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An update from Healthwatch Wirral - Information on the latest updates/information surrounding Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Healthwatch listens to everyone who use, and deliver, health and care services. Spare 5 to visit our homepage on for a variety of useful information around services for your family, friends and neighbours during this time.

Healthwatch Board meetings are held quarterly (March, June, Sept, Dec) and at the beginning of each meeting we review and respond to questions from the public – if you have any questions you would like to raise with Healthwatch Board please send them to our email address marked “For the Attention of Healthwatch Board”, see below

Our staff team are all working remotely, so if you need more information call us on 0151 230 8957 or email us at

Give feedback on care

It's more vital than ever that we hear people’s experiences of care CQC are launching a public campaign as part of the new Emergency Support Framework to encourage people to feedback on care - working with Healthwatch and the network.

Healthwatch Wirral will be re-energising our Bridge Forums during this time to work with our local community and voluntary organisations, to give us that insight into what people are actually experiencing during this time. We want to hear about good care too so we can celebrate it and share good practice.

Resources and information on Bridge and Spare 5 will be coming out soon. In the meantime, encourage your networks to support our NHS, health and care system for our Wirral residents, by completing our short survey to tell us about your experiences – it will only take 5 minutes

  1. Health services are still available during Coronarvirus Outbreak
    1. Extra capacity in GP Hubs
  2. Swabbing and Testing
  3. Emergency Dentistry
  4. What to do for medical help
  5. Staying Active for All
  6. Extra support for your family, friends and neighbours
    1. What do I do if my child is ill?
    2. Details of Wirral Infobank
    3. Coordinated Emergency Food
    4. Parents and Carers Children & Young People
    5. Keeping kids safe on line
  7. Unpaid Carers
    1. Dementia (including AGEUK Dementia Crisis line)
    2. Barnardos Young Carers
  8. Condition Specific Guidance
    1. Diabetes
    2. Cancer
    3. Sickle Cell
    4. Asthma and other lung conditions
    5. Cerebral Palsy
    6. Neuromuscular Conditions
  9. Living With Addiction
    1. Wirral Ways to Recovery
    2. Gambling Addictions – CAB
  10. Domestic Abuse – including SignHelp (an aid for those who are hard of hearing)
  11. Looking after our Workforce
    1. Counselling Service at WUTHFT for staff
    2. Samaritans
    3. Support during Ramadan
  12. Sexual Health
  13. Mental Health (pus a free crisis text service for those who are deaf)
  14. Bereavement
  15. Beware of Scams
  16. Inclusion, Equality and Diversity

1. Health services still there for your family during coronavirus crisis

Health Leaders in Wirral are assuring people in need of emergency and urgent care during the coronavirus pandemic that they can still access local services.
  1. Extra capacity on Wirral for GP services in Wirral
New hubs are staffed by GPs and nurses located in temporary units. The hubs are now operational and other hubs are at NHS sites at:
  • The Oval Leisure Centre, Bebington
  • Field Road Health Centre
  • Victoria Central Primary Care Centre
  • Birkenhead Medical Building
  • West Wirral Group Practice (The Warrens)
For more info:

2. Swabbing and Testing

There is ongoing changes around the testing and swabbing arrangements for Wirral - please see link from Director of Public Health Wirral for latest information - please note that this will be changing - Healthwatch Wirral will look to keep you up to date as this occurs:

3. Emergency Dentistry

Notice to patients seeking dental care during the Covid 19 Pandemic

If you need urgent dental care:

  • If you are in pain or in need of support please phone your usual dental practice. All dental practices should be able to provide advice and management to you over the phone. This includes giving advice, guidance and prescriptions, which you can collect from your local pharmacy.
  • If you do not have a dentist, please call the Cheshire & Merseyside Dental Helpline on 0161 476 9651. They will assess you and provide advice over the phone which may result in a remote consultation with a dentist.
  • If your dentist or the dentist you have been referred to from the dental helpline  think that you need urgent face-to face treatment, they will refer you to a designated dental clinic where you will be assessed and any requisite emergency dental treatment undertaken.

Please note that any treatment is limited due to risk involved in most procedures

The Liverpool University Dental Hospital is also operating an Emergency Dental Care Service. To access this service, please call the Dental Emergency Helpline on 0151 706 5307 / 5309 Monday to Friday 8.30am – 4.30pm and Saturday 8.30am-12noon. Specialist clinicians will provide telephone and/or video consultation and may arrange for you to come for an appointment at the Dental Hospital to be examined and/or treated in person.

4. What to do for medical help?

Government social distancing guidance is still very much in place, so services are being delivered in a different way. To protect others, the first ask is to still try to get help online:

Get NHS help online

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak means you should only leave your home if it's essential, but it's still easy to get NHS help using your smartphone, tablet or computer.

This page has information to help you:

Managing health at home:

5. Staying Active for All

With a long term health condition you may be shielding, isolating or finding it harder to get outside. That can make getting active feel even more challenging right now and that's okay.

Find tips and inspiration to get active at home on the "We Are Undefeatable" website:

6. Extra support for your family, friends and neighbours

a. What do I do if my child is ill?

Children’s Emergency Medicine Doctor currently working at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool has created this resource for parents and families need up-to-date, useful and accurate guidance when their child is either ill or injured. See link the website and videos:

b. Wirral infoBank and helpline

Online resource to help you find support services near you.  They are here to support Wirral residents requiring advice, guidance and additional help during this ongoing and difficult coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

c. Coordinated Emergency Food/Welfare Hub

If you can’t find what you are looking for please call: 0151 666 5050

d. Parents and carers children and Young People

Self-care resources and support

A range of resources (videos, web and social media links, helplines and leaflets) around weaning, safe sleep and mental wellbeing.

e. Keeping kids safe online

With screen time on the rise, five useful tips to help parents and carers keep children safe online have now been published

7. Unpaid Carers

On Wirral Wired Carers Support are available for ongoing bespoke support for unpaid carers
Further Wirral information on:
Government information

a. Dementia: guidance for supporting older people and people with dementia during self-isolation

Wirral Dementia Crisis Line at Age UK Wirral is 0151 488 7804

b. Barnardo's Young carers

Supporting children and young people in Wirral who are looking after a family member who is ill, disabled, has mental health problems, or is misusing drugs or alcohol.

Families can self-refer:
Call: 0151 650 5488

8. Condition specific guidance

We have had specific queries for individuals who have certain health conditions: we have provided links below to help:

a. Diabetes

advice for healthcare professionals on coronavirus (COVID-19) and diabetes and coronavirus advice page for people living with diabetes and their families.

See also helpful information to help people staying at home and managing their diabetes. To access diabetes education or support during this time our Learning Zone is a good place to access simple information from our Diabetes UK clinical team, and sensible advice from people living with diabetes.

b. Cancer

Coronavirus information and support for people living with Cancer based on your needs:

c. Sickle Cell Disease, Thalassaemia and Rare Inherited Anaemia

Please see resources on the UKTS and Sickle Cell Society web pages and

d. ASTHMA and other Lung problems

Information about asthma and COVID‐19 (Asthma UK):

Information for people with other lung problems:‐for‐you/coronavirus

e. Cerebral Palsy

f. Neuromuscular conditions
There is some useful information also on

9. Living with Addiction

  1. Wirral Ways to Recovery- are still engaging with our most vulnerable. if you feel you need support please complete the self-referral form.
  2. Gambling-related harm: Is an increasing concern for us right now and people are more likely to seek help for problems such as debt than they are for gambling. Wirral CAB offer a local support service as well as links to additional support.
The service will also offer advice to people or their families who are affected by harmful gambling and will signpost to specialist support services.

For more information contact James Callaway, Gambling Support Service project worker at

10. Domestic Abuse

During this unprecedented period, Domestic Abuse is an increasing concern.

At home shouldn’t mean at risk. If you or someone you know is suffering from #DomesticAbuse, isolation rules do not apply. Please call 999 if it’s an emergency, and press ‘55’ if you’re unable to speak. #YouAreNotAlone

If not urgent for Wirral advice, please call 0151 606 2008

Unfortunately, Deaf women and Deaf Children are known to be at greater risk around domestic violence compared to their hearing peers (British Crime Survey, 2010), with devastating consequences for for Deaf victims in the UK.

Sign Health offer support to Deaf people who are experiencing domestic abuse.

11. Looking after Our workforce is a useful resource for NHS Staff to be supported to manage their own health and wellbeing whilst looking after others.

Frontline primary care colleagues involved in the delivery of Primary Care services, both clinical and non-clinical, are facing unprecedented challenges through Covid-19 they can register and book a coaching session via
  1. A drop in counselling service is now available for Wirral University teaching hospital staff at the Macmillan information centre, APH by Outpatients.
This service is available open 7.30am until 10pm 7 days a week.
Call: 0300 131 7000

Alternatively, you can text FRONTLINE to 85258 for support 24/7 via text.
  1. Ramadan
Support and advice has been provided to ensure all Muslim staff observing religious customs during Ramadan are properly supported and safe at work.
Local Government have new resources to help employers and their managers to think about wellbeing of staff and fulfil their duty of care for their employees, which carries on no matter where staff are based.

12. Sexual Health

Wirral Contraception and sexual health services are currently reduced.

There is still online postal STI support/testing and additional remote care pathways around access to condoms and repeat pills.  

There is a common Q&A to help support both patients and colleagues in the community

13. Mental Health

Local NHS Trust, Cheshire and Wirral Partnership (CWP), mental health helpline for residents of Cheshire West, Cheshire East and Wirral.

Please call 0300 303 3972

Crisis Text Service for our Deaf Community - Shout are available 24/7 if you need support. This is how the free crisis text service works:

14. Bereavement

Wirral University Teaching hospital (WUTH) Family Support Team are there to help patients and their families stay in contact with each other or provide emotional support to family members before and following a bereavement.

Contact the Family Support Team:

Direct Dial: 0151 552 1833 Extension: 7808
Direct Dial: 0151 552 1834 Extension: 6974
Direct Dial: 0151 552 1837 Extension: 6975

Age UK Wirral and Admiral Nurses are also available to support making arrangements around affairs for people who have experienced a bereavement during this time- 0151 488 7808

AgeUK coping with bereavement and arranging a funeral (funeral page is COVID19 specific).

15. Beware of COVID-19 Scams

People are being encouraged to protect their neighbours by joining Friends Against Scams, which provides free online training to empower people to take a stand against scams. To complete the online modules, visit

NTS is also issuing urgent advice to help prevent people falling victim to COVID-19 scams through its Friends Against Scams initiative.

16. Inclusion, Equality and Diversity

Healthwatch Wirral continue to so our best to try to ensure all our information is accessible to all and people can also get in touch to request in different formats. The Healthwatch Website also offer recite me Function that support additional accessibility:
  1. Learning Disabilities
Easy read COVID-19 Information- National Mencap
  1. Deaf Community- BSL
Translations of government announcements and other health advice

You can also contact MSDP by Telephone:0151 649 8194

Email: or go to their website:
  1. DeafBlind UK

Need Batteries for your Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants, or BAHA. Chloe's and Sophie's Special Ears Fund is supporting all Deaf children, young people and adults with batteries.

Email - or text 07935056499 Post to all of UK. FREE of charge.
  1. RNIB have developed their National offer to Support residents who are Blind and Partially Sighted.
  1. Ramadan
Staying at home during Ramadan will play an important part in the nation’s effort to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). That’s the message from health experts and Muslim leaders as communities across England prepare to celebrate the holy month.
  1. Wirral Multi Cultural Organisation
If you know of anyone from the Black Asian Minority Ethnic community who could benefit from our support, please ask them to contact WMO via email on:

Wirral Change on: or 0151 649 8177 
  1. Migrant Help
Deliver crucial services to some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

They have collated a list of resources, from translated advice to information on changes to the asylum process, support available to victims of modern slavery, tips on staying healthy, distance learning and wellbeing support.

Spare5 Toolkit and GAIT

Let us point you in the right direction. Our free signposting directory is mobile-friendly, easy to use and contains services funded for Wirral residents.
Find out more
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