we enter the winter season AgeUk are especially looking for Hospital Discharge Volunteers.
Discharge volunteers visit older people when they have returned home from hospital. A volunteer can offer some practical assistance, support or just someone to talk to. This could include:
- Carrying out small tasks around the house.
- Helping the older person to do gentle exercises or walk short distances.
- Having a cup of tea and a chat.
- Accompanying the older person to collect their pension.
Volunteers play a huge part in helping an older person to settle back in and regain their confidence at home. A volunteer would be paired with one older person for 4-6 weeks whilst they settle back at home. Age UK Wandsworth would ask that the volunteer would visit once or twice per week during the day.
Weekdays between 9am – 5pm only. 2-3 hours a week, minimum 3 months
For more information contact email@example.com
More information on their volunteering webpage here:
COVID-19 remains a risk - what does this mean?
The Government has announced that England is moving to Plan B in response to the risks of the rise in cases of Omicron variant of COVID-19. This means:
- Face coverings are required by law in most indoor settings.
- Office workers who can work from home should do so.
- Certain venues and events will be required by law to check that all visitors aged 18 years or over are fully vaccinated, have proof of a negative test in the last 48 hours, or have an exemption.
These rules may continue to change over the coming weeks, so please check the Government and NHS website for the latest updates:
Click here for the Gov.uk coronavirus updatesClick here for the latest NHS coronavirus updatesIt is still possible to catch and spread COVID-19, even if you are fully vaccinated. Moreover, data shows that 97% of COVID-19 patients in south west London hospitals are not fully vaccinated with their first, second and booster dose (read more here).
COVID-19 will be a feature of our lives for the foreseeable future, so we need to learn to live with it and manage the risk to ourselves and others.
All of us can play our part by understanding the situations where risks of COVID-19 infection and transmission are likely to be higher, and taking action to reduce these risks.
Some of the things you can do to keep yourself, your loved ones and community safe in addition the above include:
- Get vaccinated and get your booster dose
- If you are going to meet with people, take a lateral flow test before you do
- The Government encourages people to test themselves twice a week with a lateral flow test. Even if you do not have Coronavirus symptoms. (more information below).
- Let fresh air in if you meet indoors. Meeting outdoors is safer
- Get tested using a PCR test and self-isolate if you you are feeling unwell, especially if have a high temperature, a new continuous cough or you’ve lost/had a change in your sense of smell or taste if required. You can order the test by calling 119.
Other reasons to order a PCR test include if;
- you’ve been in contact with someone who’s tested positive
- you’ve received an unclear result and were told to get a second test
- you need to get a test for someone you live with who has symptoms
Get vaccinated or boosted now
As we write to you, people who are 12 years and over in England are encouraged to have the coronavirus vaccine. Currently if you are 12 years and over you can have the first dose, if you are 16 and over you can have two doses and people with a weakened immune system are entitled to another dose. In addition if you are 18 years and over you can pre-book a booster dose when it has been 2 months since your second dose. If you pre-book a slot to guarantee your vaccination, it also helps manage long queues forming at many of our walk-in clinics at the moment.
All of the information and booking can be found here:
This is the best place to continue to check if you can get a vaccine as the NHS expand their programme of vaccination.
There are also walk in clinics that do not require bookings. At the moment there are likely to be queues for longer as sites are busy, although this may change over time. Information about walk in clinics are updated on our website regularly at:
If you want to learn more about the vaccine or want to tell other people where to find trusted information about it Click here to see SW London GP Dr Mohan Sekeram on why getting the booster is important and see this website.
Where to get a lateral flow test in Wandsworth
COVID-19 cases are increasing in our borough. One of the best things you can do to keep yourself and others safe is to get tested regularly, especially before meeting people whether you have symptoms or not.
Around 1 in 3 people who have COVID-19 do not have any symptoms and can spread it without knowing. Lateral flow testing is for those people who are not displaying any COVID-19 symptoms and provides rapid results within around 30 minutes.
You can collect the tests from pharmacies, community centres or test sites or order them online to be sent to your house. They can also be collected from Battersea Library, Tooting Library, Wandsworth Town Library.
If you do have symptoms then you will need to arrange for a PCR test, which can be ordered to your home or completed at pharmacies or test centres. More information is available on the council’s website.More information about testing on the council's website hereMore information about testing on the council's website here
Treatment for COVID-19 if you are clinically vulnerable
From 16 December 2021, the NHS will be offering new antibody and antiviral treatments to people with coronavirus (COVID-19) who are at highest risk of becoming seriously ill.
2 types of COVID-19 treatment will be available:
- casirivimab and imdevimab (Ronapreve)
- molnupiravir (Lagevrio)
Casirivimab and imdevimab are biological medicines. They are also known as neutralising monoclonal antibodies (nMAbs).
Molnupiravir is an antiviral medicine.
These treatments can help some people manage their COVID-19 symptoms and reduce the risk of becoming seriously ill.
If you are considered clinically vulnerable someone will contact you about this medication if you test positive for COVID-19. The NHS will be writing to people soon to tell them more about it.
Getting a healthcare appointment as the pandemic continues
You may have heard a lot in the news about the various difficulties patients face in getting appointments or progress on their health and care management. Read more about the situation locally.
There have been some news reports focusing on difficulties patients have had in getting health and care appointments. There are also reports about how staff in health and care are facing a very difficult challenge to meet demand as they catch-up after the pandemic delayed a lot of appointments throughout health and care. Many people have told us that they worry about waiting lists, some think they should perhaps not ‘bother’ the NHS and others have told us that waiting for treatment can be frustrating and it has an impact on their mental health and wellbeing.
Even during the winter when the NHS is at its busiest and COVID-19 is adding more challenges, it’s really important to seek help if you need it and keep your overall health and wellbeing on track. If the situation is urgent you should call 111, or 999 in an emergency. GPs are continuing to try to support patients so continue to contact them if you need support, particularly if you or your child qualify for other important vaccines such as the pneumonia vaccine (Pneumococcal vaccine overview - NHS (www.nhs.uk) Read the full article on our websiteRead the full article on our website
Get involved in the hospital rooms art programme
Arts and mental health charity Hospital Rooms has this week launched an arts project in partnership with South West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust.
As part of the development of two new mental health facilities at Springfield University Hospital, 20 major artworks have been commissioned to transform how the hospital wards are experienced by patients and service users.
Set for completion in late 2022, the new Trinity and Shaftesbury buildings will sit at the centre of a new 'Springfield Village' community.
Between January and June 2022, Hospital Rooms artists will lead more than 80 art workshops with patients and staff, which will go on to inform the artworks that are created for the new facilities. The project will transform how a mental health hospital can look and feel and make access to creative participation central to the culture of care at the Trust. As part of the co-production process, artists will lead numerous imaginative and adventurous art workshops at Springfield Hospital, which are generously supported by art materials manufacturer Colart and Winsor and Newton. The programme will engage a wide spectrum of the community in a meaningful collaborative experience and ensure the new environments have an affinity with the people who encounter them.
For more information and to sign up to the workshops, click here:
Free devices to help keep vulnerable people connected
Wandsworth Council is reminding vulnerable people that they can apply for easy-to-use communication tablets to help them keep in touch with loved ones and carers.
The council, in partnership with Alcove, provides Carephone devices to vulnerable and clinically vulnerable people to tackle loneliness and isolation. The Carephones can be easily used by people who otherwise would be at risk of social isolation to make video calls with family, friends, care workers and other approved service providers. More information on the Alcove Carephones by clicking hereMore information on the Alcove Carephones by clicking here
Three key mental health services in Wandsworth that you could turn to for help
Three key mental health resources in Wandsworth that you could turn to for help are:
Talk Wandsworth provides free confidential support for common mental health problems, such as: depression, anxiety and stress.
They provide talking therapies for any one over the age of 18 who lives in, or who has a GP in, the London Borough of Wandsworth. The majority of our treatments are delivered in the form of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
Talk Wandsworth are currently offering a number of different treatments that can be delivered remotely, including: telephone sessions, Skype sessions, Skype Groups and through evidence-based online platforms. Skype groups at this level, which run for between 5 and 7 weeks. Groups included are: Overcoming Worry (for anxiety), Mood Management (depression), Panic and Phobias, Managing Long Term Conditions and Stress Management.
You can access these services by self-referring:
Self refer by clicking hereTalk Wandsworth run free workshops and can offer other support if needed. For example they have an online workshop about building resilience in stressful times on 23rd December.Book tickets here for the building resilience workshopTalk Wandsworth
Togetherall (previously Big White Wall)
It’s not business as usual at the moment & it’s okay not to be okay. Connect with others who may be feeling the same at www.togetherall.com. A FREE online community dedicated to starting conversations & creating a safe place to share.
- Mental Health Support Online, anonymous and 24/7
- Community - Peer to peer support in a safe community - anonymous & monitored 24/7 by clinicians and therapists.
- Courses - Work through a selection of courses, with professional support on hand.
- Resources - Complete tests, access tools & content and receive helpful techniques to help manage mental health.
Kooth is an online mental health platform for children and young people between 11 and 25 years.
Kooth provides an anonymous, self-referral digital service that enables children and young people to ‘drop in’ and find fast, easy and free support that suits them. There are no waiting times, no referrals, no thresholds to meet and complete anonymity. The digital setting also helps reduce the stigma associated with accessing mental health services.
Find out more by clicking on the video below:
Click here to go to the Kooth website
The current coronavirus pandemic may cause you to feel worried, anxious, or scared. Read our seven steps to looking after your wellbeing while staying informed:Coronavirus is affecting my mental health, what can I do?Coronavirus is affecting my mental health, what can I do?
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So if you have any ideas or feedback, please feel free to get in touch and share your thoughts with us. We love hearing from you.Email Healthwatch Wandsworth
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Anything you'd like to tell us?
We're keen to hear about all your experiences with health, social or mental health care services in Wandsworth, so please get in touch and tell us what you think.
We're interested in all kinds of experiences, good and bad. What you tell us really does make a difference.