Important Information

We have put temporary measures in place to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff. These include

  • Taking the difficult decision to suspend visiting at our hospitals. Exceptions to this rule are the Children’s Ward, Maternity, the Neonatal Unit and Patients receiving end of life care. You can read more about this in our news item or view our poster.
  • Car Parking charges are currently suspended for patients and staff
  • Closing some of our public entrances to our hospitals (note: staff are still able to get through with access codes)
  • We have created a supplementary coronavirus Privacy Notice to explain how we may use your information during the outbreak to protect you and others

Coronavirus Health information

Please use the NHS website for general health information about coronavirus and when to seek medical help.

Do not leave your home if you have coronavirus symptoms

Do not leave your home if you have either:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of smell or taste (anosmia)

To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home.

Use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do.

Coronavirus Testing Information (Including Test & Trace)

Who can get tested?

Testing for coronavirus (Covid-19) has been expanded to everyone over the age of five with symptoms. People can ask for a test if they, or a member of their household, have the recent onset of any of the following symptoms:

  • a new continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of smell or taste (anosmia)

The test needs to be done in the first 5 days of having symptoms (it is better to apply for a test in the first 3 days if possible).

Members of the public (who are not essential workers) who have symptoms of coronavirus should use the national booking system by visiting the NHS Website. Those who do not have any access to the internet, or who have difficulty with the digital portals, are able to ring a new 119 service to book their test.

People experiencing any of the above symptoms and their household members should self-isolate immediately. If you need medical advice about your symptoms use NHS 111 online or call NHS 111.

Testing for Essential Workers

Essential Workers, and members of their household, who have symptoms can use the dedicated local arrangement (by speaking to their employer) or should register for a test through the Self-Referral and Employer Portals on gov.uk.

Care Homes in England can continue to register for delivery of tests for all their staff and residents, whether or not they have symptoms. Visit the GOV.uk Website for more info.

How to get tested in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin

Testing can either be done at home by applying for a home testing kit or by registering for an appointment at a drive-through testing centre.

Testing is provided at drive-through testing centres, currently by appointment only, and the correct booking procedures must be followed in order to avoid being turned away.

In Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin this may be at a Mobile Testing Unit based in a temporary location in Shropshire, or further afield, at a regionally based drive-through testing centre.

The test itself involves taking a swab of the inside of the nose and the back of the throat, using a long cotton bud. This can be done by the person themselves or by someone else. Results of the test and subsequent advice will be provided.

NHS Test and Trace programme

The new NHS Test and Trace launched on 28 May 2020.

Anyone who tests positive for coronavirus will be contacted by the service and will need to share information about their recent interactions. This could include household members, people with whom they have been in direct contact, or within 2 metres for more than 15 minutes.

People identified as having been in close contact with someone who has a positive test must stay at home for 14 days, even if they do not have symptoms, to stop unknowingly spreading the virus.

For more information click here.

Antibody testing

There are now two types of coronavirus test:

  • A swab test (antigen test or PCR test): to test if you currently have coronavirus
  • An antibody test: to see if you have previously had it

To find out more read this handy guide to the different type of tests.

An antibody test can tell you whether you have had coronavirus or not, but not about any level of protection or immunity from getting the virus again. If you have a positive result, it does not mean that you are immune from getting the virus again, so social distancing measures must still be followed. It will give scientists and the government a better understanding of the spread of the virus.

The antibody test involves a blood test which is taken by a medical professional.

Across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, antibody testing is being introduced in a phased approach, starting with NHS and care home staff and inpatients. The initial number of tests available will be limited but this will be increased in the coming weeks, at which point the test will be offered to more people.

Antibody testing is currently not available from your local GP. However, clinicians will also be able to request the tests for patients in both hospital and social care settings if they think it’s appropriate.

While the results of an antibody test will not allow people to make any changes to their behaviour, such as easing social distancing measures, there’s clear value in knowing whether NHS and care workers and hospital patients and care home residents have had the virus, and in collecting data on the test results.

Click here for more information about the government’s coronavirus antibody testing programme.

Help and Support

NHS Every Mind Matters: Staying at home tips

Young Minds: Looking after your mental health while self isolating

NHS Mental Health Helplines

Samaritans – visit their website or call for free on 116 123. You can also email Jo@samaritans.org or write to Freepost RSRB-KKBY-CYJK, PO Box 9090, STIRLING, FK8 2SA.

Anxiety UK – visit their website or call 03444 775 774 (Mon-Fri, 9.30am 5.30pm)

OCD Action – visit their website or call 0845 390 6232 (Mon-Fri, 9.30am – 5pm)

Shropshire Council Emergency Duty Team: 0345 678 9040

Shropshire Council website: a dedicated area for mental health with helpful links to local services and further sources of information

Shropshire Mind: Free anxiety, stress and wellbeing sessions workshops, delivered by Shropshire MIND using the Zoom video conference app. The sessions are open to everyone in a light and non-pressured way, allowing you to participate as much or as little as you want, and to focus on how we manage stress, understanding mental health and how to focus on our own personal wellbeing. Sessions are being hosted three days a week on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 3pm-4pm, and Thursdays 4pm-5pm. Click here to join the meetingMeeting ID: 850 4372 1339              Password: 799957

e-library and audio books

Calibre Audio is a charity which lend free audiobooks for anyone who is print disabled

You can join an online library to access e-books, magazines and audiobooks:

Shropshire e-Library

Debt Support Trust – visit their website or call 0800 085 0226 (8am – 7pm Monday – Friday)

The Money Advice Service – you can launch a webchat online or ring 0800 138 7777 (Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm. Saturday, 9am – 1pm)

Consumer Credit Counselling service (CCCS) – 0800 138111 (Monday- Friday 8am-8pm)

Shropshire Council

Telford & Wrekin Council

Children eligible for free school meals in year 3 and above can receive support through a weekly shopping voucher worth £15 to help parents provide additional meals whilst schools are closed:

Free School Meal Scheme

Citizens Advice: check that you are claiming benefits to access support during Covid-19

Government Advice if you are struggling to pay your rent

Gingerbread.org: Managing money and debt

Marie Curie – information and advice on benefits and finances when someone dies

If you feel isolated and need someone to talk to or need practical help:

Campaign to End Loneliness

Age UK have a 24 hour chat line: 0800 4708090

Age Cymru is offering a check in and chat telephone service for the over 70s in Wales who live alone: 0800 223 444 or online.

Measures announced to help limit the spread of Coronavirus include people staying at home wherever possible. However, there are some circumstances in which help and support may be needed. No matter what the circumstances are, there is never an excuse for domestic abuse.

GOV.UK  – the Government supports and funds several charities that can help.

Childline – you can visit their website for 1-2-1 chat with a Counsellor or call 0800 1111 (their number wont show up on our phone bill)

Axis Counselling Service – Shrewsbury – call 01743 357777; Telford – Call 01952 278000

England Women’s Aid – visit their website or call free 0808 2000 247 (24 hours). You can also email helpline@womensaid.org.uk which will be responded to within 5 working days.

Rape Crisis England and Wales – visit their website or call their Freephone on 0808 802 9999 (every day 12 noon – 2.30pm and 7pm -9.30pm)

Men’s advice helpline – visit their website or call their Freephone on 0808 801 0327 (Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm). You can also email them on info@respectphoneline.org.uk.

If you need help with shopping or other errands and don’t know who to ask for help Age UK have an advice line open 8am to 7pm: 0800 6781602

Shropshire Council : Sources of Support

Telford & Wrekin Council: Food Parcels, Food Shopping and Meals 

Telford & Wrekin community support line for people over 70 or under 70 with underlying health conditions: visit their website or call 01952 382030

Covid Mutual Aid: Access local support within your community here

Support for those Self-Isolating

Staying in touch

Whilst it is a difficult time due to coronavirus and there are restrictions in place which prevent you from seeing family and friends who may be receiving treatment and care within the hospital, there are ways you can stay in touch or let them know that you are thinking of them.

Telephone or Video Call

There is free NHS WiFi available across the Trust. If the person you care about is in hospital and they have a mobile phone or tablet with them then you can contact them by telephone or video call. Another option is to record a message for them which they can listen to or watch.

Send your loved one a message

You can contact a patient through our ‘send your loved one a message scheme’.

Send a Comfort Pebble

If someone you care about is being treated for coronavirus then you can send them a comfort pebble to let them know that you are thinking of them. Comfort pebbles have been introduced to enable the person you care for to have something that they can hold and keep close to them as a reminder of their family and friends who are thinking of them. CLICK HERE TO SEND A PEBBLE.

Video Call

Links for how to stay in touch using:

Facebook messenger

Skype

Zoom

WhatsApp:

iPhone

Android

BBC: how to make a video call

If you can’t find the resources you are looking for they may be available through Health Education England, information is frequently added from trusted sources and has sections tailored for children and young people, older people, people who require information in accessible formats:  https://library.nhs.uk/coronavirus-resources/

Healthwatch Shropshire wants to know how the current pandemic is affecting people in Shropshire, their well-being, how they are finding useful information, how they are being supported, what helps them cope and how their experience of health and social care has been affected. You can read more and take the survey on the Healthwatch Website.

National Voices is a group of over 150 charities supporting people with physical and mental health problems and disability. They are collecting feedback of peoples personal experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK. If you would like to share your experience anonymously please visit their webpage ourcovidvoices.co.uk

Changes to visiting

We have taken the difficult decision to suspend visiting at our hospitals. Exceptions to this rule are the Children’s Ward, Maternity, the Neonatal Unit, vulnerable patients and patients receiving end of life care. You can read more about this in our news item.

Changes to parking

All car parking charges are currently suspended for all patients and staff

Changes to Operations and Appointments

In line with well-established plans for situations like this, every hospital in England has now been asked to suspend all non-urgent elective operations for at least three months, with some other procedures likely to be rescheduled before then so we can train our staff and adapt certain areas.

Urgent and emergency cases and cancer treatments will be carrying on as normal, but we know many people waiting for treatment will be disappointed or worried, and we will be contacting everyone affected as soon as possible.

If you have an appointment, please assume this is still going ahead unless you have been contacted by the team. If you have any queries about attending your appointment please contact us through the number on your appointment letter. When attending an appointment, please make sure you regularly use the hand gel provided in the corridors and waiting areas and please respect social distancing rules wherever you are able to.

Information for pregnant women

Information for pregnant women is available on our maternity services page. Information about visiting changes is available here.

Information in other formats & languages

Advice in British Sign Language (BSL)

Signal: local help and support

Advice in BSL: Daily updates provided by the Deaf Health Charity Signhealth

NHS 111 Symptom Checker with British Sign Language Interpretation  

Government information

Advice in Different Languages

Every Mind Matters, top ten tips:

Bengali

Gujarati 

Polish 

Punjabi 

Romani 

Romanian 

Russian 

Somali 

Urdu 

Easy Read Information

Makaton Information

An introduction to coronavirus
Coronavirus information

Books Beyond Words

Books beyond words are books with no text – they have no language barrier, and can be easier to understand. The books can be used by the images alone or through looking at the images with someone who shares the story with you. The books help the person to tell the story in their own words and start discussion on what is seen.

Want to Help?

An incredible amount of people have messaged us with kind offers of support, including food, accommodation and donations. This support is invaluable to us.

If you think you can help, then please email us at we.supportsath@nhs.net – please include details and any contact information and a member of the team will get back to you.

PPE

If you/your company would like to donate or help with PPE then please visit our dedicated PPE Page.

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