August 2020


Previous Newsletters can be found on 2020 newsletters, 2020 COVID Newsletters or the Archived Newsletters pages

CORONAVIRUS – COVID19 - TELL US HOW YOU’VE BEEN AFFECTED  
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.  Nominate any ‘Local Heroes’.  Please contact me on info@spelthorneaccess.org.uk or text me on 07853 038933. 

SURREY LIBRARIES HAVE REOPENED  
Surrey County Council has reopened thirteen libraries as part of a programme to gradually reopen across the county from 6 July, in line with Government guidance. The opening hours at Camberley, Dorking, Epsom, Farnham, Godalming, Guildford, Redhill, Staines and Woking are Monday to Saturday 10am to 4pm. Egham and Weybridge the days are Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 4pm and Horley, Oxted the days are Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 2pm.

We're working hard to start reopening services in other libraries and further updates will be posted on our Coronavirus information page, https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/libraries/news-and-events/library-news/coronavirus which also includes information about what services are available, which services are paused, and the safety measures in place.

IF YOU'RE AT HIGH RISK – CURRENT GUIDANCE  
From 6 July, the government advises

  • you no longer need to socially distance from people you live with
  • if you want to, you can meet in a group of up to 6 people outdoors, including people from other households
  • you may also form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household if you want to, but one of the households in the ‘support bubble’ should be a single adult household (either an adult living alone or with children under 18 only). You can all spend time together outside and inside each other’s homes, including overnight, without needing to socially distance

From 1 August, the government will pause shielding unless the transmission of COVID-19 in the community starts to rise significantly.  This means:

  • the government will no longer be advising you to shield
  • the support from the National Shielding Service of free food parcels, medicine deliveries and care will stop
  • NHS Volunteer Responders will carry on delivering the food you buy, prescriptions and essential items to you if you need it
  • you will still be eligible for priority supermarket slots (if you have registered by 17 July)

You may still be at risk of severe illness if you catch coronavirus, so stay at home as much as you can and continue to take precautions when you do go out. You can do this by washing your hands regularly, avoiding touching your face and keeping 2 metres away from people outside of your household or bubble wherever possible.

From 1 August, you’ll be advised you could go out to more places and see more people, for example, the advice is:

  • you can go to work, as long as the workplace is COVID-secure – but carry on working from home if you can
  • children who are clinically extremely vulnerable can go back to school (when the rest of their class goes back)
  • you can go outside to buy food, to places of worship and for exercise – keeping 2 metres away wherever possible

Those in receipt of centrally provided food boxes and medicine deliveries will continue to receive this support until the end of July if they want it.  
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19#parents-and-schools-with-clinically-extremely-vulnerable-children 

DISABILITY RIGHTS UK (DRUK)
We are the leading charity of its kind in the UK. We are run by and for people with lived experience of disability or health conditions.

To contact Disability Rights UK (DR UK) see   www.disabilityrightsuk.org/contact-us

Disability Rights UK (DRUK) – News In Brief

ADULT SOCIAL CARE – INFORMATION AND ENGAGEMENT TEAM – News in Brief -   Coronavirus Special Briefing Information Correct on 23rd July 2020  
Current Adult Social Care – News In Brief 

Please note the current version of the ASC Briefing that is on this web site was received after the August newsletter was finalised and issued.  an earlier ACS Briefing up to 3rd July is included in SCAN's Newsletter.  

YOU DON’T LOOK SICK: - ‘People Think I’m Too Young To Be Disabled’ - Edited from a series published in Metro.co.uk telling the stories of people with invisible illness and disabilities.  
Colette Morgan, 29, from Nottingham, has coeliac disease, chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME)

Living with chronic illness has also contributed to Colette developing anxiety and depression. Although she has experienced chronic illness she was diagnosed with CFS/ME as a teenager, her health had improved until surgery on her right ankle in February 2018 triggered complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) a rare condition where the body responds abnormally to an injury, causing pain that is persistent, severe and lasting much longer than usual.

She was diagnosed with CRPS five months after her surgery, after a series of tests and examination by orthopaedic surgeons, neurologists and a pain clinic. Colette tells Metro.co.uk: ‘I was really upset, confused and frustrated. I had the surgery on my ankle to repair an injury in the hope of being able to keep fit and active, but instead, I developed an extremely painful and life-changing condition which severely limits my mobility and impedes daily activities. Before being diagnosed I hadn’t heard of the condition and had no idea how it would affect my life. Now Colette needs crutches to get around her house as she cannot walk on her ankle and she uses a powerchair when she is out and about.

She explains: ‘I typically wake up feeling unrefreshed and in pain, I take medication upon waking up and then rest until it takes affect and I feel able to get up. I usually only leave the house every couple of days, typically for medical appointments and chores rather than fun stuff! My family and friends are great. I need a huge amount of help around the house from my lovely boyfriend; from helping me to shower to cooking, fetching things and cleaning. CRPS also causes extreme sensitivity in the affected area, meaning that anything touching her leg can cause extreme pain. I struggle with clothing and footwear I can’t tolerate tight socks or tights on my affected foot as it triggers pain.

Although Colette now uses mobility aids all the time, she says that people still say things like ‘you don’t look sick’ because to most people, she looks healthy. She says: ‘I have had people say I am too young to be disabled and infer I ought to be walking etc instead. I typically just brush it off. ‘If I am out and about using my crutches I get a lot of comments and questions, people make the assumption that I have a sports injury or temporary condition. I find these questions really intrusive and quite upsetting; it is hard to then explain to people I have a permanent condition. If I use my powerchair I don’t get as many comments, but people will then often ignore me and just talk to my boyfriend rather than me. I do worry that people will judge me for using a powerchair when I can still move and use my legs, I get self-conscious about stretching or fidgeting with my legs.’

She says: ‘My use of mobility aids makes my disabilities more visible, but I do feel people ought to be more empathetic towards those with hidden illnesses. Too often there is an assumption that just because a person is younger, they can’t be disabled. ‘Things are beginning to change, but more does need to happen. ‘I also struggle with accessing a lot of places, too many shops/bars/restaurants have steps into the premises and do not provide any form of ramp or way for wheelchair users to access the building.’

If you have an invisible illness or disability and fancy taking part, please email youdontlooksick@metro.co.uk. You will need to be happy to share pictures that show how your condition affects you and have some time to have some pictures taken.