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Issue 1: 30 March 2020

PUBLIC HEALTH UPDATES

Coronavirus Cases

Salford had its first positive case of coronavirus on 15th March 2020. As of Monday 30 March, 104 individuals in Salford have tested positive for coronavirus. It should be noted that the number of cases reflects the testing regime as symptomatic cases are not being tested in the community; as such it is likely that there are significantly more infections than confirmed cases.

We are currently supporting care homes and assisted living premises to manage COVID 19 cases . In response to potential staffing issues in care homes, we are checking daily with care homes, recording staff affected, and additional support where struggling for staffing.

Social distancing

The Government has issued new guidance on social distancing for everyone in the UK, including children, and protecting older people and vulnerable people. There documents available in different languages to aid communication with all our communities. There is also an easy read version on shielding vulnerable people.

This is the most important message we need to follow and ensure our communities understand its importance and follow the guidance.  Please help us to get this message into our communities and to lead by example.  The City Council’s communications team are putting out regular messages via our twitter and facebook pages, as well as on our website, and it would be very helpful if councillors could please share this message.

Delivery of new PPE

Salford has taken delivery of a substantial amount of new Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for frontline workers delivering essential services, such as health and social care. This includes masks, gloves, aprons, and goggles.

These are currently being stored at the Civic Centre and will be distributed promptly by colleagues in our Public Health team.

SPIRIT OF SALFORD NETWORK

Last week we let you know about the launch of our new dedicated Spirit of Salford Helpline for residents who need to self-isolate and might need help with day to day tasks, such as food shopping, getting essential medication, buying gas or electricity or even looking after pets.

As of 27 March, the hotline has received 306 telephone calls, along with 146 requests for support from the website. A further 52 people have responded to the leaflet that was sent out to 4,000 properties. Councillors will receive regular updates about calls to the helpline and how we are supporting our residents.

If you know anyone who could do with additional help and support, please ensure you direct them to call 0800 952 1000 (Monday to Friday 8.30am - 6.00pm) or to complete the online form at www.salford.gov.uk/spiritofsalford

KEY SERVICE UPDATES

A full list of information about council services and access by the public can be found at council services information.

Place Services

Salford is managing to maintain full waste and recycling services across the city, and – unlike some other GM authorities – has not had to move to a reduced service.  Household Waste Recycling centres across Greater Manchester have all closed.

Playgrounds are now closed, but parks remain open for exercise. Signage has been put in place and playgrounds chained/roped off. Staff are acting as park wardens where possible, to encourage residents to adhere to government advice. Grass cutting is continuing where there is a health and safety need.

Bereavement Services are operating as normal, but restrictions are now in place to limit mourners in chapels to 10, but is under constant review.

People Services

Work is ongoing with Public Health England to ensure that PPE is supplied where it is needed. Deep cleans have been carried out in residential homes, and emergency staffing plans put in place.

All children open to Social Care have been RAG-rated to support prioritisation of visits to ensure our most vulnerable children and families are seen and have what they need in place. Links are in place with schools to share information quickly around vulnerable children who are not attending school.

Schools and childcare

The majority of schools are managing to stay open and childcare provision is going well, although two primaries have temporarily closed, as pupil numbers are zero. Plans for Easter opening are well developed. Vouchers have been put in place for free school meals for schools that have requested them. Schools and Early Years setting are considering partnering into hubs to improve resilience, but have not taken action yet, to avoid destabilising children at an already stressful time.

Registrars

All births and notices of marriage / civil partnerships have been cancelled until 30 June 2020. The team has notified all affected residents to offer postponements or refunds. Registrars only open for death registrations by telephone. Legislation is imminent which will allow for emergency death registration.

Visiting suspended at local hospitals

Following a national decision taken by NHS England, all visiting has been suspended at Salford Royal, North Manchester General, Fairfield, Royal Oldham and Rochdale Infirmary hospitals until further notice. 

Notices have been placed at all entrances and exits to the hospital sites and Northern Alliance website and social media channels have been updated with this information. Patients and visitors are being encouraged to keep in touch using phone and video calls.

Exceptional circumstances can be applied to the suspension where one visitor – an immediate family member or carer – will be permitted to visit the sites if the patient being visited is: receiving end-of-life care, or the visitor is accompanying a woman in labour, or is a parent or appropriate adult visiting their child. All visitors who meet these criteria are being advised to contact the relevant ward or department in advance to discuss appropriate arrangements.

Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service

The GMFRS contact centre remains open for referrals.  Most Safe and Well visits will now be undertaken by telephone, but fire crews will continue to carry out priority safe and well visits for arson, domestic abuse, threats to life, etc.  Any really “high risk vulnerable at increased risk of fire” individuals should still be forwarded to the contact centre for triage.

Greater Manchester Police

GMP have worked with Neighbourhood Management Teams to develop community patrol plan in response to the coronavirus outbreak. PSCOs will be patrolling to provide a high visibility reassurance presence, monitor activity and tensions, and engage with individuals, as necessary. The council’s neighbourhood management team will have a role in monitoring any community tensions.

Housing

The four main housing providers have generally closed their offices to callers – and only meeting through pre-arranged appointments; reduced their repair services to emergency only.  Providers are still providing caretaking services but some are refocusing on cleaning communal areas.

VOLUNTEERING

Member Services and the Lead Member for Housing and Neighbourhoods are developing a list of elected member volunteers, based on the skillsets of members.  If you would like to volunteer please let Tracy or Michelle Lindsay know.

Volunteer members will work on rota and contribute to the Spirit of Salford Network to support the most vulnerable residents in our communities.

NEIGHBOURHOODS UPDATES

Neighbourhood managers are monitoring issues/tensions, liaising with key community organisations and community representatives, sharing key information and promoting volunteering opportunities. Specific issues councillors will want to be aware of:

  • Eccles Mosque has now suspended all congregational prayers until further notice. The Imam, who is the mosque’s full time member of staff, will be the only one who will be accessing the mosque during prayer times.
  • Inspiring Communities Together have some staff ringing older and vulnerable adults daily and have childcare spaces open for key workers. AGE UK are co-ordinating shopping and welfare support for older people.
  • Salford’s communications team has been linking up Manchester and Bury to channel communications/ key messages to the Orthodox Jewish Community.  Jewish schools and synagogues have been following government guidelines, with schools and synagogues closed.

VCSE SECTOR UPDATES

Salford CVS are contacting all VCSE groups to establish both their response to the crisis and its impact on the resilience of groups. The VCSE is heavily involved in co-ordinating the provision of food and essential goods to vulnerable groups. The sector is working hard to increase the supply of food, which is currently a critical issue. Companies like Costa Coffee have donated stock that they contact sell, however more food – in bulk – is needed.

Nationally, a Twitter campaign – #EverybodyCounts – has been launched to urge government to invest in the VCSE sector. Salford CVS are appealing for people to support the campaign by tweeting using the hashtag.

Salford Council and Salford CCG have made a joint statement re-affirming our ongoing commitment and resources to support those delivering essential frontline services. 

AND FINALLY

Share your good new stories

Do you have a good news story from your local area that you would like to share?

If so, then please forward onto our communications team who will share it on our website and social media channels. For example, over the weekend we shared social media pictures of refuse workers continuing with bin collections in difficult circumstances, which was received really positively by the public. We also shared news of the PPE delivery and of Four Sisters distillery who have provided much needed hand sanitiser for front line workers. So please get your thinking hats on.