Public information during the Coronavirus

Published on: Thursday, 20th January 2022
Which COVID test do I need?

Last updated at 09:30 on 20th January

Erewash Sound brings you a round up of what matters most during the pandemic as your genuinely local radio station.

**LATEST** Plan B measures to end from 27th January:  The Government has announced that, in England, from Thursday 27th January 2022, so-called Plan B measures (see below), will end.  This will result in the end of the requirement to wear face coverings in public whilst there will also no longer be a need to use COVID-passports.  Additionally, Boris Johnson said that the advice for people to work from home where possible would be immediately dropped, and was reverting to 'Plan A' due to the success of booster vaccinations and how the public had followed 'Plan B'.  Mr. Johnson has said that he is not expecting to renew the current regulations around self-isolation when they expire on March 24th and hinted that, if data permits, the date could instead, be brought forward.

The move is reported to be in response to advice from scientists who believed that the Omicron wave had peaked. However, Health Secretary Sajid Javid has said that the situation was not a "finish line" due to the threat of future variants, and added that society must learn to live with Coronavirus in the same way that we live with influenza (flu).  He also encouraged people to continue with good hygiene regimes such as hand washing, room ventilation and, if testing positive, going through the relevant period of self-isolation.  He also called on those who are unvaccinated to get their jabs.

Changes under a return to 'Plan A' measures: summary (England)

  • An end of mandatory use of COVID passports for entering large events and nightclubs - businesses can elect to continue using it if required though.
  • No continuing requirement to work from home - staff should discuss the subject of returning to the office with employers 
  • Face masks no longer mandatory but are recommended in enclosed or crowded spaces and when meeting people who are not known.
  • Secondary school pupils also no longer required to wear face masks in class with guidance on use in communal areas set to be revised.
  • Travel rules/restrictions - pending a further announcement.
  • Care home visits - pending a further announcement.

**LATEST** Isolating with COVID from Monday 17th January 2022

  • From Monday 17th January, those who are self-isolating with COVID-19 have the option to reduce their isolation period after 5 full days if they test negative on both day 5 and day 6 and do not have a temperature.
  • Individuals who are still positive on their rapid lateral flow tests must stay in isolation until they have had 2 consecutive negative tests taken on separate days.  This reduces the chance of still being infectious.
  • The decision has been made after careful consideration of modelling from the UK Health Security Agency and to support essential public services and workforces over the winter.
  • The first test must be taken no earlier than day 5 of the self-isolation period, and the second must be taken the following day. If an individual is positive on day 5, then a negative test is required on day 6 and day 7 to release from isolation.
  • It is essential that 2 negative rapid lateral flow tests are taken on consecutive days and reported before individuals return to their job or education, if leaving self-isolation earlier than the full 10-day period.
    For instance, if an individual is positive on day 5, then a negative test is required on both day 6 and day 7 to release from self-isolation, or positive on day 6, then a negative test is required on days 7 and 8, and so on until the end of day 10.
  • Those who leave self-isolation on or after day 6 are strongly advised to wear face coverings and limit close contact with other people in crowded or poorly ventilated spaces, work from home if they can do so and minimise contact with anyone who is at higher risk of severe illness if infected with COVID-19.
  • The default self-isolation period continues to be 10 days, and you may only leave self-isolation early if you have taken 2 rapid lateral flow tests and do not have a temperature in line with guidance.
  • More information: Self-isolation for those with COVID-19 can end after 5 full days following 2 negative LFD tests - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

ISOLATING: What does it mean and what is required?

  • Stay at home - do not venture out (Do not go out to work. Order groceries on line where possible or ask someone to shop for you, knock on your door and leave it on the doorstep)
  • Do not take visitors into your home for the duration.
  • Keep your distance from other any other household members.  Sleep and confine yourself to one room,  Where another bathroom/toilet is available, use this in isolation.  If this is not possible, carry out basic cleaning regimes regularly and/or after use.  Ask any other householders to carry out basic cleaning regimes such as wiping regular touch-points and cleaning crockery, glasses and cutlery.
  • Open windows and doors to ventilate the property. During cold weather, do this frequently to help ventilation. Leave windows open in other rooms to help.
  • Failure to adhere to isolation procedures can lead to fines of between £1,000 and £10,000.

**LATEST** Urgent appointments at surgeries ONLY until end of January:  General practices across Derbyshire are only managing urgent appointments for the rest of January as they cope with staff shortages of up to 30% caused by the spread of the Omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus.  Read more here

**LATEST** Business support (hospitality and leisure) (January 2022): Erewash Borough Council has now opened applications for the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant with a deadline for submissions at midday on 21st FebruaryThere is more on this story here.

A GOVERNMENT PLAN B:
The government has announced the implementation of a 'Plan B' in response to the threat of the Omicron variant and the risk that the NHS is likely to come under unsustainable pressure through a greater risk of infection and of the strain being less resistant to vaccines.  This is whilst scientists are able to better assess the situation. 

This includes:

  • Face masks: Mandatory in certain settings from Friday 10th December 2021.  These settings include most public settings including places of worship, cinemas and theatres, shops and on public transport.  However, masks will NOT be required in places such as pubs and restaurants or venues where it is deemed "not practical to wear them".  The guidance suggests this applies to places of exercise or where singing is involved for the person who would otherwise be required to wear a mask.  In any case, wearing of a face mask is shown to reduce the risk of infection and transmission, and is therefore a sensible option in any location, irrespective of type.
  • Home working: As of Monday 13th December 2021, people should work from home if possible. 
  • Covid passes: From Wednesday 15th December 2021 an NHS COVID pass or a negative lateral flow test will be required to get into nightclubs, indoor unseated settings with 500+ attendees, outdoor unseated settings with 4000+ people, and any setting with 10,000+ attendees such as sports and music stadiums.   COVID passes can be obtained to be shown on smart phone devices by downloading the NHS App and registering using your NHS ID or through the relevant processes.  Alternatively, a text message or e-mail from NHS Test & Trace will suffice.
  • Schools: Secondary school pupils, and staff and visitors at all schools and childcare sites are "strongly advised" to wear face coverings.  For details on obtaining a COVID pass, click here.
  • Suspected contacts: Anyone who has come into contact with a someone suspected to be infected with the Omicron variant will be contacted by tracing team officials and will be required to self-isolate for 10 days - this will be irrespective of their age or the point to which they are vaccinated.
  • Travel: Anyone travelling to the UK is required to take a PCR or Lateral Flow Test in the two days before before departure to the UK, and to take a PCR test within 48 hours of arrival in the UK.  If a positive result is then concluded, they must then self-isolate until a negative result is confirmed.  UPDATE: Pre-departure travel COVID-19 tests to enter England from overseas will be scrapped from 4am on Friday 7th January.  The Prime Minister has announced that the requirement to self-isolate on arrival in ENgland until receiving a negative PCR test result is also being lifted.  Instead, people can and should take a lateral flow test on day TWO and if concluding a positive result, a further PCR test will then be required to identify any new variants, plus isolation as normal.
  • Social distancing: A 1-metre rule will apply in passport control sites and hospitals.
  • Self-testing: The advice for anyone attending a crowded place or going somewhere with persons at greater risk is to firstly test for COVID-19.  Anyone testing posting should immediately self-isolate and cancel any plans.  Anyone who has been in contact with a positive Covid case, and is fully vaccinated, now has to take lateral flow tests for seven days.  
  • Boosters and vaccines:
    • Vaccines are not mandatory, except for NHS staff (with exceptions) who MUST be vaccinated by 1st April 2022. Care home staff MUST already be vaccinated.
    • NOT HAD A VACCINE? 
      • You can still book an appointment but you MUST wait eight weeks betwen the first and second injection.  Appointments are available for everyone aged 12 and over.  Call 119 or visit a walk-in clinic where available.
      • Pregnancy: The Government is appealing to unvaccinated pregnant women to come forward - see above.
    • PLEASE DO NOT BOOK A BOOSTER UNTIL IT IS YOUR TURN AS ADVISED BY THE NHS
    • 5-11 year olds: A graded, low dose of the Pfizer vaccine has been approved for children aged 5-11 IF they have health conditons that put them at a greater risk of contracting coronavirus,  Children of primary school age who live with a vulnerable adult should also be offered a vaccine.  Details of when these vaccines will be offered is not yet available.
    • 12+: Children aged 12+ are being offered two doses of the Pfizer vaccine.  They will be asked to attend for a second dose three months after the date of their first dose. 
    • 12-15 year olds: The JCVI has recommended that chlidren aged 12-15 with a weakened immune system should receive four booster doses.  Those aged 12-15 in at 'at risk' group or who live with someone who is 'immuno-suppressed' should be offered a normal booster dose.
    • Children who are not considered to be 'high risk' should wait 12 weeks after a positive test before being given the vaccine
    • Appointments: Some 'walk in' appointments may be available dependent on where you live. 
    • Boosters: 
      • Boosters will be offered to everyone aged over 18 as long as it is at least three months since their second dose.  Boosters are needed because of falling resistance levels in general but with the arrival of the Omicron variant, to act as additional resistance to that strain which is seen as potentially more infectious and that existing vaccines may be less effective at stopping it.
      • Boosters will be either Pfizer or Moderna - this is regardless of what type/brand you have had before.   
      • If you have tested positive for COVID-19 recently, you should wait a period of 28 days (4 weeks) from the date of the test before having a booster injection.
      • If you have a form of severe illness or a high temperature, you should NOT have a booster, however, patient leaflets which come with the Pfizer and Moderna boosters say that a cold or mild fever are NOT reasons to defer having a booster.
      • All adults can now book a booster from two months after their second dose.  All vaccinations can be booked on-line.
    • EVERYONE in England should be able to book a booster by 31st January 2022, although, for some, this might be slightly later.
    • High demand: The booking system is experiencing high demand so some issues may be experiences - the advice is to keep trying.
    • Immune systems: Those with a weak or weakened immune system will be offered a FOURTH 'booster' dose no earlier than three months after the third vaccination.
    • Locations: 1,500 community pharmacies (chemists) and hospitals will act as vaccination hubs.
    • Period between second dose and booster: The period between the second dose and the booster is reduced from six months to three months.
    • Vulnerable: Vulnerable persons will be the first to be contacted, followed by older then younger age groups.
  • Side effects: These are well documented - responses to vaccines range from no side effects whatsoever to a sore arm, headache, chills, fatigue and nausea however, these are normal, associated with the body's immune response and usually clear within 1-2 days.  There are extremely rare instances of fatalities amongst Astra-Zeneca recipients caused by blood clots, whilst a very small sample of Pfizer recipients have experienced an allergic reaction.  The advice if you have any concern about receiving a vaccination is to speak with a medical professional.
  • Lockdowns: Lockdowns will be considered if Plan B does not work. 

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) said there is a preference for Messenger Ribonucleic Acid (mRNA) technology vaccines based on trial outcomes, with a first choice for a booster vaccine being the Pfizer vaccine, or alternatively a half dose of a Moderna vaccine as it works just as well. 

Those who are unable to have mRNA vaccines due to allergies should have an AstraZeneca vaccine booster. 

This winter, it is expected that other respiratory viruses such as Flu and Respiratory Syncytial Virus are highly likely to make their returns. If you are eligible for a Flu jab then it is advised that people also make arrangements to receive it. 

For a graphic showing COVID-19 safer behaviours and actions click here

TRAVEL TO THE UK:  Click here for more information from the Government.  For more information about Covid-19 guidelines and restrictions, please visit: Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance and support - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

TESTING: 

  • Regular testing will help us stay ahead of Coronavirus and protect each other.  Do rapid tests on days when you are more likely to catch or spread COVID-19.
    e.g do a test before you:
    - mix with people in crowded indoor places
    - visit someone who is at higher risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19
    There are lots of ways you can get a test. Find out more here: Rapid lateral flow coronavirus (COVID-19) tests - NHS (www.nhs.uk)

  • FREE lateral flow test kits are now available from
    • COMMUNITY TESTING CENTRES: (County council-run sites)  Available to everyone without symptoms to use at home.  For full details, click here.
    • LIBRARIES: (County council run sites) There is more on this story here.
    • TOWN HALLS: From 4th October 2021: for any residents calling in to Ilkeston or Long Eaton Town Hall receptions.  A DCC public health officer will be at Long Eaton Town Hall on Mondays and at Ilkeston Town Hall on Thursdays.  For more details, click here.
  • Self-testing: The advice for anyone attending a crowded place or going somewhere with persons at greater risk is to firstly test for COVID-19.  Anyone testing posting should immediately self-isolate and cancel any plans.  Anyone who has been in contact with a positive Covid case, and is fully vaccinated, now has to take lateral flow tests for seven days.
  • Report, report, report! When you take a lateral flow test, remember to report whatever the result is – positive, negative or void. Reporting your result is a great way to help the NHS reduce the spread of the virus.  
    More information: Report a COVID-19 rapid lateral flow test result - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

SICK PAY FOR THE UNVACCINATED: There is a general move amongst an increasing number of businesses to cut sick pay for unvaccinated staff who have to self-isolate after being exposed to the virus.  The amount of statutory six pay (SSP) payable under these circumstances, unless there are mitigating circumstances, is £96.35 per week. Those who are unvaccinated but who test positive will receive the full amount of sick pay though.  Consequences for those who are unvaccinated so far include the risk of not being allowed entry to some venues, whilst many countries are refusing entry or putting restrictions in place for those who are not vaccinated.

SCHOOLS

  • The Government is advising students aged 11 or over to take a rapid Covid-19 test twice a week to help stop the spread of the virus.   Click here for more details

    • You can order lateral flow tests online or get them from your local pharmacy or library; a local test centre 

    • Find out more here

  • Is your child using school transport?  It is advised that pupils over the age of 11 continue to wear a face covering if they can when travelling to and from school.   There is more guidance on the Derbyshire County Council website.
     

  • For details of community testing options in Erewash and beyond, click here.
     
  • If you have Covid-19 symptoms, you should continue to get a test, even if your symptoms are mild.  Mild symptoms for you could make others seriously ill.  Don't guess. Self-isolate and get a test.  For more information, go to: www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test
     

  • Which COVID test do I need?  

    • Two types of Covid-19 tests are available for free, for all adults in England. If you have symptoms, take a PCR test. If you do not have symptoms, take a rapid Covid-19 test twice a week.  Find out which test you should be using. 

    • More info: nhs.uk/get-tested

VACCINATIONS IN EREWASH AND COUNTYWIDE: 

  • VACCINATION CLINCS:
    • VACCINATION SITE CLOSURES
      As of 17th December 2021 both Long Eaton Health Centre and Littlewick Medical Centre will no longer be operating as Covid-19 vaccination sites.

      After this date, to book a COVID-19 vaccine (1st, 2nd or Booster doses) you will need to Call 119 or use the National Booking System on the NHS website. 

      For a guide on how to use the national booking system, click here

      Unfortunately, your GP Practice will be unable to book your COVID-19 vaccine appointment for you after 13th December 2021.  For any support with appointment booking please Call 119.  Your GP Practice will only be able to direct you to this number if you contact them.

      You will be able to book an appointment at one of the following sites if you ring 119 or book via the national booking system:
      * ASDA Pharmacy, Midland Street, Long Eaton. NG10 1NY
      * Evans Pharmacy, New Health Centre, Skeavingtons Lane, Ilkeston. DE7 8SX
      * Evans Pharmacy, 22 Queen Elizabeth Way, Kirk Hallam, Ilkeston. DE7 4NU
      * Evans Pharmacy, Unit L, The Dales, The Village, West Hallam, Ilkeston. DE7 6GR
      * Evans Pharmacy, 11 Wilsthorpe Road, Breaston, Derby. DE72 3EA
      * Amber Pharmacy, Horsley Woodhouse Church Hall, Main Street, Horsley Woodhouse, Derbyshire. DE7 6AS
      * Midland House, 1 Nelson Street, Derby. DE1 2SA
      * Boots: The Derbion, 1 Devonshire Walk, Derby. DE1 2AH
       
      For more information on vaccination sites in Derbyshire, click here.
       

  • FLU VACCINATIONS AND COVID-19:  Flu vaccination is important because:
    • More people are likely to get flu this winter as fewer people will have built up natural immunity to it during the COVID-19 pandemic
    • If you are over 50, you are eligible for a FREE flu vaccine and COVID-19 booster.  Find out more here.
    • If you get flu and COVID-19 at the same time, research shows you are more likely to be seriously ill
    • Getting vaccinated against flu and COVID-19 will provide protection for you and those around you for both of these serious illnesses

If you have had COVID-19, it is safe to have the flu vaccine. It will still be effective at helping to prevent flu.

For more information and booking - visit this link to NHS.uk.

  • VOLUNTEER TO HELP WITH THE VACCINATION PROGRAMME: Joined Up Careers Derbyshire is calling for more volunteers to help with the ongoing Covid-19 vaccination programme. The roles are suitable for those seeking to return to the medical profession in some way and for members of the public wishing to help in their community or region.  For more details, click here.
     

  • Find out why you SHOULD get your vaccines when it is time.  Click here to watch a short video featuring young COVID sufferers. 
     

  • STRUGGLING TO GET TO A VACCINATION APPOINTMENT?  CLICK HERE.  Derbyshire County Council is offering transport options which do incur a charge unless you are in financial hardship and/or on one or more of a list state benefits.
     
  • Won't or can't have a vaccine?: Healthwatch Derbyshire want to hear from you via a call or completion of a survey on-line that takes around five minutes.  You can read more details here
     
  • VACCINE MYTH BUSTING: Don't be fooled by social media!  Here are a few myths clarified by facts.
    • MYTH: The COVID-19 vaccines were developed too fast to be safe.

      FACTS: It is understandable that people would have this concern.  The vaccines were rolled out in record time, two of them using a novel technology.  In reality, the Messenger Ribonucleic Acid (mRNA) technology behind the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines had been in development for nearly two decades, and a key feature of the technology is its ability to make vaccines quickly. No corners were cut when it came to testing the vaccines for safety and efficacy.

      The same process was followed as with any vaccine, but to speed things up, drug companies performed different phases of the research simultaneously, instead of sequentially. Volunteers quickly signed up and the drug manufacturers started making the vaccine even before they knew whether the vaccine would be authorized, so doses were ready right away.

      In deciding to allow the vaccines for use, the MHRA had ample evidence from studies involving tens of thousands of volunteers and in the months since, after millions have taken them, the vaccines have continued to demonstrate their safety and efficacy.
       

    • MYTH: COVID-19 vaccines alter people’s DNA.

      FACTS: That rumour sprang up, most likely, because two of the vaccines use genetic methods that most of us do not understand — the messenger RNA, or mRNA.  The simple fact is the mRNA vaccine does not affect your DNA because it never gets near it.  It enters the cell, but has no access to the nucleus where the DNA is stored.

      Instead, the mRNA instructs cells to make the coronavirus’s “spike protein,” which triggers the body to create antibodies.  The mRNA quickly dissolves and so does the spike, but the body’s own antibodies remain, poised to attack the real coronavirus should it appear.
       

    • MYTH: COVID-19 vaccines can cause infertility.

      FACTS: This is simply not true. The rumour apparently emerged from another misunderstanding of human biology.  An incorrect report on social media said that the spike protein on the coronavirus is the same as another spike protein involved with the growth of the placenta, falsely asserting that vaccines could attack the placenta, but that is wrong.  The two spike proteins are completely different, and the vaccine does not attack the placenta or affect fertility.
       

    • MYTH: COVID-19 vaccines contain mysterious ingredients that could have long-term effects.

      FACTS: There is no mystery.  The ingredients in the vaccine are listed on the UK Government website.  They include typical vaccine ingredients, such as a fat capsule to protect the mRNA, salts, and a little sugar.  They do not include fetal lung tissue or microchips to track you. Those are conspiracy theories with no basis in fact. In the rare cases when vaccines cause problems, they are identified within two months, usually within days.

      Ingredients for vaccines: (links to gov.uk)

    • COVID FACTS: Visit the County Council website for more information
       

  • VACCINE SCAMS: For guidance on vaccination scams, click here.  The NHS COVID Pass is available for free through the NHS App, at nhs.uk or by calling 119. The NHS never ask for bank details, so be aware of suspicious emails or text messages. For more info visit this link.

DO YOU NEED HELP AND SUPPORT TO SELF-ISOLATE?  Do you need some help and support while self-isolating but don't have friends or family to call on?  The Derbyshire Community Response Unit can help with shopping, fetching prescriptions, transport to vaccination centres or finding someone to have a chat with.  You are not alone.  Get in touch.

LONG COVID: What to do: 
For some people, coronavirus (COVID-19) can cause symptoms that last weeks or months after the infection has gone.  This is sometimes called post-COVID-19 syndrome or "long COVID".

How long it takes to recover from COVID-19 is different for everybody.

Many people feel better in a few days or weeks and most will make a full recovery within 12 weeks.  For some people, symptoms can last longer.

The chances of having long-term symptoms does not seem to be linked to how ill you are when you first get COVID-19.

People who had mild symptoms at first can still have long-term problems.

There are lots of symptoms you can have after a COVID-19 infection.

Common long COVID symptoms include:

  • extreme tiredness (fatigue)
  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain or tightness
  • problems with memory and concentration ("brain fog")
  • difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
  • heart palpitations
  • dizziness
  • pins and needles
  • joint pain
  • depression and anxiety
  • tinnitus, earaches
  • feeling sick, diarrhoea, stomach aches, loss of appetite
  • a high temperature, cough, headaches, sore throat, changes to sense of smell or taste
  • rashes

Contact your GP if you are worried about symptoms after 4 weeks or more after having Covid. 

SHIELDING: The 31st March 2021 was the last day that Government guidance indicated that those classed as "clinically vulnerable" in England and Wales should 'shield' at home.  Letters have been sent out to those to whom it applied.  The recommendation now is that those persons should minimise social contact, work from home where possible and keep a safe distance from others.  NHS Digital data shows that 3.8m have been shielding.   People in the 'shielding' category are those who have received stem-cell transplants, undergoing chemotherapy for cancer and adults with acute kidney disease (list not exhaustive) with these persons in a priority group to receive a vaccination.

COVID FACTS, NOT FICTION: In a bid to set the record straight as to what is true and what is false regarding COVID-19, Derbyshire County Council is working with partners to launch a new campaign to counter a raft of misleading information in circulation, particularly on social media.  Find out more about how you can find out more here.

GIVING BLOOD AND PLASMA IN ALL TIERS:  Blood, plasma and platelet donorsiare urged by the NHS to keep attending as normal if they are fit and healthy.  Giving blood and plasma is classed as essential travel and donation sessions will stay open, with appointments remaining as normal.  For more details, visit this link

WEEKLY DERBYSHIRE COVID-19 TRACKING REPORT: Derbyshire County Council is currently providing weekly information on the number of cases in the county, the different age groups and the number of cases and rate of infection in each ward, by district or borough since February.  The report can be accessed here.

IGNORING CALLS TO SELF-ISOLATE IS 'NOT WORTH THE RISK':  Residents across the county are being reminded to self-isolate if anyone in their household or support bubble tests positive for the virus.  Help is available if you need to self-isolate.  The county council’s Community Response Unit can support you to arrange deliveries for food and prescriptions if you have no friends or family to call on, or put you in touch with someone who can have a chat over the phone if you feel lonely. You can request help online at derbyshire.gov.uk/gethelp or by calling 01629 535091, Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.

Some people on low incomes may also be entitled to a one-off payment of £500 through the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme if they are required to stay at home and self-isolate.  Contact your local district or borough council for more information.

LATEST NHS CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION: Derbyshire residents can get the latest NHS Covid-19 information while staying safe at home with the launch of a new online hub.   A one-stop shop of latest updates, advice, information and direct ‘signposting’ to other helpful websites has been added to the Joined Up Care Derbyshire hub at https://joinedupcarederbyshire.co.uk/covid-19-information-and-adviceThere is more on this story on our website..

COVID 19 INFECTION DATA AT LOCAL LEVEL: Derbyshire County Council is now reporting Covid infection rates at local level following the release of new information from Public Health England.  The data, updated weekly on Derbyshire County Council’s website at www.derbyshire.gov.uk/coronaviruscases covers the number of weekly cases in Derbyshire, the number of cases in different age groups and the rate of infection in each district since the beginning of February.  More information can be viewed on our website. 

COVID-19 VACCINATION INITIATIVE: The NHS and social care sector in Derby and Derbyshire is seeking to create a pool of people willing to support the health and social care workforce during the coronavirus pandemic.  A key priority will be supporting the vaccination of health and care staff, and the wider population, with the newly developed Covid-19 vaccine.  To find out more and register an initial expression of interest in the roles, visit this page on our website.

GENERAL INFORMATION: (alphabetical order)

  • Advice for businesses: There is help, advice and support for businesses from a number of different sources, including trading standards, who are offering guidance on new regulations. This can be accessed for free by filling out a business advice form here: 
    www.derbyshire.gov.uk/businessadvice.   See also 'Business rates', 'Business support' and 'Employers: support' below
     
  • Alzheimers Society: Telephony support is being made available (0333 150 3456) or visit www.alzheimers.org.uk
     
  • Befriending Mental Health Support: a safe, confidential e-mail support scheme is avaiable with your Befriender providing a minimum check in twice a week and avaiable over a 6-9 month mentoring relationship with an expert by experience.  The service seeks to benefit those with no confidential space to talk, those not open with mental health issues with their families, those in self-isolation with increasing anxiety and those with wi-fi signals rendered by multiple devices.   The practical support of mentoring may be easier to manage online rather than therapeutic video support.  Visit firststepsed.co.uk/the-benefits-of-befriending for more information.
     
  • Births: You should continue to register births - check with your local registry office for the most appropriate way to do this.  See also 'Pregnancy' below.
     
  • Blood: Sessions for giving blood are still operating and centres are still open, but donors are asked to follow the latest advice at www.blood.co.uk, the app and advice from the Government.  The situation is regularly being reviewed and work is ongoing with the relevant Departments and the UK's other blood donation services.  To make an appointment, or find out more information, call 0300 123 2323. download the NHS Give Blood app or visit www.blood.co.uk.   Visit this link for more information.
     
  • Business checks from w/c 8th March 2021: COVID-19 ‘spot checks’ began on businesses in Erewash from 8th March 2021 to ensure they have the proper safety measures in place to help tackle the virus.  There is more on this page of our website.
     
  • Business support (hospitality and leisure) (January 2022): Erewash Borough Council has opened applications for the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant with a deadline for submissions at midday on 21st FebruaryThere is more on this story here.
     
  • Buses: Some routes may be affected either through suspension or timetable changes due to a lack of drivers.  Please check with your service operator before travelling.
     
  • Car drivers/owners: Industry guidance from the RAC suggests that people are worried about their car batteries going flat because they aren't driving their car as much as usual.    But it has been suggested that simply starting a car occasionally isn’t likely to help and may end up draining a weak battery.   As the government advice is only to drive when essential, drivers will have to rely on these trips to keep their batteries healthy.  If you need to use your vehicle and it doesn’t start, you can still call your breakdown service, subject to the terms of your cover, i.e. you may need to ensure that you have 'home-start' cover etc.  If you have more than one car it’s probably best to alternate between them for your essential journeys so they both get used.   You should also consider driving the one with the older or weaker battery more often.

    If you keep your car in a garage, you may want to consider using a trickle charger which uses electricity to keep a battery charged.

    Whatcar.com also gives the following tips:

    • Keep your car away from the elements – leaving an unused car out in the open is not a good idea, because the rain, wind and prolonged sun exposure will damage its bodywork.  Try to store the car in a garage or, at the very least, cover it with a weatherproof car cover.  If you are leaving your car in a garage, leave the windows open a little to allow the air to circulate.

    • Don’t leave the handbrake on – this may cause the brakes to fuse, particularly in cold or wet weather.   Instead, use a wheel chock (brick or piece of wood for example), to prevent the car from rolling away.  If you’re storing the car for more than three months, then consider raising the car off the ground by using blocks or stands. This will reduce the weight on the car’s tyres.

    • Keep it clean – any grime or mud left on the car before it goes into storage can cause damage to the paintwork and bodywork over time.  Clean the car thoroughly before putting it into storage – this also means the car will (hopefully) look as good as new when you come to use it again

    • Change the oil – if you’re leaving the car for an extended period of time, usually three months or more, carry out an oil and filter service, which you do yourself.  You can also buy and use oil and fuel additives that will stabilise the substances and prevent internal damage to the engine. It’s best to top up your fuel tank, too, leaving as little space as possible for condensation to contaminate the fuel.

    • Contrary to RAC advice, Whatcar suggests that you start the engine (but add that this is optional) but if you don’t want to put additives in your fuel system then consider starting the car every few weeks and running it for around 20 minutes.   This will circulate fuel and oil, and keep the engine lubricated.

    • Leave yourself a note – when you’re finished with your preparations, write yourself a note detailing the steps you’ve taken to ready your car for storage, and what you need to do to get it roadworthy again.

    • Make sure it's secure – if you can, park your car in your driveway or garage.  If you can't do this, try and park it in a secure, well-lit location where you can see it from your home, and turn the wheels towards the kerb to make a quick getaway harder.  Remove any valuables from the car and make sure it's locked before walking away.   A steering wheel lock can be a valuable deterrent to thieves if you'll be leaving your car on the street for an extended period of time.
       

  • Car parking: Erewash Borough Council reinstated car parking fees in ALL of their car parks including Long Eaton Railway Station Commuter Car Park as of July 1st 2020.  Users should ensure that any trips are in line with Government instructions over social distancing..  Visit this link for full details of the reimplementaton of parking charges.  A full list of authority-owned car parks can be found here.
     
  • Charities: Visit gov.uk for details of any support packages which may be available for charities.
     
  • Charity volunteer well-being:  With the mental health and wellbeing of charity staff an increasing concern, BHIB Charities Insurance have put together a list of free resources.  These can help your charity to better understand mental health in the your workplace and put measures in place to improve the wellbeing of your workers and volunteers.  Find out more details here.
     
  • Church services:  See the road-map here.
     
  • Citizens Advice Bureau: Call 0300 456 8390 Monday to Friday 9am-4pm (call capacity has been increased).  For help to claim Universal Credit, call 0800 144 8444 Monday to Friday 8am-6pm.
     
  • Clothes recycling: Erewash Borough Council has issued a plea to residents having a wardrobe clear out to only do so if able to store items until the pandemic is over.  The message comes after it was revealed that the clothes banks (managed by third party charities) at recycling centres were often full to capacity and not being emptied as regularly.  Items have been dumped on the floor or even stuffed into nearby bottle banks.  Residents are being asked NOT to put recyclable items into black bins, and instead to think twice about creating additional waste and recycling for the time being.   There is more on this story on our website.  See also 'Recycling' below.
     
  • Community Equipment Return:  An urgent appeal has been made by the British Healthcare Trades Association for the return of beds and other items of equipment loaned through Community Equipment Services that are no longer in use.   Equipment providers have noticed a drop in returns of vital community equipment.  It is understandable that consumers may have concerns about contact with people from outside their household under social distancing rules, but it is vital that these items continue to be returned so patients can be discharged from hospital, to be cared for safely in their own homes.

    Community Equipment Providers understand consumers’ concerns.  They are using approved infection control procedures and enhanced PPE to protect those whose homes they visit, as well as their employees. Please help facilitate more NHS patient discharges and free up more vital bed spaces.  If you no longer need the items you have on-loan, contact your local equipment provider so that they can arrange to collect and recycle them.

    Contact details will be found on any paperwork left with you, or on a label on the equipment.   If you do not have access to this please search on your local and/or county council for ‘how to return equipment’ or for ‘Occupational therapy’.
     

  • Community Response Unit: Set up by Derbyshire County Council to take requests for assistance from members of the community who don’t have friends or family able to help them.  Help is available to those self-isolating either for themselves or due to a household member who is at risk, those struggling to meet basic needs due to financial. social or health restrictions, pregnant women, have underlying health conditions or aged 70 or over.   
  • Community support: Derbyshire County Council, working in partnership with community volunteer services across the county, is looking for volunteers to help support the work of its Community Response Unit during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond.  For more information, visit this link. 
     
  • Community support: The Erewash Voluntary Action Volunteer Centre is currently providing the following services with the help of a team of wonderful volunteers:
    • Shopping cover for those who are unable to get out to pick up their provisions and have no-one to help.
    • Prescription collections whereby deliveries are not taking place or no-one to pick up for individuals.
    • A friendly telephone call for anyone feeling isolated and lonely who may not have anyone ringing them or carers helping.
    • If you feel you need any of the above please call your GP Surgery Care Co-ordinator or Social Worker if you have one to refer you.
    • Erewash Voluntary Action also provides direct services in normal circumstances and liaises with many other groups and organisations.  
    • Please call on 0115 946 6740 between 9am and 3.30pm Monday to Friday for information if required.  New volunteers always welcome!
       
  • Community support: Residents in need of help and support to get food or prescriptions are being reminded by Derbyshire County Council to register for help if they have no friends or family to call on.   As many people across the county start to return to work, vulnerable friends, relatives and neighbours could find themselves with limited or no support.   Residents who are on the shielded list and are in need of help because their circumstances have changed are being urged to register on the national list for supermarket food deliveries, and residents are also being reminded that the county council’s Community Response Unit can also provide help to deliver food, prescriptions or even a friendly phone call to those living alone and feeling isolated.

    To register for the national shielded support scheme, register online at www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable or call 0800 028 8327.  To register, people need their NHS number which can be found on their prescription or at the top of the letter they received to let them know they are clinically extremely vulnerable.

    Anyone not on the shielded list who is in need of food, prescriptions or a befriending call and has no one to help them should contact the Community Response Unit online at derbyshire.gov.uk/gethelp or by calling 01629 535091 Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm or Saturday from 9am to 1pm.
     

  • Community support for dementia sufferers and their carers: Matinée Outreach is an arts-based project for people living with dementia (and their carers) who are isolated by Covid19 and not comfortable with online activities. Do you live with dementia, or care for someone living with dementia?   Have you felt socially isolated and not comfortable using online technologies?  Have you been frustrated over lockdown by the lack of activities you can do, and missed learning and trying new things?  Using the phone and post you will have 1:1 sessions with a professional artist exploring a range of activities e.g. stories, creative writing, craft activities, creative conversations, and trying new things out.  Artists are both experienced in working alongside people living with dementia and are looking forward to working creatively and flexibly via telephone and post.  There are a limited number of places available on the Matinée Outreach project, so if you are interested please get in touch.

    Contact Frances Watt on 07449 732322 (messages can be left where Frances is unable to answer) or e-mail admin @ matineederbyshire.org.uk
     

  • Council Tax:  Call 0115 907 2244 for appropriate guidance and support on paying your Council Tax.   The Contact Centre team are continuing to work with a high level of calls so residents are being advised to use on-line services - registering for a 'My Erewash' account via www.erewash.gov.uk where possible.
     

  • Derby College: Derby College Group (DCG) has announced its plans for lockdown to ensure students who need to access online learning and resources at college can do so safely.  You can read the details for campuses including Ilkeston and Morley by clicking here.
     
  • Derbyshire County Council Country Parks:  For more information about the countryside sites including any current restrictions and car parking please visit: www.derbyshire.gov.uk/countryside.

    .

  • Derbyshire LGBT+: You are not alone.  Face to Face work is suspended but there is support in as many creative ways.  These include online drop-ins using Zoom use these to get support or just have a chat.  They are supporting older and vulnerable members of the community by organising shopping and prescriptions.  They continue to offer support around issues such as hate crime, sexual health as well as general advice and guidance.  The web site link is: https://www.derbyshirelgbt.org.uk/2020/04/14/update-from-ceo/
     
  • Dog walking: A Derbyshire vet has warned that dog owners are unwittingly putting others in danger when letting their pets off the lead during the Covid-19 pandemic.  Dr John Rosie is advising pet owners that they should be doing more to protect themselves and others against the dangers of coronavirus.  There is more on this story on our website.
     
  • Domestic abuse: Some domestic abuse support services are not able to offer face to face meetings at this time, there is still help and advice available online and over the phone. 
    • Childline: If you’re a child or young person and domestic abuse is happening in your home or relationship, then call Childline on 0800 1111
    • Derby City Domestic Abuse Service: 0800 085 3481 
    • Derbyshire Domestic Abuse Service: 0800 019 8668 or visit www.derbyshire.gov.uk/staysafe for more information.
    • Men’s Advice Line – 0808 801 0327 
    • National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 200 0247 
    • National LBGT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline; 0800 999 5428
    • Rape and Sexual Violence Services: 01773 746 115 
    • In an emergency always ring 999 -  if you ring from a mobile but cannot respond to the operator, stay on the call, enter 55 when told to, you will be connected to the police, listen and follow their instructions
       

  • Domestic abuse: Crimestoppers is working with Derbyshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, Derbyshire Constabulary and Derbyshire County Council to launch a new campaign across the County appealing for information from people who are aware of Domestic Abuse happening to friends, family, work colleagues or neighbours.  You can contact Crimestoppers, who will take your information and pass it on, and no one will ever know you called.  The charity's UK Contact Centre is open 24/7 on freephone 0800 555 111 or visit crimestoppers-uk.org and fill in a simple and secure anonymous online form.  Alternatively call Derbyshire’s free confidential domestic abuse support line on 08000 198 668 or visit www.derbyshire.gov.uk/staysafe for more information.   In an emergency always ring 999 if you ring from a mobile but cannot respond to the operator, stay on the call, enter 55 when told to, you will be connected to the police, listen and follow their instructions.    There is more on this story on our website here, and also here
     
  • Driving licences (bus and lorry drivers): Visit gov.uk for any guidance on how to deal with driving licences during the pandemic
    .
  • Emotional support: The Rethink Mental illness website contains a specific section about Coronavirus with a lot of resources to help people who may be struggling during the pandemic.  Why not take a look yourself by following this link? 
     
  • Emotional support: VitaMinds is a free, short-term talking therapy service. Working in partnership with the NHS to support anyone over 18 years old, who is registered with a GP practice in Derbyshire, who may be experiencing low mood, anxiety, or depression.  Further information about this service can be found on the VitaHealth website.  

    The health group is keen to help people in Erewash who may be feeling anxious or uncertain as a result of the changing Covid-19 regulations and restrictions on 19th July.  They can also help people who may be worried, or have a phobia, related to needles and the Covid-19 vaccination. 

    VitaHealth offer varied treatments to suit different people’s needs and preferences.  For example, VitaHealth currently run online groups (webinars) addressing low mood, worry management and panic, led by an experienced mental health practitioner.  Alternatively, the group can offer people one-to-one sessions with a therapist.  People can self-refer to VitaMinds by ringing their friendly team on 0333 0153 496 or by going through the online referral form.
     

  • Emotional support: A new survey, commissioned by Public Health England at the start of the current (January 2021) Government restrictions, reveals the impact COVID-19 has had on adults' mental wellbeing across the Midlands and East of England.  In response, Public Health England has relaunched its 'Every Mind Matters' campaign.  To read more and find out how to access support, visit this link.
     
  • Emotional support: The Derbyshire Recovery and Peer Support Service helpline can be reached on 01773 734989 or 07537 410028 between 0900 and 1700 Monday to Friday.
     
  • Emotional support: The Oasis Church is running a 'Time to Talk' initiative.  A Listening Line is available to help people through the current circumstances offering friendly, safe listening support.  The lines are open Monday – Friday from 10.00am – 12 Noon and then 7:00pm - 9:00pm.  The usual Time to Talk drop in at the Infusion Coffee House in Long Eaton is currently suspended.   Call 07434 612417, 07434 612415 or 07434 612638.
     
  • Emotional support: Trent PTS (psychological therapies service) is still taking online referrals.  Anyone aged 16 years and over and registered with a Derbyshire GP can make a self referral by visiting www.trentpts.co.uk.   During this difficult and challenging times and in line with government recommendations their clinical staff can choose to work remotely, ensuring that this vital service continues to function.  Therefore all new assessments will be delivered either by telephone or webcam.  Clients will then continue to receive treatment by these methods plus addition online support.   If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Trent PTS on 01332 265659.
     
  • Emotional support:  A new free national phoneline - Daily HOPE - aimed particularly at the over 75s who don’t have access to the internet - has recently started.  The line is available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044.  Callers can choose from a range of options, including Prayer During the Day and Night Prayer updated daily, from Common Worship, and a recording of the Church of England’s weekly national online service. 
     
  • Emotional support: Do you need a listening ear or support during these stressful times?   The Derbyshire Support Line is available from 9.00am-Midnight on 0300 7900596, whilst the Derbyshire Chaplaincy Service is offering a listening ear for adults of all faiths or none, and an opportunity to look for hope and meaning.  Call or text Paul on 07877 883390 or email paul @ stpeterschurchderby.org.uk, closing the gaps in the e-mail address before sending your message.
     
  • Emotional support: The Community Outreach Department at Rehab 4 Addiction serves as an online resource for those dealing with substance addiction.  A set of educational guides have been devised to help increase understanding and awareness of all aspects of coping with the stress of the lockdown as well as bereavement.  With the current COVID-19 pandemic, many people who live with depression are struggling to stay afloat during self or mandated isolation.  The aim is that the guide can be one of many stepping stones for those struggling and their loved onces to better understand their situation and lead to to find a safe and supportive environment, especially during these times.  Visit www.rehab4addiction.co.uk/coronavirus/mental-health-coronavirus for an article on guarding mental health during the pandemic 
     
  • Employers: support: Tbe Government is supporting businesses and their employees through a package of measures during this period of unprecedented disruption.  You can get help to find the right support, advice and information to help with the impact of coronavirus (Covid-19) on your business by visiting www.businesssupport.gov.uk/.  There is more on this story on our website.
     
  • Employment and careers advice: Employment and careers advice has been extended by Derbyshire County Council during the coronavirus pandemic.   The county council’s Careers Coaches are giving free help to groups who have been affected by the current situation, including students, employees and employers, with this free support taking place via phone, e-mail, video-call or text.    For more information visit our website or go to www.derbyshire.gov.uk/NCS 
     
  • Erewash Borough Council is receiving a high number of calls to its contact centre.  Residents are being urged, where possible, to visit www.erewash.gov.uk and register for a 'My Erewash' acccount through which a number of services can be accessed.
     
  • Erewash Voluntary Action: have set up a new service in response to the COVID-19 Virus and people who are in self-isolation.  This will be a time limited service to provide a one-off shop or prescription collection service in response to those most in need; to people who have no other support network at this difficult time to provide them with some much-needed shopping essentials.   Self-referrals for this service can now be made by either calling Erewash Voluntary Action on 0115 9466740 (9:00am–3:30pm).  Once the referrals have been received, a DBS checked and trained member of staff or volunteer will be allocated.  Please call to limit exposure, there are no face to face meetings prior to allocation, so it is imperative that a CV-19 Referral Form is completed in full.
     

  • Fires: Firefighters across Derbyshire are asking people to pledge not to have a garden fire during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. This latest plea comes as Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Services has seen an increase in garden fires.  The Service has also been contacted by a number of residents who have found it hard to leave their homes to exercise, due to the smoke coming from local garden fires, where people have been burning garden and household waste.  To sign the pledge, which takes just thirty seconds, visit www.derbys-fire.gov.uk/pledge.  In pledging not to have a garden fire during the pandemic you will be supporting your firefighters across Derbyshire, and people with respiratory illnesses. 
     

  • Food banks: For a (not exhaustive) list of local food banks, click here.
     
  • Food parcels: Erewash Borough Council has been acting as distributor of food parcels to the most vulnerable in the borough, registered with the DWP as being in need of help, and including those self-isolating at home with serious health conditions and therefore being at the highest risk. Parcels, left on doorsteps should provide enough food for one person for one week including cereals, vegetables, pasta, tinned fruit, tea bags and toilet rolls.  The work to prepare the parcels is being done by Derbyshire County Council before they are handed to district and borough councils.   Anyone who feels they need help can make a request via www.derbyshire.gov.uk/gethelp or Derbyshire County Council’s community response unit helpline 01629 535091 Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and Saturdays 9am to 1pm.  Phone lines may be busy so please be patient.  There is more information and guidance on the Countywide initiative here.

     

  • Food usage: For advice on how to make the most of the food you have, visit www.derbyshire.gov.uk/50ways and www.lovefoodhatewaste.com.   See also 'Recycling' and 'Recycling Sites' below.
     
  • Food/fuel vouchers: Additional funding for Derbyshire County Council is being provided, as the government extends the COVID Winter Grant Scheme to cover the April 2021 school holidays to help households and individuals who find themselves in financial crisis..  There is more information including eligibility details here.
    .
  • Funerals: .See the road-map here.
     
  • Garden waste:
    • See 'Recycling' and 'Recycling Sites' below and 'Clothes recycling' above.
    • Garden waste collections started again in Ilkeston and the north on 22nd February and in Long Eaton and the south on March 1st..  Brown bins can now only be used for garden waste, with recycables now in brown bins with blue lids, blue bins or green recyling bags.
    • Visit www.derbyshire.gov.uk/composting for some advice on disposing of garden waste at home.
       
  • Handwashing: Hand washing is still a vital practice in protecting yourself and others from COVID-19. Always ensure you wash your hands regularly and for at least 20 seconds. Check that you are doing it properly with the NHS guide.
     
  • Heating oil: Distributors are working hard to meet demand from residents who use oil to heat their homes and are using more whilst at home for longer.  There is no need to panic buy.  Consumers are being asked to follow advice shown on our website.
     
  • Helpline for COVID-19 health advice: Patient health and social watchdog care Healthwatch Derbyshire has launched a telephone helpline as part of the wider efforts to ensure Derbyshire residents get the latest Covid-19 information.  The helpline is available Monday to Friday 10am to 3.30pm on 01773 880786.  NHS organisations and local authorities across the city and county have also launched an online hub with the latest updates, advice, information and direct signposting to other useful websites at https://joinedupcarederbyshire.co.uk/public-info-covid-19

     

  • HMRC: See 'Self Assessment' below.
     
  • Home From Hospital Support Service (Derbyshire): This provides practical support for vulnerable people leaving hospital, or those living at home but at risk of being admitted.  The service is provided by a combination of staff and volunteers and is FREE OF CHARGE.  
    • Who can use this service?:  Anyone who lives in Derbyshire (outside of Derby City) or is registered with a GP in Derbyshire and has limited support from family and friends.
    • What sort of help does this service offer?
      • Undertaking simple shopping
      • Making sure that the home environment is warm and comfortable
      • Arranging for key safes to be fitted and community alarm or telecare systems to be provided if necessary.
      • Supporting people to pay bills and make appointments
      • Collecting medication prescriptions
      • Helping people to find out about and access community activities to keep them connected
      • Helping people to understand care options and plan what they need for the future
      • Signposting people to other statutory, voluntary sector and community organisations as appropriate.
    • Who can make referrals?: Anyone can make a referral - you can refer yourself.
    • How to make a referral: Call 01283 817417 weekdays 8:30am to 4:30pm - an answerphone is avaliable outside of these hours - or e-mail home @ dhfh.org.uk.
       
  • Homelessness: Erewash Borough Council staff will be available for such emergencies. Call 0115 907 2244 for the Housing Options and/or Benefits Teams to speak with you.  The Housing Options Team are working remotely at this time.  If you are homeless, or have been threatened with homelessness and have a new enquiry, you can self refer by filling out the Housing Assistance Referral form via the borough council website.  If you are already working with the team or you have a general enquiry and are NOT at risk of homelessness, you can e-mail homelessness @ erewash.gov.uk (closing the gaps in the e-mail address before sending your message).
     
  • Key workers: The Government previously specified that the following categories qualify as key workers: Doctors, Nurses, some teachers and social workers, justice system, religious staff and public service journalists and broadcasters, local and national government workers, those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery, public service workers including police, armed forces, firefighters and prison staff, essential air, water, road and rail transport workers, utilities, communication and financial services staff, including postal workers and waste disposal workers.
     
  • Latest NHS Coronavirus information: Derbyshire residents can get the latest NHS Covid-19 information while staying safe at home with the launch of a new online hub.   A one-stop shop of latest updates, advice, information and direct ‘signposting’ to other helpful websites has been added to the Joined Up Care Derbyshire hub at https://joinedupcarederbyshire.co.uk/covid-19-information-and-adviceThere is more on this story on our website..
     
  • Letters To Loved Ones: Families can now share letters and photos via email to their loved ones in hospital to help them stay in touch at community hospitals run by Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust.  The new email service has been launched in response to the coronavirus and social distancing guidance which means visitors are not permitted on wards to help protect vulnerable patients and those caring for them from the virus.  The service is for in-patients includes Ilkeston Community Hospital.  

    Relatives and friends of patients on wards at these hospitals can use the #LettersToLovedOnes service by email to DCHST.letterstolovedones @ nhs.net, attaching a letter and photograph.  (Close the gaps in this e-mail address before sending your message).

    Please provide the date of birth and full name of any loved ones and state the ward they are on.
     

  • Local History Cafés:  Visit the Facebook page for details.
     
  • The Long Eaton All Media Art Club are streaming live drawing lessons at www.facebook.com/artinle.
     
  • The Long Eaton Art Rooks have printable colouring sheets available at www.facebook.com/longeatonartroom.
     
  • Markets: Borough Council run Markets continue to operate in both Ilkeston and Long Eaton.
     
  • Medical help (non-Coronavirus) related: England's Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty has urged people with urgent or urgent or potentially life-changing medical emergencies to use the NHS as they normally would, even if they are concerned about the effect they may have.  Dr. Whitty said that the NHS is open for busines, that it was really critical for people to realise that if they’re having a medical emergency, a heart attack or a stroke or a really bad flare up of asthma, which could be life-threatening, and they should go to hospital or contact NHS 111 where necessary.  Chief Executive of NHS Derby & Derbyshire CCG echoed those comments adding that worries about a mole changing size or shape, or responding quickly if personally or observing someone else suffering what appears to be a stroke, heart or asthma attack to make the necessary call. 
     
  • Mental Well-being: Public Health England’s 'Every Mind Matters' platform has launched new advice, focussed on looking after people’s mental wellbeing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  NHS’s Top 5 Tips for maintaining mental wellbeing can be viewed on our website.
     
  • MOTs: Garages are allowed to continue providing a service during the pandemic to enable motorists to safely use their vehicles to carry out essential trips.
     
  • National Minimum Wage: The rate for the National Living Wage and National Mimimum Wage increased from April 1st.   There is more at www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates
     
  • On-line retailers remain open for the public to order for delivery.   Amazon have said that there will be changes with priority given to delivery of essential items such as food and healthcare.  In-home deliveries have previously been paused and drivers have been asked to place packages at the customer's door and step back, This means that bulky items such as white goods, will NOT be brought into homes.
     
  • Parks and play areas (Erewash Borough Council facilities): Visit this link for guidance on access and use of parks during the pandemic.
     
  • Pregnancy: Becoming a parent is an exciting time but it might also feel worrying during the coronavirus pandemic. There's advice and support for pregnant women on the County Council webpage.
     
  • Pregnancy: England’s chief midwife Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent is appealing for hesitant pregnant women to book their jabs after new research from Oxford University found more than 99 per cent of expectant mothers admitted to hospital with Covid-19 are unvaccinated.  Scientists say that the Delta variant of the virus poses a significantly greater risk of severe disease, and currently, one in 10 pregnant women admitted to hospital with symptoms of Covid-19 require intensive care.

    Vaccination against coronavirus is recommended by The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in pregnancy, but the decision of whether to have the vaccine is your choice.

    Five key points about Covid-19 vaccines that pregnant women need to know:
    1. Initial trials show there are no safety concerns around pregnant women having a Covid-19 vaccine. 
    2. Women who receive a vaccine pass on antibodies to their babies.
    3. The vaccine cannot give you or your baby Covid-19.
    4. Pregnant women are at an increased risk for severe illness from Covid-19.
    5. No double-jabbed women have been admitted to hospital with Covid-19 in England. 
    Visit the NHS website for more information: Pregnancy and coronavirus (COVID-19) - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
     

  • Pregnancy: If you are pregnant, it is important to protect yourself and your baby from coronavirus. The vaccines are safe, effective and save lives.  Here, healthcare professionals answer key questions about the COVID-19 vaccine and pregnancy.

  • Prescriptions: important information during the COVID-19 pandemic:
    • Order repeat prescriptions in your usual quantities at the usual time. Over ordering of your medicines may mean someone else has to go without their medicines.
      Order your usual prescription online or by an app. Do not go to your GP practice or pharmacy to order prescriptions and only phone them if you cannot order online or by an app.  You can order repeat prescriptions on the NHS App and through your GP surgery or pharmacy’s online service, where available.  You can find out about ordering medicines online at www.nhs.uk
    • If you have a prescription to collect:
      • If you are 70 or over, have a long-term health condition or are pregnant you should arrange collection by a relative or friend, or ask your pharmacy for help with delivery
      • Ask any relatives and friends who are delivering your medicines to make sure they have seen you pick up the bag
      • If your medicines are being delivered make sure you keep a safe distance when you receive them.
    • For everyone else, if you are going into a pharmacy in person, follow social distancing rules and the rules put in place by the pharmacy to protect you and their staff
    • Pharmacies may have altered opening times to manage their workload.
    • Sales of some medicines may be restricted in quantity by pharmacies to ensure that there is enough for everyone.
    • New functionality has been added to the NHS App allowing patients across England to use it to choose a pharmacy to have their repeat prescriptions sent to directly.  There is more on this story on our website.
       
  • Recycling: Erewash Borough Council is focusing efforts on household waste and recycling collections and has asked residents to help by adapting to changed circumstances being experienced by everyone by minimising household wase and looking at ways of packing or reducing recyclable waste.   Here are some very simple key messages where you can help:
    • Please don’t put recyclable waste in black bins. This takes up space in the collection vehicles needed for general household rubbish.  Crush down all recycling items you are putting in blue bins/green bags.  For example, flatten cardboard boxes and plastic bottles/cartons – don’t just throw them straight in the bin.  This way you will create more space.
    • The government has issued a plea for householders not to burn recyclable waste.
    • As tempting as it is, avoid big clear-outs at this time unless you have somewhere to store all the items you could recycle or send to a charity shop once things return to normal.
    • Make the most of the food you have.  Be a champion of the ‘don’t waste food’ campaign.  See 'Food usage' above. 
    • Do not be tempted to use ‘waste cowboys’ to get rid of your rubbish.   The household recycling centres are currently closed (see below), so the waste will almost certainly be fly-tipped.   There has been an increase in fly-tipping across the country and this is not deemed acceptable.  
    • An A-Z of what can be recycled can be found at www.erewash.gov.uk under the ‘Your Council’ tab.  Read more on recycling responsibly on our website.
       
  • Recycling sites:  The layout of the county council’s nine centres (including on the Manners Estate in Ilkeston) have been improved to accommodate more vehicles on site at any one time while allowing visitors to maintain two metre social distancing.
    • Derby City Council runs a separate household waste recycling centre at Raynesway in Derby which is subject to separate restrictions and procedures, including the need to book a visit.  Visit this link for more information.
       

  • Rural Action Derbyshire: suicide awareness training, digital hub events and village hall seminars postponed.  The Wheels To Work Service will continue as long as safety training for new riders can be offered.  Oil buying and telephone advice for village halls will be largely unaffected.  The Rural Action Derbyshire office is closed and staff are working from home.  Visit the Rural Action Derbyshire website.
     
  • Safe & Sound: the specialist child exploitation charity has stepped up its communications channels to offer advice and guidance about keeping children and young people safe both in person and online in light of school closures, social distancing and self-isolation caused by the Coronavirus.  The Derbyshire charity’s support workers are available online for private conversations on Facebook with young people themselves, parents, other family members and fellow professionals between 10am and 11am and 3pm and 4pm or available by telephone on 07726 694680.  The office phone is staffed between 9am and 5pm on 01332 362120 and email info @ safeandsoundgroup.org.uk.  Anyone with urgent concerns about the wellbeing or safeguarding of a child or young person are advised to call 101.  There is more on our website
    .
  • Shielding: The 31st March 2021 was the last day that Government guidance indicated that those classed as "clinically vulnerable" in England and Wales should 'shield' at home.  Letters were sent out beforehand to those to whom it applies.  The recommendation now is that those persons should minimise social contact, work from home where possible and keep a safe distance from others.  People in the 'shielding' category are those who have received stem-cell transplants, undergoing chemotherapy for cancer and adults with acute kidney disease (list not exhaustive) with these persons in a priority group to receive a vaccination.
     
  • Stop Smoking: support service: During the lockdown, those looking to quit smoking have access to a support phone call every week for 12 weeks and have patches or lozenges to help them quit sent out by post, all for free.  GPs in Erewash are advising that stopping smoking makes the effects of coronavirus much less dangerous and also could also save you thousands of pounds.  To register you must want to stop smoking completely and be willing to check-in with your stop smoking adviser at agreed dates and times.  More details at livelifebetterderbyshire.org.uk or by calling 0800 085 2299.
     
  • Support groups on social media: contact us to provide details of your group if it is not listed here.
  • Tax:  See 'Self Assessment' above.
     

  • Testing:  

  • Tips: see Recycling and Recycling Sites above.
     

  • Toilets:  All public toilets run by Erewash Borough Council have reopened.
     
  • Town Halls (Ilkeston and Long Eaton): Please check before making a visit and try and conduct all activities on-line. 
    • The council is asking the public to make any payments by card as an added safety measure.  Payments can be made via www.erewash.gov.uk or by phone.  To pay by direct debit, call 0115 907 2244 or complete the form on your 'My Erewash' account via the council website.
    • If members of the public wish to make enquiries about benefits advice, homelessness support, licensing, planning or other services they should call to book an appointment in advance.  The council is appealing to residents to register for a My Erewash account and use its online services, which remains the safest and most efficient option – with only those who have no online access needing to visit Ilkeston or Long Eaton town hall information can be accessed without the need to visit the town hall.   

       

  • Trains:
  • Travel (abroad): Click here for a video which shows you how to show your COVID-19 status using the NHS Covid Pass on the NHS App when planning to travel abroad from England.   There is more information here
     
  • Trusted Traders: Derbyshire County Council has waived all fees for 12 months for businesses and individuals registered with the scheme which is designed to protect older and vulnerable adults by making it easier for them to avoid falling foul of rogue traders.  The scheme usually costs £75 for sole traders and £110 for all other businesses.    Advice and support for businesses and traders can be found at www.derbyshire.gov.uk/coronavirus to make sure they’ve got all the latest information.  Local district and borough councils also have information about help and support for businesses, and traders should look at the council local to them to find out more.
     
  • VentilationWatch this video to see how good ventilation can reduce the spread of Coronavirus and help to keep people safe. Whether you are at home or in the work place, good ventilation is so important

     

  • Volunteers: A support pack for volunteers during the Coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19) is now available. Please click this link for a PDF booklet full of useful information.
     
  • Voting: See 'Elections' above.
     
  • Walking for Health scheme (Erewash) cancelled until further notice.
     
  • Weddings/civil partnership ceremonies: See the road-map here.
    • For any cancellations, the CMA says venues and suppliers may be entitled to keep some or all of any deposit but consumer law states that they must give you a breakdown of the costs.   If your wedding is coming up and technically permitted, ensure that you read the small print in your contract for rules on cancellation or date changes and ask what they are prepared to offer.   Contract changes that could be deemed unfair could be unenforceable. 
       
  • Welfare RIghts: Residents who are worried about money matters and struggling to pay bills or claim benefits are being urged to seek help and contact Derbyshire County Council’s welfare rights team.  The team are on hand either via the helpline or email to answer a raft of queries, give people support and advice and even organise emergency payments in cases of hardship.    The team has seen an increase in enquires since the outbreak of coronavirus and has been supporting people whose circumstances have changed, with many having never claimed benefits before. 

    People who are waiting for benefits to be paid or for problems to be resolved who are facing hardship should contact the welfare benefits team to ask about the Derbyshire Discretionary Fund, where payments can be made to cover financial emergencies.  The team can also advise families claiming Universal Credit about accessing free school meals support. 

DISCLAIMER: Content on this page is published, edited and updated as much as possible based on information available or known to us at this time.  Content is provided in the spirit of goodwill, however, we are living in an ever changing period of time.  We therefore strongly encourage that you make your own checks before carrying out any action relating to content posted on this page and therefore cannot accept any responsibility for any issues so arising where these checks are NOT made by any individual or body. 

COVID-19 safer behaviours and actions

Share this story:

Tell us YOUR news...

If there's something happening in your area that matters to you and feel that the rest of the borough needs to know about it, tell US about it.