COVID Special Issue - April 2020 - (2)

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Summary of 2021 newsletters   
Summary of 2020 newsletters     
Summary of 2020 COVID Newsletters     
Archived Newsletters 
Current News  

Disability Rights UK (DRUK) – News In Brief   
To contact Disability Rights UK (DR UK) see

Local Organisations with an involvement in Disability and Health support services across Surrey are encouraged to submit regular reports and updates. Are you arranging ‘virtual’ open meetings and events? – let us help to publicise them at our Form Page 

Nominate any ‘Local Heroes’ at our Form Page 

Despite the high temperatures, the majority of people in Surrey have followed government advice and stayed at home, exercised responsibly from their homes, and adhered to social distancing guidance to slow the spread of Covid19 and ensure demand on an already stretched NHS is managed to help save lives.

Unfortunately, not everyone has followed this advice.

We attended the A30 London Road in #VirginiaWater earlier today (Sunday 5 April), to carry out parking enforcement due to complaints about illegal parking on the clearway.  A number of parking tickets incurring a £30 fine were issued. Several people were spoken to who had driven to the location from as far away as Brentford and Weybridge to exercise.

Elsewhere in the county, Officers were also called following reports of more than 40 cars parked up at the Box Hill beauty spot, near Dorking, as people disregarded government instructions to stay local for their exercise.  Scores of people were discovered sun-bathing by police officers and PCSOs.

A passing National Police Air Service helicopter on another call prompted quite a few to leave, but police on the ground still had to engage with a significant number and persuade them to leave. 

Cars continued to arrive throughout the afternoon and officers were also alerted to a similar situation at Epsom Downs.

Superintendent Chris Colley said: "We understand that in normal situations the warm weather is appealing and we all want to get out and about. However, these are not normal times. This is a national health emergency and everyone is urged to do their very best to slow the spread of this devastating virus. Every little thing we can do now will help reduce demand for the NHS and save lives.  We need people to take responsibility and consider their actions before potentially putting other lives at risk. If we need to use the powers we have been granted under the Coronavirus Act, we will do so.  However, the majority of Surrey residents are adhering to the government’s guidelines to stay at home to save lives – a huge thank you to you all.” #StayAtHome  #ProtectTheNHS  #SaveLives

What are Social Distancing and Self-Isolation?  
Members of the public should stay at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus, the government says.  Restrictions put in place to combat the disease say people should go out as little as possible and only leave if they have a "reasonable excuse".

This includes:  
Exercise - alone, or with members of your household
Shopping for basic necessities
Any medical need, or providing care for a vulnerable person
Travel to or from work, but only when you cannot work from home

What are the rules on exercise?  
If you have to go outside you should stay more than 2m (6ft) apart from anyone other than members of your own household. This is what's known as social distancing. 

Government guidance urges people to "stay local", use open spaces near their home and avoid unnecessary travel

Guidance to police says that the public shouldn't be sanctioned for "travelling a reasonable distance to exercise" - although no definition has been given

People should only exercise once a day, although in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland there is no legal ban on exercising more than that. In Wales, which sets its own health regulations, exercising more than once a day is now illegal - and potentially a criminal offence

You can exercise alone or with members of your own household  
Gatherings of more than two in parks and public spaces have been banned (ruling out most team sports)
Dogs can be walked as part of a person's daily exercise

Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove has said: "I would have thought for most people a walk of up to an hour, a run of 30 minutes or a cycle ride of between that, depending on their level of fitness, is appropriate."

Coronavirus – Covid19 - Tell Us How You’ve Been Affected And Your Coping Mechanisms  
We continue with our ‘Special Issue’ of newsletters that we will, if necessary, distribute on a more frequent basis, to report any changes to or new information as the current situation evolves.

Visit our Form Page click on any link and  button on the top right side. or Start a new 'Topic' Enter your email address in the box and a code will be sent to you so that you can ‘ Log In’ to the forum item.  After adding the code you will be returned to the forum item.  Click on the ‘Reply’ button to an existing forum item or start New Topic

Alternatively please contact me on  or text me on 07853 038933.

Posted in Disabled Motoring General News March 2020  
Those working in the mobility sector have been identified as ‘Key Workers’. This means that crucial independent living equipment will continue to be serviced and maintained to reduce the chance of it failing and putting extra pressure on the NHS. Where possible, companies are also continuing to deliver new products.

However, during this difficult time, the providers of this equipment are urging their customers not to neglect the maintenance of their essential products because the main priority is supporting the NHS by keeping people out of the healthcare system.

While continuing to offer their services these companies are taking a number of measures to protect their customers and staff at this time. These measures include the use of hand sanitation prior to and after appointments, the use of video calling for assessments and fittings, providing no-contact appointments and using stringent cleaning techniques to make sure any new products are safe.

Staines Shopmobility – is pleased to report that we will continue to remain open to support our customers. The service will offer reduced opening hours but these will be aligned with the current special hours the food stores are offering to vulnerable groups.

The shop will be open: Wednesday 9am-3pm, Thursday 8am-3pm, Saturday 9am-3pm.  

Current special hours for vulnerable groups are:  Iceland Monday to Saturday 9-10am, Sunday 10-11am, Marks & Spencer's Monday & Thursday 8-9am. Check For Any Updates At   

Stores currently open and selling essential products and services:  
SPECSAVERS: Open 10am to 4pm – essential care only  
BOOTS: Open 9am to 5pm  
ICELAND: Monday to Saturday 9am-6pm and Sunday 10am-4pm – 8am to   9am for NHS Workers - (see Staines Shopmobility for vulnerable group times)
HOLLAND & BARRETT: Open 9am to 5pm  
GRAPE TREE: Open 9am to 5pm  
MARKS & SPENCER'S: 8am-7pm Monday to Saturday, 10.30am to 4.30pm Sunday. First hour on Tuesday and Friday for NHS priority. (see Staines Shopmobility for vulnerable group times)  
PETS CORNER: 9am-6pm Monday to Saturday, 10.30am to 4.30pm Sunday  
SUNSET PHARMACY: 9am-6.30pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 1pm Saturday  
SUPERDRUG: 10am-5pm  
WILKO: 9am-5pm  
VITAMIN SHOP: 11am-5pm  



Coronavirus Update: Freecycle is a global community, and right now our community is under threat from a global pandemic. While we remain committed to reducing waste and keeping items out of landfill, our main concern is the health and well-being of our members.

Local moderators have refocused local groups on crisis information and updates: local testing sites, shopping restrictions, critical info, and to only allow items, where permitted, which are essential/basic necessities.

Once you have registered (new group members) or signed in (existing group members),  Click on “Contact moderator” link at the top of your local group page to pass on information for wider dissemination to other local members.

Post only essentials and avoid all contact by leaving items on the porch/doorstep and disinfecting accordingly.   All members and posts are on full moderation during the pandemic. Only posts for necessities e.g. food, safety medical equipment (not medication) will be approved. This is to reduce social interaction.  
Spelthorne Freecycle Moderator

In the light of what is happening on several Freecycle Groups around the world, we thought it appropriate to send a reminder message to you regarding courier scams.

There have been a number of incidents where a person either offers a seemingly very attractive item or responds to a Wanted post offering the item being requested.

However when contact is made to arrange collection, they offer to get a courier to deliver it to you (a variety of reasons are given for this, including that they have recently moved too far away for you to collect the item). They even sometimes say that the courier is a “Freecycle recommended” or “Approved” one.

Once the money has been transferred, the person making the Offer disappears.

If anybody makes such a request, or offers such a service, please advise the moderators using the “Contact Moderators” link on the Group Home Page and send them copies of any emails that you have received.

We will request our Spam Control team to take any necessary action against the offending member.

Please be aware Freecycle® does not recommend or approve any courier, and what is more it is expressly against the rules of Freecycle to request payment for any item offered or requested on Freecycle. So please never agree to send money for a courier to deliver an item that is changing hands via Freecycle. If you must arrange delivery, please make those arrangements yourself. Spelthorne Freecycle Moderator

COVID19 AND THE RIGHTS OF DISABLED PEOPLEEdited from Disability Rights UK (DRUK) Website  
The NHS is built on the principle that we are each equal in dignity and worth. It expresses our commitment to protect one another’s right to life and to health, no matter who we are.

We (DRUK) recognise that the NHS faces unprecedented pressures. We know that its staff will have to make difficult decisions about who gets treatment and care and who doesn’t. We understand that they will have to judge whether people will benefit and we know that people’s existing health will be taken into account.

However, we have read about cases that have made us feel worried that the principles on which the NHS are built are sometimes not being upheld. We are concerned that the rights of disabled people, of all ages, are not always being upheld.

NHS staff normally use these laws to help make decisions about people’s treatment. In this crisis it’s more important than ever that all NHS staff follow them. To ensure that this happens, we believe that it is critical for everyone involved must be guided by the following principles:

Our individual chance of benefiting from treatment should we have Covid19 must not be influenced by how our lives are valued by society. Where we have existing health conditions or impairments that are unrelated to our chance of benefiting from treatment, they must not play any part in decision-making regarding our equal right to access such treatment.

  • The fact that we might have significant levels of social care and support needs, or that we may do so in future as a result of the pandemic, should not make health staff think that we will not benefit from treatment.
  • We have the right to be fully involved in decisions about our own lives, including life and death decisions. Decisions should never be made without our involvement, or consideration of our best interests. There is no justification for policies based on age or learning disability that do not treat each of us with respect and as individuals.
  • We all, and our advocates, have the right to know about decisions that may be made about us that will affect us.

Guidelines on the assessment, provision, and evaluation of treatment and care provided to individuals during the Covid-19 pandemic must be developed in collaboration with disabled people’s organisations and representatives from human rights bodies.

We cherish the NHS and the values that it represents. We stand ready to do whatever we can to support it to stay true to its founding principles in the difficult days, weeks and months ahead.

For the full list of names supporting this statement got to the web site

Our Community Hub 'Support4Spelthorne' is up and running. It has been created and funded by Spelthorne Borough Council to support those most at need in the Borough during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Support4Spelthorne is a partnership between Spelthorne Borough Council, the Borough's four food banks and Voluntary Support North Surrey (VSNS). This initiative is designed to support those residents who are most vulnerable and isolated during this pandemic - those who do not have a family, friends or a neighbourhood support network round them to assist with essential needs. This includes residents who have received a shielding letter from NHS England.

Working in conjunction with our partners, the Council are identifying those residents who are eligible for support. Our teams will then offer a weekly food parcel delivery service (to include essential food items and household products), the offer of money advice, support in getting your medication and wellbeing calls.

If you or someone you know needs this support, please contact Spelthorne Borough Council on 01784 446446 or email  where the dedicated team will ask you a few questions to work out what your needs are and how we can help. The Spelthorne4Support community helpline is open 7 days a week.

If you want help with shopping or wish to volunteer please contact Voluntary Support North Surrey on 01784 465536 or visit  this website can also be used for other enquiries related to COVID-19.

For all medical enquiries, please continue to contact the NHS on  or on 111.

Staff from Spelthorne Council will be emailing residents in the Borough who we believe may require support during the Coronavirus outbreak and don't have friends, family or a neighbourhood support network to assist with essential needs. This is a genuine email. If you receive it, please reply to tell if you need support so we can help you or tell us that you don't need support so we can update our records.

The Borough Council website has a dedicated Coronavirus page with updates and information on services at

Claire Hopkins on 07549 952161 for further details.

Jean Pinkerton on 07770 478778 for further details.

Anna- Marie Goodacre on 07429 584286 for further details.

Cath Maughan on 01784 423424 for further details.

If anyone is able to donate resources or make a financial contribution please contact your local food bank.

A Care Home worker has posted an emotional video on social media after being told she couldn’t skip a supermarket queue.

Lynne Tonkin, who works for Trelawney Care, was trying to buy supplies on behalf of an elderly woman but was told by the manager of Tesco in Camborne that she’d have to join the back of the queue, even though it meant she wouldn’t be able to complete her shop due to the number of other people she needed to help elsewhere.

She said she had previously been allowed to skip the queue as her job was to buy food for vulnerable people.

Tesco told the BBC it had apologised to Ms Tonkin and the care home, and thanked customers for their patience while social distancing measures are in place.

ADULT SOCIAL CARE INFORMATION TEAM - Coronavirus Special Briefing Information correct as at 9 April 2020  
For essential coronavirus public information and resources which are regularly updated and added to, please see the county council’s coronavirus pages.

The Community Helpline number 0300 200 1008 will be open on Good Friday (10 April) and Easter Monday (13 April) 10am-4pm, and Easter Saturday and Easter Sunday 10am-2pm. Residents are being encouraged to be prepared for the bank holiday weekend and not leave things too late to ask for help. 

A new SMS number, 07860 053465, for people who are D/deaf or hard of hearing has been set up to access the Community Helpline. The SMS number operates Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm.  A Textphone (via text relay) facility also operates via 18001 0300 200 1008 and a Sign Language Video Relay service through Sign Live, operating Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm and Saturday and Sunday, 10am-2pm.

NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) have announced that they will require all community pharmacies in England to open from 2pm-5pm on Good Friday (10 April 2020) and 2pm-5pm on Easter Monday (13 April 2020) and are asking people not to leave it too late to get help before the Easter weekend.

This easy to read guide   is to ensure that volunteers are informed and re-assured about how they can safely go about volunteering and ensure that they are not putting themselves, or others, at risk of Covid-19. The guide is based on national guidance from Public Health England, and NHS England, and also draws on work from other areas including London and Scotland.

The Coronavirus Status Checker will help the NHS plan its responses, for example indicating where and when more resources may be needed and how the virus is progressing across the country.  The survey can also be completed if someone hasn’t had or don’t think they have had Covid-19.

UK GOVERNMENT LAUNCHES CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION SERVICE ON WHATSAPP This new free chatbot service on WhatsApp aims to provide official, trustworthy and timely information and advice about coronavirus giving answers to the most common questions direct from the government. Topics include:  Coronavirus prevention and symptoms, Staying at home, Travel, Myth busters, Latest numbers of cases

To use the service add 07860 064422 to the phone’s contacts and then send “Hi” in a WhatsApp message.  Select from the menu of options which is sent back to see more information. The service also allows the government to send messages to all opted-in users if needed.

The British Deaf Association is publishing a daily signed video /  providing up-to-date information about the coronavirus pandemic.

Action for Carers Surrey has information, guidance and links to help you manage as a carer during the coronavirus pandemic and are still open for telephone and email enquiries. For further help:

More information for carers will be added to the Surrey County Council coronavirus web pages shortly.