Get boosted now
In light of the Omicron emergency, the Prime Minister has launched the 'Omicron Emergency Boost', a national drive to have everyone aged 18 and over in England given a COVID booster, before the end of the year.

For updates on the eligibility around vaccines or for more information on
COVID-19 Vaccination Centres in Surrey, visit the Surrey Heartlands CCG website.

To book or manage a COVID-19 vaccination or booster, visit the NHS website.

Plan B - measures and guidance
The Prime Minister has confirmed that England has moved to Plan B following the rapid spread of the Omicron variant in the UK. These new measures include:

Face masks: it is now a legal requirement to wear a face covering in most indoor settings such as in shops, on public transport, theatres, cinemas, banks, post offices and hairdressers, unless exempt.

Work from home: office workers who can work from home should do so.

NHS COVID Pass: Those aged 18 or over will need to show their NHS COVID Pass at nightclubs, some venues and large events to show they are fully vaccinated, have had a negative test result in the last 48 hours, or have an exemption.

Additional guidance about Plan B is available from GOV.UK.

Rapid lateral flow coronavirus (COVID-19) tests
You can get rapid lateral flow tests if you do not have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). Picking up tests from a pharmacy is the quickest way to get a rapid test for most people.

If you give the pharmacy a 'collect code' when you pick up the tests, it helps the NHS match your details to the tests. Find out about collect codes and how to get a collect code on GOV.UK.

Only order online if you cannot get a test through other methods. This frees up home delivery for those who need it most.

Surrey Carers’ Flu Jab Voucher
Flu and COVID-19 viruses can be life threatening and have the potential to increase pressures faced by the NHS this winter, particularly if infection waves from both viruses coincide.

Therefore all unpaid carers in Surrey are being encouraged to take up the offer of a free flu vaccination as a priority, not only to protect themselves and the people they care for, but to help reduce hospitalisations during a time that is especially busy for the NHS and social care.

Surrey Carers’ Flu Jab Vouchers are available through:

  • Surrey County Council Adult Social Care
  • Action for Carers Surrey
  • Crossroads Care Surrey
  • Surrey Independent Living Council

Any unpaid carer looking after someone who is elderly or disabled, can ask for a flu jab at their GP practice or they can take a Surrey Carers’ Flu Jab Voucher to their nearest participating community pharmacy.

The Action for Carers Surrey website contains further information about the
Surrey Carers’ Flu Jab Voucher.

GP practices and pharmacies are here to help
GP practices are doing their best to cope with the highest demand on record for Primary Care services, so please encourage residents to be patient.

Additionally, pharmacies can give treatment advice about a range of common conditions and minor illnesses. Many pharmacies are open until late and at weekends. Find out who is open, and their opening hours over the festive period by visiting the Community Pharmacy website.

A complete guide to conditions, symptoms and treatments, including what to do and when to get help is available on the NHS website.

Pioneering Home Sensors Help People Live Independently For Longer
Hi-tech sensors fitted in everyday objects around the home are enabling older people to live independently for longer as part of a pioneering scheme in Surrey.

The county council teamed up with Mole Valley District Council to trial the use of a revolutionary home monitoring system which can help identify early warning signs of declining health or mobility and help prevent falls.

The trial scheme involving 53 residents in Mole Valley proved so successful at enabling greater independence and providing reassurance to families that the pilot has been extended to two further Surrey areas, Tandridge and Reigate and Banstead.

The findings from the expanded pilot will then help to roll out the technology to other parts of the county and also enable people who fund their own social care to gain access to the system. Self-funders would be able to purchase the devices and a subscription to monitoring services.

To find out more, watch a video about the pilot partnership.

Help Shape The Future Of Dementia Care And Support
The joint health and social care dementia strategy sets out how services will work together to improve the lives of people with dementia, their families and carers. At the heart of the plan is an ambition to create dementia-friendly communities across the county.

Surrey County Council worked with NHS partners to draw up the draft plan, alongside Healthwatch Surrey which surveyed people with dementia and carers about their experiences.

Now a consultation has opened so people living with dementia, their families and staff who work with them, and anyone else who wishes to contribute, can have their say on the priorities outlined in the plan.

Please visit the Surrey Says website to complete the consultation on the draft strategy which closes on 21 January 2022.

Accessible versions of the survey including Easy Read are also available on Surrey Says.

Thriving With Nature Fund Supports Six Projects
Between September and October 2021, Adult Social Care ran the Thriving with Nature Fund, which offered one-off grants to help local community groups start or grow innovative projects which use the great outdoors to support residents in Horley and Stanwell.

Following the close of the fund, Adult Social Care has agreed to fund six excellent projects, all of which will develop accessible nature-based interventions to reduce isolation and loneliness, and improve health and wellbeing. Projects include opening accessible allotment plots, creating sensory walks for a school’s forest walks programme, and a gardening group for 16-30 year olds with disabilities and complex needs.

If you would like to find out more about the projects receiving funding, please contact:

‘Because We All Care’ Campaign Launches In January
January will see the return of the Quality Care Commission’s ‘Because we all care’ campaign.
The campaign aims to support and encourage more people to feedback on health or social care services that they or a loved one have experienced.

Feedback is essential to the NHS and social care but it's even more important than ever now, as services and systems deal with the impacts of the pandemic. People’s experiences of care are fundamental to understanding and improving services.

More information about the Because we all care campaign is available on the CQC website. If you would like to get involved, please email:

Catalyst Mental Health And Wellbeing Drop-In Sessions Open
Catalyst is now offering face to face mental health and wellbeing drop-in sessions in both Staines and Woking. The sessions are taking place as follows:

St Peter’s Church Hall, Staines – every Tuesday, 1.30pm-3pm
Moorcroft Community Centre, Woking – every Thursday, 1.30pm-3pm.
For more information, please contact Catalyst: Telephone: 01276 409415 

Healthwatch Surrey’s Latest Insight Bulletin Published
One of the statutory duties of Healthwatch Surrey is to share the experiences of local people with organisations who make decisions about health and social care services. Healthwatch Surrey’s Insight Bulletins shines a light on some of the themes they have heard about over the past few months.

Healthwatch Surrey’s November 2021 Insight Bulletin focuses on:

  • Praise and thanks across the system
  • Key findings and recommendations from the ‘How people find support in the early years after dementia diagnosis’ report
  • Wound Care – patients left to find their own solutions
  • Telephone consultations – maximising the potential.

Updates From Age UK Surrey Social Impact Report Published
Despite the pandemic, Age UK Surrey’s staff with the assistance of 14 volunteers helped clients to claim £1,654,700 of additional benefits in 2020-2021. Also 1,796 clients were supported by 519 self-employed home helps in the same period.

These and other facts can be found in Age UK Surrey’s Social Impact Report 2020-21. It is now available to download and reflects the work Age UK Surrey has done during this period. 

Age UK Surrey And The Clockhouse Merge
Two local independent charities Age UK Surrey and The Clockhouse merged on 30 November 2021. The merger comes following talks with both charities’ Boards of Trustees on how The Clockhouse can sustainably provide community-based services to Milford and neighbouring villages.

Both charities are dedicated to improving the lives of older people through person-centred services and activities. The merger provides the opportunity to expand community-based services at The Clockhouse.

The Clockhouse will retain its name and operate under Age UK Surrey. Waverley Borough Council will continue to support The Clockhouse through its existing funding contract.

For further information about the merger of Age UK Surrey and The Clockhouse, please visit Age UK Surrey.

Grants Of Up To £10,000 Available For Projects In Need Of Emergency And Crisis Funding This Winter
The Community Foundation is working together with Surrey County Council to award grants to projects across Surrey in need of emergency and crisis funding this winter.

The purpose of the funding is to support an increased number of people facing poverty by strengthening community initiatives, including a focus on activity that helps address the root causes of food poverty.

Applications will be prioritised for projects dealing with urgent issues arising from what is anticipated to be a tough winter, in particular:

Support for organisations tackling the impact of rising costs and falling benefits including crisis provision e.g. measures which improve the sustainability of food banks or increase the ability of debt advisors to provide support.

Support for organisations that tackle the root causes of poverty.

Priority will also be given to initiatives that support those parts of the community that may have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

Applicants can apply for a grant using the Expression of Interest Form. Further information about the available grants is available on Community Foundation for Surrey.

If you have any queries, please email:

Surrey Downs Better Care Funding (BCF) Grant Programme Launched
The Mid-Surrey Local Joint Commissioning Group (LJCG) recently gave approval for a Better Care Fund Grant Programme to support the LJCG in their desire to develop a transparent process for using small grants to address community solutions.

The fund is for Voluntary, Community and Faith Sector organisations who support people resident or registered with a GP in Epsom and Ewell, Mole Valley, Banstead and East Elmbridge. It will fund existing schemes which wish to increase or add to the service already funded, or new schemes or pilot projects related to the outcomes framework detailed within the application documents.

Applications can be made for a maximum of up to £50,000 and the deadline for applications is 5pm on Monday 3 January 2022.

For further information and application details for Surrey Downs Better Care Fund Grant, please visit Healthy Surrey.

Winter advice
For information about keeping safe and well this winter, please visit the Surrey County Council website.

19:45, 17 Dec 2021 by Lesley Windle