Coronavirus Special Briefing Information correct as of 3 July 2020
County council publishes plan of action to tackle spread of COVID-19 locally Surrey County Council has published its Local Outbreak Control Plan, outlining its readiness to control the spread of COVID-19 and quickly manage any local spike in infections.
Surrey is one of 11 ‘good practice’ areas across England chosen to work together to innovate and share best practice in the development of Local Outbreak Control Plans.
The plan is a result of weeks of intense planning from many health and social care partners in Surrey including: the NHS, Surrey County Council, district and borough councils and military planners.
It is hoped that any ‘localised lockdown’ in Surrey can be avoided if people continue to follow important public health messages and comply with the NHS Test and Trace system. The plan details local communications and engagement activities, including targeted digital engagement tactics to ensure messaging can be targeted at residents within a few hours of a notification of a local outbreak.
Further coronavirus advice and support is available from Surrey County Council.
Healthwatch Surrey publish report on people’s experiences of health and social care during the pandemic
In May 2020, Healthwatch Surrey ran a survey asking local people about their experiences of health and social care during the pandemic. The survey covered three main areas:
Update on eye care services
It was announced on 17 June 2020 that routine eye care services could resume. Local practices will now be able to provide patient care depending on a person’s needs and symptoms but will still be prioritising essential and urgent patients.
It is important to call the optometrist first, so they can assess whether a face-to-face appointment is needed.
For further information, please visit: The College of Optometrists.
Free bus pass expiring?
In light of the current situation regarding COVID-19, Surrey County Council has taken the exceptional decision to automatically replace free bus passes that are due to expire, to avoid residents worrying about how and when they will be able to renew or reapply for their bus pass.
When a person’s bus pass is due to expire, they will automatically be sent a new replacement. This includes:
Individuals will be required to renew/reapply when their automatic replacement is approaching expiry.
For further information, please visit: Surrey County Council.
A range of new Mental Health Training is available
COVID-19 Psychological First Aid: Public Health England (PHE)
The free online course enables responders to develop their skills and confidence in providing key psychological support to people affected by coronavirus, including on issues such as job worries, bereavement or isolation, as they carry out their vital work as part of the ongoing coronavirus response. It will also help to develop understanding of how emergencies like the coronavirus pandemic can affect everyone, how to recognise people who may be at increased risk of distress, and how to offer practical and emotional support.
Further information is available from Future Learn.
Free Online suicide prevention training
Surrey Public Health Team mental health and suicide prevention training
Surrey County Council’s Public Health team has a mental health training plan that includes mental health awareness training and suicide prevention training. For information on this training, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
National report on consumer’s digital capacity published
Over the last five years, the Lloyds Bank UK Consumer Digital Index has used the behavioural data of 1 million people and interviewed almost 7,000 consumers, to create the UK’s largest measure of digital capability. This year finds that an estimated 7% of the UK population are still offline and 9 million people struggle to get online by themselves.
The effects of COVID-19 on the digitisation of the UK society are also explored within the findings.
The report is available from Lloyds Bank.
British Red Cross publish report on ‘Life after lockdown’
The COVID-19 crisis has made loneliness worse, with some people more affected than others.
'Life after lockdown: Tackling loneliness among those left behind', a report from The British Red Cross shows that although social distancing and lockdown measures will continue to be eased, loneliness will remain. Furthermore, for those most left behind, it may continue to grow.
The report is available from British Red Cross.
I’m All Ears – Free listening and counselling service available
I’m All Ears is a voluntary listening counselling service. Sessions are being offered by telephone, WhatsApp and Zoom. For more information, please email: email@example.com
Safe Havens launch virtual mental health crisis service to increase their reach
People who are facing a mental health crisis can now attend one of the five Safe Havens across Surrey and North East Hampshire virtually, following the launch of a new service.
This means those who are self-isolating due to COVID-19, those who are in a vulnerable group or shielding and those who are anxious about travelling will now be able to access their local Safe Haven without leaving home. This will help to ensure people receive timely advice and support and avoid unnecessary visits outside of the home, as well as visits to A&E.
Each of the Safe Havens are providing the virtual service from 6pm-11pm, seven days a week.
Access to these services is available from
Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
Surrey to re-open libraries from 6 July 2020
Surrey County Council plans to start gradually re-opening libraries across the county from 6 July, in line with Government guidance. The first libraries to re-open will be Camberley, Dorking, Woking, Staines, Redhill, Horley, Epsom, Egham, Oxted, Farnham, Weybridge, Godalming and Guildford.
The county’s libraries closed on 20 March due to the coronavirus lockdown and the council is now planning to reopen services in a safe way with guidelines in place for social distancing.
The priority will be staff and customer safety, which means the libraries will have to operate in a different way with a reduced service, limited capacity in buildings, additional cleaning measures and guidelines in place for social distancing.
Customers will be able to visit open libraries to browse and borrow books, but they won’t be able to use public computers and printing services, nor will they be able to read newspapers, use study spaces or seating areas. As well as a free reservation service, customers can also take advantage of ‘ready reads’ – a new service where they tell the library what books they enjoy, and library staff handpick a selection for them to collect from their nearest open library.
For further information, please visit: Surrey Libraries.
Coronavirus and shielding of clinically extremely vulnerable people in England
The Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) behavioural survey of people shielding that ran from 28 May to 3 June 2020, found that 35% of respondents said their wellbeing and mental health had got slightly, or much worse, since shielding advice was given.
For further details and to download a copy of the bulletin, please visit
The Office for National Statistics.
Surrey People’s Group hosting event on COVID-19 impact
The Surrey’s People Group, who are people with lived experience of learning disability, autism and acquired brain injury, are hosting an event on 9 July 2020 (11am-1pm) to talk about COVID-19 and the impact it has had on the group.
Surrey Heartlands hosts virtual Equality, Diversity and Inclusion event
Surrey Heartlands continues to work to eradicate health inequalities and remains dedicated and committed to support the BAME community and workforce. Therefore, Surrey Heartlands is hosting a virtual Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) event focused on race.
This will take place on Thursday 16 July 2020 between 9.30am-1.30pm via Zoom.
The event will provide an opportunity to bring partners from across the Integrated Care System (ICS) together to have meaningful conversations reflecting on these issues and to explore opportunities highlighted in the Interim People Plan.
Antenatal and newborn screening: supporting women with learning disabilities
Public Health England has created new guidance to support women with learning disabilities to access and understand antenatal and newborn screening.
The guidance which is available from Public Health England, contains information and resources to help health professionals have conversations in an appropriate and sensitive way.
New partnership to support those bereaved by suicide
Two charities are joining forces to provide a unique service to support those bereaved by suicide. Surrey Suicide Bereavement Service (SSBS) – part of the Lucy Rayner Foundation – and Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SoBS) are working together to offer services which complement each other, ensuring that people who are bereaved by suicide get the support they need.
Surrey County Council is working with the charities on behalf of the Surrey Suicide Prevention Partnership.
User experience of Adult Safeguarding
In order to better understand user experience of adult safeguarding in Surrey, the Surrey Safeguarding Adults Board commissioned Healthwatch Surrey to:
Healthwatch Surrey has produced a report with the findings.
Surrey County Council’s new Facebook page
Surrey County Council has published a new Facebook page, to share the latest news, stories, campaigns, videos and events from the council. Please follow and share.
Healthwatch Surrey’s Annual Report
Healthwatch Surrey’s Annual Report 2019/2020 is now available.
Healthwatch Surrey will shortly also be printing hard copies and producing a plain text version. To request a copy of the report in a different format, please contact: Healthwatch Surrey.
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