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Maternal mental health - Cornwall and Isles of Scilly to become pilot site

New mothers will benefit from additional mental health support as Cornwall and Isles of Scilly have been chosen as 1 of 10 pilot sites in the UK to receive NHS England and NHS improvement investment, for the development and testing of maternal mental health services.

The announcement was made after a collaborative bid across the local maternity system led by Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust (RCHT) and Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CFT).

As a pilot site, the perinatal mental health team in Cornwall will lead the way​ in partnership with RCHT’s integrated women requiring extra nurturing team (WREN), in achieving the ambitions for maternal mental health laid out in the NHS long term plan.

The investment awarded will enable the team to strengthen their services and help more women experiencing moderate to complex mental health difficulties arising from, or related to the maternity experience. As a pilot site, development and learning from their cases will be followed closely to support a full roll out of perinatal mental health services across the UK by 2023/24.

Mandy Raywood is a specialist perinatal mental health service manager at CFT. Her team works with women who develop mental illness in the perinatal period and integrates maternity, reproductive health, and psychological teams, offering consultation, therapy and targeted interventions.

Mandy is excited to see the difference becoming a pilot site will make to services already established. 

“1 in 4 women experience mental health problems in pregnancy and during the 24 months after giving birth. The consequences of not accessing high quality perinatal mental health care in the early stages of pregnancy can result in extremely serious problems that have a huge impact on women, their babies and their families.

“We already have teams working together to support vulnerable women in the county, but we know there are some women we don’t have the resources to get to.

"As a pilot site we will be able to strengthen our workforce and track the efficiency of treatment plans. Ultimately this will create a better maternal mental health offering for women in Cornwall as well as the rest of the country.”

Mandy’s team has helped people like 36 year old Claire, whose children are now 3 and 4 years old. Claire was referred to the team having had a traumatic birth experience with her first child which led to an ongoing disability. She was overwhelmed with the responsibility of having a new baby, not only because of the practicalities of her physical injuries, but the impact of her own difficult childhood was being triggered by becoming a mother herself. Added to which, shortly after her first baby was born, she found out she was pregnant with her second. The shock of the situation she found herself in led her to feel unable to cope and she was suicidal. Claire says the team saved her.

“I was in a very dark place and was struggling to bond with my baby. The perinatal mental health team (which is part of Cornwall’s maternal mental health service) were able to suggest and provide specialist services to wrap around me in a personalised care plan. This helped to make me feel less of a failure and gave me the confidence to parent my children and to start the process of reducing the self-doubt.”

Claire was supported by a psychiatrist, occupational therapist and a psychologist, she said, “I have a great bond with my children now, we are a happy family and I know I am a good mum. That is all thanks to the team.”

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Shielding support for clinically extremely vulnerable residents

Cornwall Council, NHS Kernow and Volunteer Cornwall are reassuring all clinically extremely vulnerable residents that support is available as more people are asked to shield as part of new government guidelines.

Shielding support for new and existing clinically extremely vulnerable residents

The Department of Health and Social Care is writing to an additional 4,333 adults in Cornwall out of 1.7 million people across England who have been identified under a new scientific model as having multiple risk factors which make them more vulnerable to the effects of Covid-19.

Latest technology analyses a combination of risk factors based on medical records, including health and personal factors, such as age, ethnicity, BMI and deprivation levels, as well as certain medical conditions and treatments, to assess whether somebody may be more vulnerable than was previously understood.

Those newly identified by their doctors or consultants as being clinically extremely vulnerable will now be asked to stay at home as much as possible except to go outdoors for exercise or to attend health appointments in the same way as people who have been shielding throughout the current lockdown.

In addition, residents new to shielding who have not already been offered the Covid-19 vaccination will now be prioritised to receive a vaccine as part of the current vaccination cohorts.

Age UK and Volunteer Cornwall can help transport vulnerable residents who do not have their own transportation to their vaccination appointment.

Cornwall Council is working with partners in the health and voluntary sector to continue to support all clinically extremely vulnerable residents in accessing food, essential supplies and wellbeing advice during the lockdown.    

Sally Hawken, Cornwall’s Cabinet Member for Children, Wellbeing and Public Health, said: “If you have just been added to the shielding list you may be wondering why you have only now been identified as being especially vulnerable to Covid-19. Scientists now understand a lot more about how the virus affects people and new research commissioned by the Chief Medical Officer has recently enabled health professionals to identify people who may be at increased risk of becoming seriously unwell from Coronavirus, because of a combination of their individual characteristics and their underlying health conditions.

“Most importantly, this new research helps clinicians provide vaccination more quickly to those identified as clinically extremely vulnerable and ensure they can benefit from additional advice and support.”

Dr Iain Chorlton, GP and chairman of NHS Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The clinically extremely vulnerable group includes those previously told to shield because of reduced immune systems, such as due to organ transplants, or those with specific cancers or severe respiratory conditions, such as cystic fibrosis, chronic kidney disease (stage 5), those undergoing dialysis, and adults with Down’s Syndrome, but it also takes into account a variety of factors including age, ethnicity, body mass index (BMI), other health conditions and also postcode.

“People who are within the clinically extremely vulnerable group will have received a letter previously or should expect one to arrive shortly.

“It is really important that when a person within the expanded clinically extremely vulnerable group is invited to book an appointment for their Covid-19 vaccination by their GP or through the national booking service that they do so and attend.”

Rob Rotchell, Cornwall’s Cabinet Member for Adults, said: “Whether you have been shielding before or have just been asked to start shielding, please be assured that together with NHS Kernow and Volunteer Cornwall we are continuing to support our vulnerable adults who have had their lives affected so seriously by the pandemic.  

“Please do get in touch with us if you need help with food, prescriptions or if you are feeling anxious and needing mental health support, and we will do all we can to help.”  

Ian Jones, Chief Executive of Volunteer Cornwall, said “One of the most heart-warming things about the last 12 months is the way that communities have reached out and thrown their arms around their most vulnerable members. People have shown they are willing to offer one of their most precious assets, their time, to help others in need and that gives me great hope for the future.”

All clinically extremely vulnerable residents have now been advised to stay at home until March 31. 

They have been asked to work from home if possible and if they cannot work from home, they should not attend work. They may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay, Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit or furlough through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.  

Those shielding are also asked to avoid all non-essential travel – they should continue to travel to hospital and GP appointments unless told otherwise by their doctor. They are strongly advised not to go to any shops or to pharmacies.   

Those in the clinically extremely vulnerable group are eligible for free medicines delivery from community pharmacies during this period if friends and family are not able to collect prescriptions or medicines on their behalf. Prescriptions should continue to be ordered from the GP as normal, either electronically or via telephone.   

Supermarkets are continuing to provide priority delivery slots to vulnerable individuals and if residents need help getting online, for example to register for an online supermarket account, they can ring Cornwall Council’s support line for those who are clinically extremely vulnerable on 0300 1231118 or contact Volunteer Cornwall.    

Volunteer Cornwall can also help collect and deliver food shopping and medical prescriptions, as well as provide befriending support and volunteers who can help with other low level needs.

Emergency food support is available at foodbanks throughout Cornwall. An interactive Help with Food map has been created in partnership with community organisations and is online at Let’s Talk Cornwall https://letstalk.cornwall.gov.uk/help-with-food.  

Health services remain available and residents with a complex need or medical question should contact their GP or health consultant.    

Anyone who may be worried about their own or someone else's mental health can contact 0800 038 5300 for help and support.    

Here is the updated guidance for those who are clinically extremely vulnerable to COVID-19.   

For more information or advice on shielding contact Cornwall Council on covid19@cornwall.gov.uk or ring 0300 1231118.   

You can also contact Volunteer Cornwall on 01872 266988 or email requestforhelp@volunteercornwall.org.uk   

 

 

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Environment Secretary tours Cornish mass vaccination centre

MP for Camborne, Redruth and Hayle, George Eustice, virtually met with constituents and healthcare workers helping to save lives and protect the NHS as government nears vaccine milestone.

Environment Secretary George Eustice has experienced first-hand the outstanding work undertaken at one of Cornwall’s vaccination centres during a virtual visit to the centre at Stithians showground.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

The Secretary of State took a virtual tour of the vaccination hub yesterday (Friday 12 February) as the Government remains on track to offer a vaccine to everyone in the UK in the first four priority groups by 15 February.

Mr Eustice met chief pharmacist Iain Davidson who briefed him on Cornwall’s vaccine roll out. He was also joined by Cornwall-based celebrity chef Rick Stein, who recently got the vaccination himself, to thank the NHS heroes spearheading this cross-country effort.

As of 11 February, first doses have been delivered in to 127,802 arms in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, with locals Geoff Penhaligon and Rosemary Southwood also joining the tour – after both receiving their own vaccinations as part of the ongoing vaccine roll out.

The visit comes as the Government confirms that over 13 million people have now received their first vaccine dose, and through our world-leading vaccines delivery plan everyone in the first four priority groups will be offered a first vaccine by Monday (15 February).

All those eligible for a vaccination are urged to take them up, as we continue to vaccinate our way out of this deadly pandemic.

Environment Secretary George Eustice said:

“The vaccination site at Stithians Showground is playing a vital part in the rollout of the vaccine across Cornwall. It was a pleasure to virtually meet some of the local NHS staff and volunteers who have been working so hard to get the vaccine to priority groups across from across the county.

“Our priority is to protect the NHS and save lives, and I would urge anyone who is eligible for a vaccine to book an appointment and join the national effort to help us halt the spread of this virus.”

Cornish local and celebrity chef Rick Stein said:

“I can report a completely positive experience having my COVID-19 vaccination last week, made all the more memorable because ½ dozen of my closest friends of the same age as me where there at the same time, the first social experience I’ve had for weeks.

“I think the NHS have been amazing throughout this awful pandemic.”

Iain Davidson, chief pharmacist for Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, said:

“Vaccinating people is our way out of this pandemic, and we’re making great strides in our vaccination programme to protect the most vulnerable people in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly against COVID-19.

“Everyone across health and care is committed to the rollout programme and is working very hard to offer the vaccines to the most vulnerable by the middle of February, and I would like to thank them for their tireless support. Up until 4 February, our incredible team of GPs, practice nurses, pharmacists and clinicians have vaccinated more than 103,000 people – including our frontline health and social care staff.

“I would encourage anyone who’s aged 70 and older, extremely clinically vulnerable, or one of our frontline health and care staff who isn’t yet booked in for a COVID vaccination to call 119 or visit nhs.uk to book their appointment – don’t wait for your letter, just pick up the phone, or book online now.”

People aged 70 and over in England should contact the NHS to arrange their vaccination through the online national booking service. If they cannot get online, they can also call 119 or contact their local GP practice.

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NHS and care staff call on public’s help as demand for services rise

Dr Tamsyn Anderson, joint medical director for Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We have had a particularly busy week, and I want to thank all our staff and carers across our health and care system who have worked so hard to care for some of our community’s most vulnerable people.

 

“We are starting this weekend with a high number of people in our hospitals who are fit and ready to go home. We are once again asking families and carers to support us to get people home from hospital once they’re medically fit, but might need some extra help with basic needs such as making sure they have food in their home, cooking, washing and dressing.

“Hospitals across Cornwall are seeing more poorly people, particularly the elderly who need our care. Unfortunately a year of being mostly confined to home means people have not had the opportunities to remain fit and active, and don’t have the muscle strength they would normally have.”

Dr Anderson added: “We are contacting families and the voluntary sector to help us support people back to their home where they can sleep well and continue their recovery in a familiar environment.

“As we begin the weekend, we are asking the public who need urgent but not emergency care to think 111 first. Using the NHS 111 service either online – www.111.nhs.uk or calling 111 – will mean that if someone does need to go to a minor injury unit or the emergency department, the teams there will know they are coming and can manage the way people come into the departments.

“The capacity in our waiting rooms has reduced due to social distancing guidance, and using your GP or the 111 first service can help us to keep everyone safe and reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus.”

Whilst there has been a reduction in positive COVID-19 cases across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, this is not yet being reflected in hospital admissions. There are still high numbers of people who are seriously ill with COVID-19 and sadly a number of deaths in hospitals and in the community. People are being urged not to let their guard down, and to continue following lockdown rules and maintaining hands, face, space. Anyone who is invited to receive their COVID-19 or flu vaccination should book their appointment to protect themselves and others from these viruses.

If you or a loved one develops coronavirus symptoms, please do not to visit your GP surgery, or hospitals or pharmacies to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Symptoms include:

  • a high temperature – 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 or change to your sense of smell or taste – you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

Most people with coronavirus have at least 1 of these symptoms. If you have 1 or more symptoms you must stay at home and get a test as soon as possible.

Pharmacists can also help with a range of minor common illnesses such as coughs, colds, sore throats, earache, nappy rash, cystitis (bladder infection), impetigo (skin condition) and emergency contraception. You can also get advice on prescription medicines.

Visit our Choose Well webpages for details on all services and support that’s available in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

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NHS and care staff call on residents for support as demands on services rise

Health and adult social care staff are calling on local residents for support ahead of the weekend as demand for the area’s services rises.

Health and social care hand holding

“We currently have high numbers of people in hospital beds across the county who are fit and ready for discharge”, explained Dr Tamsyn Anderson.

“We’re therefore asking families if they can help us, by supporting their relatives to go home from hospital as soon as they are medically fit, but who need a little extra help with basic needs such as cooking, washing and dressing.

“If people can provide this help for their relatives, it’ll mean we can free up beds in our hospitals for new emergencies and safely look after all of those who need our specialist care and support.

Hospitals across Cornwall are seeing more poorly people, particularly elderly patients, who need our care. Many are also needing to stay longer in hospital which ultimately means more pressure on our Emergency Department and longer waits to be seen.

We are contacting families and working with them to manage discharges in a covid safe way. We are being supported by the voluntary sector to achieve this.

Ahead of the weekend, health and care services are reminding people who need urgent but not emergency care to Think 111 first.

Using the 111 First service either online – www.111.nhs.uk or calling 111 will mean that if someone does need to go to a minor injury unit or the emergency department, the teams there will know they are coming and can manage the way people come into the departments.

“The capacity in our waiting rooms is much less due to social distancing guidance,” adds Tamsyn, “so by using your GP or the 111 first service people can help us to keep everyone safe and reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus. 

We’ve done well in Cornwall to keep levels of the virus lower than many areas of the country. But we need people’s continued support by using the right services, following lockdown rules and maintaining hands, face, space.

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Royal Cornwall Showground to become COVID-19 vaccination site

A second vaccination centre will open on the Royal Cornwall Showground in continuing to fight against the pandemic.

Royal Cornwall Showground arial view

From Monday (1 February), the vaccination centre at Wadebridge will open to the most vulnerable in Cornwall. 

The site opens a week after it was announced that Stithians Showground would become the first large scale vaccination centre in the continued roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Iain Davidson, clinical lead for the vaccination centres and hospital hub, and chief pharmacist at Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, said:

“This is further good news for Cornwall. The opening of this second vaccination centre will mean we will be able to protect even more people.

“We will continue to vaccinate the most vulnerable based on the priority groups set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI).

“People aged 70 and over, and adults of all ages who are the most vulnerable are also due to receive a letter inviting them to book an appointment as they are within the first four priority groups.

“Everyone across health and care, including the emergency services and volunteers, as well as those at the Royal Cornwall Showground, have put in a tremendous amount of effort to enable us to be ready for Monday, and I cannot thank them enough.”

People will receive a letter when it is their turn to have the vaccine. Please do not contact the NHS to ask for a vaccine or show up to the showground without an appointment.

Iain Chorlton, GP and NHS Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group chairman, said:

“The vaccination centres will add to the fantastic work that GPs and the primary care network have been doing in recent weeks.

“Health and care staff have been working tirelessly to ensure we deliver the vaccine safely and efficiently, and it has been a privilege to work with these people.

“Cornwall has shown great strength in staying home and protecting the NHS these last 12 months, and we ask the public for their continued support in following national guidelines.”

While the addition the vaccination centre means the NHS can expand its rollout, this will take some time, so please be patient. The NHS will be in touch with you when it’s your turn.

Rachel Wigglesworth, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly’s director of Public Health added:

“I’m delighted to welcome the opening of the second vaccination centre for Cornwall. Whilst the vaccine programme continues to roll out, we must keep up with all the good work we have been doing to limit the spread of the virus.

“It’s really important that you please continue to limit your contact with other people, even after you have received your vaccine. The vaccine does not mean that you are immune immediately, so we can’t start hugging each other just yet, or stop following social distancing guidelines. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but in the meantime, we must keep our guard up.”

Chris Riddle, secretary for Royal Cornwall Agricultural Association, said:

"We are very pleased that we can help with the national roll-out and provide a further vaccination site for Cornwall. It has been a difficult year for everyone, and the fact that we can give back to our community in this way has been a great privilege."

Anyone attending an appointment at the vaccine centre will be greeted by volunteers who will marshal car parks and register them when they arrive. The centre has been organised to allow for social distancing.

They will receive a health check and a pre-vaccination assessment before the vaccine, and then be observed for 15 minutes afterwards. 

Those who require extra support from a carer should have them attend the appointment but is asked this is kept to a maximum of one other person to maintain social distancing. Wheelchairs will be available for anyone who requires them, and disabled parking is available on site.

People attending their appointments should wear loose clothing to provide vaccinators easy access to the arm, and flat shoes.

Please ask someone, wherever possible, to drive you to and from the site. This will allow you to receive your jab and return to your day as quickly as possible, and will mean more people can be vaccinated at the centre.

For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, visit NHS Kernow’s dedicated COVID-19 vaccine page.

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COVID-19 vaccine flown to Isles of Scilly as vaccination rollout expands

GPs and their teams on the Isles of Scilly – the most remote location in England – have started vaccinating residents against COVID-19 in the continued rollout out against the pandemic.

Isles of Scilly

Hundreds of doses of the vaccine were flown to the Isles of Scilly on Friday (22 January) and vaccinations got underway immediately.

First to receive their vaccines were Isles of Scilly care home residents and staff, followed by frontline health and care workers and then everyone in the first priority groups set by the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI).

The arrival of the AstraZeneca Oxford vaccine, which is easier to transport and handle, to the islands, means that every area in the south west now has access to a vaccine service.

The primary care team based on the Isles of Scilly has been working all hours alongside Helston Medical Centre, which is part of the south Kerrier primary care network and owns the contract for primary care services on the islands, to coordinate the arrival of the vaccine and the rollout with military precision, working with the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group and Skybus.

Dr Chris Picken, a GP on the Isles of Scilly based at St Mary’s Health Centre, said: “We are delighted at the arrival of the vaccine. We have been working flat out to ensure that we can vaccinate as many of our most vulnerable as possible.

“Our aim is to offer the vaccination to the first 4 priority groups, based on the advice given by the JCVI, starting this weekend with our care home residents, health workers and 80 year olds, by the middle of the week.

“While the arrival of the vaccine offers the hope that we can start to return to the path of normality we know how, with our small population, now more than ever we cannot be complacent. The new strain is highly infectious and we must continue to follow lockdown rules and social distancing guidelines if we are to beat this deadly virus.”

Robert Francis, chairman of the Isles of Scilly, said the news of the rollout of the vaccine on the islands has come as a huge relief to the community.

He said: “We’re incredibly grateful to our health sector colleagues who have given such careful consideration to the islands’ needs and ensured that the vaccine is available so quickly despite the logistical challenges. 1 of the bright points to come out of this awful pandemic has been the close working between the council and our health partners, as well as the voluntary sector. The vaccine planning has been an excellent example of this integrated working. There’s still a long way to go, but the arrival of the vaccine marks an important step forwards in our fight against the pandemic.”

Dr John Garman, from Helston Medical Centre, said: “I cannot heap enough praise on everyone who has been involved with the safe arrival of the vaccine and the rollout of the programme to residents. From the south Kerrier primary network who have coordinated the delivery of the vaccine on the mainland of Cornwall to nurse Karen Brown who did almost a 100 mile round trip including 2 flights in less than 24 hours, to the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group and all the other health, local authority, carers and voluntary sector workers across agencies both on the islands and the mainland, who have stepped up to make it possible.

“This must be the most logistically challenging vaccine rollout in England and there is a great sense of joy and relief but we can’t underestimate the hard work that will continue to make sure all the priority group are offered the vaccine by the middle of the week.”

Rachel Wigglesworth, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly’s director of Public Health, said: “It’s great news that the vaccine has now reached the islands and the local primary care team have done a fantastic job of planning the rollout. Whilst the vaccine programme is rolling out we must keep up with all the good work we have been doing recently to limit the spread of the Virus. It’s really important that you please continue to limit your contact with other people, even after you have received the vaccine. The vaccine does not mean that you are immune immediately, so we can’t start hugging each other just yet, or stop following social distancing guidelines. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but in the meantime we must keep our guard up.”

For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly visit our dedicated COVID-19 vaccine page.

 

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COVID-19 vaccinations to get underway at Stithians Showground

Thousands more people will be offered the COVID-19 vaccine in Cornwall with the opening of a vaccination centre at Stithians Showground.

Stithians Showground

From Monday (25 January) the vaccination centre at the showground near Truro will be open. 

People who have been invited to book an appointment, based on the priority groups advice set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI), will be vaccinated at the showground.

The centre adds to the sites already offered at the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust and through the 12 GP-led primary care networks.

Rob White, clinical lead for the COVID-19 vaccination programme, and NHS Kernow Governing Body member, said: “This marks a significant day in Cornwall’s commitment to vaccinate as many people against COVID-19 as safely and efficiently as possible.

“Everyone across health and care is committed to the rollout programme and is working very hard to offer the vaccines to the most vulnerable by the middle of February.

“Once the site is fully up and running the team will be able to vaccinate thousands of people. It will build upon the fantastic and tireless efforts of our GPs, practice nurses, and everyone across the health and care system to vaccinate our most vulnerable people.”

If you already have a GP appointment booked for your vaccination please attend this and ignore the invitation to the vaccination site.

Iain Davidson, chief pharmacist at Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be able to open the vaccination centre at Stithians Showground. We have already vaccinated tens of thousands of people in Cornwall and this new venue will allow us to expand our efforts.

“Our centre will be staffed by clinicians, non-registered vaccinators, administrative staff and volunteers to ensure visits run smoothly and safely.

“We will initially continue to invite people aged 80 and older whom have not already had their vaccine to book an appointment. We will then continue to vaccinate those who are most vulnerable.

“I would like to thank our incredible staff working across health and care, and those at Stithians Showground, whose tremendous energy and effort has enabled us to ensure we are ready for Monday."

People will be invited to book an appointment when it is their turn. Please do not contact the NHS to ask for a vaccine. While the vaccination centre means the NHS can expand its rollout, this will take some time, so please be patient.

Rachel Wigglesworth, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly’s director of Public Health added: “I’m delighted to welcome the opening of the first vaccination centre for Cornwall. Whilst the vaccine programme continues to rollout  we must keep up with all the good work we have been doing to limit the spread of the virus. 

“It’s really important that you please continue to limit your contact with other people, even after you have received your vaccine. The vaccine does not mean that you are immune immediately, so we can’t start hugging each other just yet, or stop following social distancing guidelines. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but in the meantime we must keep our guard up."

Jenna Payne, general and company secretary of Stithians Showground, said: “We feel really proud to have played our part in the largest vaccination programme that the NHS has ever delivered. It has been a huge undertaking and while we are used to welcoming thousands of people to the showground for our agricultural show, I expect seeing the first people receive their jab will be emotional for everyone involved.”

Anyone attending an appointment at the vaccine centre will be greeted by volunteers who will marshal car parks and register them when they arrive. The centre has been organised to allow for social distancing.

They will receive a health check and a pre-vaccination assessment before the vaccine, and then be observed for 15 minutes afterwards.  

Those who requires extra support from a carer should have them attend the appointment but is asked this is kept to a maximum of one other person to maintain social distancing. Wheelchairs will be available for anyone who requires them, and disabled parking is available on site.

People attending their appointments should wear loose clothing to provide vaccinators easy access to the arm, and flat shoes.

Please ask someone, wherever possible, to drive you to and from the site. This will allow you to receive your jab and return to your day as quickly as possible, and will mean more people can be vaccinated at the centre.

For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout visit NHS Kernow’s dedicated COVID-19 vaccine page

 

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Digital therapy can be SilverCloud for Cornwall

SilverCloud free digital courses

Like the rest of the country, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly are experiencing their third period of lockdown. This time it’s winter, with less hours of daylight and colder temperatures which can make it harder to get outside to exercise. All these factors affect our mental wellbeing.

Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CFT) has teamed up SilverCloud, the world’s leading digital mental health company, to provide instant online access to 12 different wellbeing programmes including one to help people manage their mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The easy-to-use courses are proven to have a significant long-term impact on recovery from depression and anxiety, two of the most common mental health problems which are also worsened by the pandemic.

Dr Ellen Wilkinson, chief clinical information officer at CFT said: “SilverCloud programmes, which are easily accessed from a computer, smart phone or tablet, provide people with practical tools and tips on how to identify and manage issues with stress, low mood and worry. They help people learn ways to deal with difficult thoughts and emotions which are sometimes even more prominent during these challenging times. After all, these are completely normal reactions to a set of very abnormal circumstances.”

The trust has secured 12 different SilverCloud courses. These are available on its website and include modules on anxiety, depression, covid-19, mindfulness, sleep, money worries and stress. There are also courses which address the mental health impacts of living with long-term physical health conditions like diabetes and chronic pain.

The self-guided learning includes interactive tools, activities and videos. It offers 24/7 access to clinically proven programmes based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

Laura Mitchell from St Austell was suffering from health anxiety before she was referred to NHS talking therapy service, Outlook South West part of CFT. As part of her recovery, she worked through a SilverCloud course.

“I was at a point where I was constantly over-worrying about my own health and that of my husband and my parents too. The anxiety got so much that the physical symptoms from it, including panic attacks, just fuelled my health anxieties further. It was a vicious cycle. I was exhausted from it, but I just thought everyone felt and thought that way.

“The SilverCloud programme helped me learn about what was going on. I realised it was not the way everyone felt. That I didn’t have to live like that. The online videos and personal stories from others with the same thing were so useful in helping me cope. It gave me little tasks and the fact I would have to write things down really helped me focus my thoughts. To this day I still revisit some of the things I wrote down from it. I liked how you could work through it at your own pace with no time pressures. I could just dip into it when I could fit it around my life with a young child to care for. It was a crucial part of my journey to recovery.”

The courses are available on the CFT website and registering is a quick and easy process. Programmes have proven popular since they went live on the site at the end of last year.

Dr Wilkinson added: “We put the programmes on our website towards the end of 2020 and SilverCloud inform us that we’ve already had over 200 people sign-up to programmes via our page. There’s no GP referral needed. You just go to our site, choose the course you wish to complete, create a user name and password so no-one can access any of your details, and that’s it - you are off and running.”

Sign up to the free online programmes, or search “Cornwall SilverCloud” in your search engine.

Anyone in crisis with their mental health, should contact their GP or phone the Cornwall Mental Health Response Line on 0800 083 5300. This line is operational 24/7.

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The Think 111 first campaign gets more people treated closer to home across Cornwall.

111

The new approach to accessing urgent, but not emergency care was introduced last year to prevent over-crowding in waiting rooms, especially at the emergency department, in response to COVID-19.

As nationally we’re once again in lockdown, to help prevent the spread of the virus, calling 111 first remains the best way to safely and quickly access urgent care.

7 out of 10 people who called NHS 111 thinking they needed a 999 ambulance or help from the emergency department were seen in Cornwall by a GP (in and out of hours), at a minor injury unit or received advice over the telephone.

For people who needed an ambulance, this was arranged for them and if a patient needed to go to the emergency department, the clinical team knew they were on their way.

Rob White, St Agnes GP said, “The fact that 7 out of 10 people have received support at home or a local service close to where they live is testimony to the local knowledge of our Cornish 111 service.

“The team know what services are available, where and when and can give people the option to travel a bit further to another unit which may be quieter, so they are treated faster.”

Visit 111.nhs.uk or call 111 to get to the right service quickly and safely. If calling the service, please be patient, your call will be answered and are all clinically triaged.

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