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Welcome to the third issue of the update on Covid information.

Following feedback from you, we are segmenting the update into areas so that you can see at a glance what is relevant to you.
BLMK

Bedford Borough

Central Bedfordshire

Luton

Milton Keynes


What's Next?
Lockdown
On 4 January the BLMK region, along with the rest of the country was placed into Lockdown.

What you can and cannot do during the national lockdown

You must stay at home. The single most important action we can all take is to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.

You should follow this guidance immediately. This is the law.

Leaving home

You must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary. You may leave the home to:

  • shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
  • go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
  • exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
  • meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
  • seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
  • attend education or childcare - for those eligible

If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local - unless it is necessary to go further, for example to go to work. Stay local means stay in the village, town, or part of the city where you live.

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you should only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential. You should not attend work.

But remember if you need to attend a GP or Hospital appointment you should still go unless you are advised otherwise. Please don't waste an appointment it could have gone to someone else.

Hospital Pressures
We are working hard with our partners across the region to mitigate, as far as we can, against the current pressures on the system. Amongst many other activities we - 
 
  • Hold daily system calls with full representation from all partners across the Health and Social Care system (Acute Trust, Community Services, Social Care, Bedfordshire Care Group Ltd, EEAST, HUC and key internal CCG colleagues: Communications department and Quality team.
  • Twice weekly attendance at the Health and Social care delivery group establish the next steps forward and these are carried forward to the D2A working group for feedback.
  • Successfully identify where there are deficits to staffing in order to meet/achieve objectives.
Our next steps cover -  
  • BHLRF colleagues have offered their services to support the system and we will maximise the use of this resource over the forthcoming days/weeks.
  • We are encouraging that attendances at A&E should be avoided where possible, unless clinically justified. So we are setting up further referral pathways for safe alternatives to a hospital attendance.
Infections Increasing

Infections are increasing across the whole of Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes, so we ask everyone to make sure that their communities are reminded to observe Hands, Face, Space.

With the news that the Oxford Vaccine has been approved and will be available from next week, there is a danger that people will begin to relax. It is even more important now that we do everything we can to minimise infection.

Under each area heading you will find the latest published infection rates. These cover the 7 days leading up to 1 January 2021.

Covid Statistics for Bedford Borough

The following figures cover the 7 days up to 1 January 2021

Total positive cases - 1470 increased by 38%

Covid-19 Vaccine Roll out in Bedford Borough

The first vaccination centres, run by family doctors and their teams opened in Bedford as the roll out of the biggest vaccination programme in NHS history gains further momentum.

All of the Primary Care Networks (PCN) in Bedford, Caritas, North Bedford, East Bedford and Unity took delivery of the Pfizer vaccine this week and the first vaccine was given to registered patients over 80 on Wednesday evening.

Fully trained vaccinators will be administering the jab at Kings House Conference Centre in Ampthill Road to ensure there is plenty of room for social distancing when waiting, as well as a recovery area, where people will be monitored for 15 minutes after the vaccination.

Next week this will extend to the Guru Nanak Gurdwara Temple speeding up the vaccination rollout.

Linden Road Surgery

Last week the surgery had several staff members who have contracted Coronavirus.

 As staff wear PPE at all times when working patients have not been put at any greater risk of contracting COVID-19.

However a
s a result of this they have put in precautionary measures to keep patients and staff safe.

Linden Road premises was closed in order to conduct a deep clean of the premises and re-opened on Monday 4 January 2021.

Floods in Bedford
In addition to the pressure on communities with Coronavirus, Bedford suffered severe flooding over the Christmas period.

The CCG worked with the local authority, emergency services and voluntary groups to support the evacuation and COVID-safe shelter of a large number of residents who were most severely affected.


We would like to acknowledge and thank everyone who worked so hard at a particularly difficult time of the year to make sure that everyone was safe and warm.

Covid Statistics for Central Bedfordshire

The following figures cover the 7 days up to 1 January 2021

Total positive cases - 1839 increased by 36%
Vaccination rollout in Central Bedfordshire

Two Primary Care Networks went live before Christmas. Chiltern Hills delivered from  Priory Gardens Health Centre and Ivel Valley South delivered from Shefford Health Centre.

Leighton Buzzard will receive their vaccines on 14 January and Titan on 15 January.

 
Hillton, H is for Health and Ivel Valley North are being delivered under a blended model with Community Pharmacy and all go live w/c 18 January.

Covid Statistics for Luton

The following figures cover the 7 days up to 1 January 2021

Total positive cases - 1565 increased by 47%
Vaccination Rollout in Luton

Two of the Primary Care Networks (PCN) in Luton, Phoenix Sunrisers and Eden went live and were delivering vaccinations before Christmas.

Medics PCN are going live on Saturday 9 January and Hatters and Oasis follow on Thursday next week.

This means that from Thursday 14 January all PCNs in Luton will be live and delivering vaccines.

Covid Statistics for Milton Keynes

The following figures cover the 7 days up to 1 January 2021

Total positive cases - 2547 increased by 20%

Vaccination rollout in Milton Keynes

Two of the Primary Care Networks (PCN) in Milton Keynes, Crown PCN (using Water Eaton Health Centre) and South West PCN (Westcroft Health Centre) went live before Christmas and were delivering vaccines.
East PCN went live on 7 January and Nexus PCN on 8 January.

Next week Ascent PCN receive vaccinations on 14 January  and Bridge and Watling Street on 15 January. 

This means by the end of next week all PCNs in Milton Keynes will be delivering vaccines to the patients with the highest priorities.

Frequently Asked Questions

We have compiled a list of the questions that are asked most frequently which can be found here. This is an evolving document and will be updated when new questions come in.

For example, we have just received a query about Long Covid clinics and why there aren't any in Luton?

We have developed a Post COVID-19 Assessment Service which went live on 1st December 2020.  The service is provided by Whaddon Healthcare who are based in Milton Keynes and is available to any patients registered with a Bedfordshire, Luton or Milton Keynes GP practice.  Patients can be referred into the service by their GP or any healthcare professional.  The service is delivered virtually for initial assessment, but future plans involve running more local clinics for face to face appointments where clinically appropriate. 

There is also a self-management tool available online via - https://www.yourcovidrecovery.nhs.uk/ 

But as more clinics come on line, this will change and be updated.

Every time we get more questions we will let you know so that you can answer any queries you may receive.


In the meantime we are also working on FAQs specifically aimed at Social Workers. The national FAQs can be found here, and again we will update as we receive more questions.
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