Coronavirus: Local services and updates

The links on this page are to help you find information about local services and updates relating to coronavirus all in one place.
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We are trying to keep this as up to date as possible but please note that given the fast-moving nature of the situation some of the links may contain out-of-date information, especially those linking to documents rather than web pages.

If you would like information included on this page please email enquiries@healthwatchnorthamptonshire.co.uk

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26 November 2020 update:

The Government announced on 26 November that Northamptonshire will be placed in Tier 2 of the three tier COVID-19 alert system, starting on Wednesday 2 December. Find out more here or read the latest guidance on the Northamptonshire County Council website.

If you have symptoms of coronavirus (new, continuous cough / high temperature / loss or change in sense of smell or taste), please self-isolate and get tested as soon as you can. Find out how to book a test and see testing locations in Northamptonshire.

Find local information in other languages on Northamptonshire County Council's website and the NHCP YouTube channel

Northamptonshire County Council

Find the latest local and national coronavirus updates affecting Northamptonshire on the Northamptonshire County Council website. This includes health advice and guidance, changes to council services and events, and support available for businesses and educational settings. You can also read the latest Northants Together weekly update there about how organisations in Northamptonshire are working together.

How do I request support from volunteers if I'm self-isolating in Northamptonshire and need help?

Call 0300 126 1000 and select Option 5 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm, including bank holidays)

  • NCC Social Care - There is an update about Adult Social Care and other council services here. If you have any concerns about your own support needs due to the Coronavirus situation, call their Customer Service Centre on 0300 126 1000 and one of their advisors will try to help you. If your call is not urgent please use their website to access their services or alternatively email CustomerServices@northamptonshire.gov.uk.
  • NCC Public Health

Health and care services

Hospitals and community health trust

Joint update about visiting, 29 June 2020:

"On 5 June the government announced that restrictions to hospital visiting could be relaxed. After discussion, Kettering and Northampton General Hospitals and Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust jointly agreed we would not change the current visiting restrictions and arrangements until we could assure ourselves of patient and staff safety, particularly with regard to social distancing. The government then set out new requirements for visitors as well as staff to wear face coverings, so we needed to further review our environments.

This week the senior management of the above organisations discussed and agreed to continue to review together how we could safely reduce the current visiting restrictions.  This will not see a completely open visiting regime, but a ‘new normal’ with new rules, e.g. we will probably not allow visiting, unless on compassionate grounds, to wards with Covid positive patients, and there are likely to be restrictions on the length of time of a visit, the amount of visitors, use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and social distancing in individual wards.

We aim to have finalised these arrangements by Saturday 4th July, when full details will be announced. We apologise that we have not been in a position to accommodate increased visiting earlier, but we have to keep safety at the heart of all we do and want to ensure that any new changes are enabled and consistent across both hospitals.

Please note any changes will apply only to adult, older adult and children and young people’s wards. Separate special arrangements for maternity wards will be announced in due course."

Northampton General Hospital

Information about Coronavirus and the latest advice about restricted visiting.

2 July 2020: We have reviewed our current visiting restrictions at NGH and listened to the views of our patients and our staff. We are also mindful of the impact that Covid-19 continues to have on communities across the country and, having taken all issues into consideration, we have taken the decision to keep our current restrictions in place for a little while longer.

This has not been an easy decision for us to make and we know that some of our patients and their loved ones will be disappointed. However, our priority is to keep our patients and staff safe and not having visitors on site at the present time will help us to do this. We appreciate the support we have received from the local community and want to assure you all that we are looking forward to welcoming visitors back to our hospital as soon as it is safe for us and them to do so.

We are continuing to offer the relatives helpline, letters to loved ones and video calls during this time.

We understand there may be upsetting or difficult circumstances when patients may be at the end of their life, and we will do all we can to support relatives to visit in such circumstances. Any such arrangements will be agreed by the nurse in charge and are at the discretion of the particular ward area.

Additional updates:

Blood Taking Unit - Update 01/09/2020:

The blood taking unit (phlebotomy) has re-opened in its original location on the Northampton General Hospital site, Area H, for paediatric and adult patients.

We have made a change to our service and all patients must now have an appointment to attend the blood taking unit.

Appointments for blood taking can be booked online by clicking here or by going to https://www.swiftqueue.co.uk/northampton.php

If you are unable to book via the online facility, appointments for both paediatric and adult blood taking can be booked Monday to Friday between 9am and 3:30pm by phoning 01604 544190 or 01604 523303

Changes to eye casualty service from Monday 12 May 2020:

To help to keep our patients and staff safe we are changing the way we operate our eye casualty service. The service will no longer operate as a walk-in service. Instead patients will need to contact us by phone before coming to the hospital. This means our team can provide support and medical advice over the phone, without patients needing to come to hospital. If you do need to come to the hospital for medical help the team will arrange this with you. Please contact the service on 01604 545085 or 01604 634700 ext 8011. Eye casualty services are available: Monday- Saturday 8.30am- 4.30pm, Sundays and Bank Holidays- 9.00am- 12.30pm

Outpatients:

If outpatients have a face to face outpatient consultation at NGH they are welcome to wear a face covering. We are unable to supply face coverings but we have put measures in place to ensure you are able to socially distance from other patients. Our staff will be wearing surgical masks for protection.

Update about restarting home births

Kettering General Hospital

Message to patients and the latest advice about restricted visiting.

3 July 2020: We have reviewed our current visiting restrictions at KGH and listened to the views of our patients and our staff.  We are also mindful of the impact that Covid-19 continues to have on communities across the country and, having taken all issues into consideration, we have taken the decision to keep our current restrictions in place for a little while longer.

This has not been an easy decision for us to make and we know that some of our patients and their loved ones will be disappointed.  However, our priority is to keep our patients and staff safe and not having visitors on site at the present time will help us to do this.  We appreciate the support we have received from the local community and want to assure you all that we are looking forward to welcoming visitors back to our hospital as soon as it is safe for us and them to do so.

We understand there may be upsetting or difficult circumstances when patients may be at the end of their life, and we will do all we can to support relatives to visit in such circumstances.  Any such arrangements will be agreed by the nurse in charge and are at the discretion of the particular ward area.

Updates about revised arrangements for birth partnersrestarting home births and the maternity COVID-19 hotline (07813 363710 or 07974 259347 Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm)

Find out more about virtual visiting at KGH and NGH

Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT)

Important Coronavirus (COVID-19) information (23 April) and Information about phone and online mental health support (see more below).

Visiting at NHFT hospitals is still limited but allowed based on individual needs and care plans (and with infection prevention controls in place).

Update about visiting 21 August 2020

Complaints

NHS England and NHS Improvement are supporting a system-wide “pause” of the NHS complaints process, which would allow all health care providers in all sectors to concentrate their efforts on the front-line duties and responsiveness to COVID-19. The complaints process will resume on 1 July 2020.

Northampton General Hospital and Kettering General Hospital had paused their complaints processes. The NHFT complaints process continued as normal.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman and Local Government Ombudsman will also start accepting new complaints and progressing existing ones from 1 July 2020.

Advocacy

VoiceAbility is continuing to provide advocacy services where this is practical and safe. There is nothing in the Coronavirus Act which could suspend people’s rights to advocacy under the Mental Health Act 1983, Mental Capacity Act 2005 or the Care Act 2014. This means that health and social care professionals’ legal duties to refer eligible people for advocacy still apply.

GPs

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital with symptoms of coronavirus. For other conditions or medical checks, etc. phone your GP or look on the website, do not go to the surgery unless you have an appointment. They may arrange a telephone or online consultation instead. Call your GP practice or visit the website to find out. (There is further advice for professionals here.)

Have you got the NHS App? The new NHS App allows you to order repeat prescriptions, view your GP medical records, manage your GP appointments, set organ donation preferences, and check symptoms.

Find out more

Dentists

Hospices

Cransley Hospice - Visitor update to Cransley Hospice. The fundraising team are working from home and the offices will remain closed until further notice. 

Cynthia Spencer - See NHFT for visiting restrictions. They have advice about keeping in touch with patients remotely on their Twitter page.

Mental health support

Adults:

For local support and services give one of NHFT's friendly mental health navigators a call, any time of the day or night: 0800 448 0828 - Lines available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

You can also refer yourself to the NHFT Changing Minds IAPT service. IAPT is for anyone aged 17 and half and over with mild to moderate depression and/or an anxiety disorder. It can be accessed via an online referral form (where you can also request an interpreter if needed). There is also an option to complete programmes via an online portal calledSilverCloud (both these options allow individuals to interact without using the telephone, and then appointments can be made via text or email).

Children and Young people:

Northamptonshire’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) crisis service is now available 24 hours a day. Telephone 08.30 – 22.00 7 days per week - 0300 1111 022 (Option 1), 22.00-08.30 7 days per week - 0300 330 1011. You can also text Shout to 85258 (find out more). If your life is at imminent risk, call 999 for emergency help.

Or you can live chat with an advisor over the website - CAMHS Live, Monday to Friday 9am-7pm.

Or you can still get support in person at the Young people’s Crisis Café at Café Track, Northampton, Monday 4-8pm or Youth Works, Kettering, Thursday 4-8pm. Both are still running, but do now require young people to call up in advance so that a safe service can be maintained. Contact details are: Lowdown (for Northampton service) 01604 622223 / info@thelowdown.info and Youth Works 01536 518339

The School Nursing service is still operational and is still available for advice via their text service, Chat Health: 07507 329 600

Youth Works Northamptonshire has an online live chat every Monday and Tuesday, 5pm - 7pm where a young person, parent or carer can message to receive mental health support and advice. This is available via their Facebook and Instagram pages

The Lowdown now has an Online emotional support chatbot or wellbeing support helpline: 01604 622223 (both monitored between 1:00pm and 3:30pm Tuesday to Friday and Mondays 1:00pm to 7:30pm). More wellbeing resources and videos are also available on their website.

CQC

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has now stopped routine inspections. During the COVID-19 pandemic, their primary objective is to support providers to keep people safe during a period of unprecedented pressure on the health and care system. In adult social care, CQC inspectors will also be acting as a support for registered managers, providing advice and guidance throughout this period in the absence of a single national body equivalent to NHS England.

Other support that’s being offered by the CQC includes the return of clinically qualified CQC special advisors to the frontline to help with the wider national response; secondments of staff to the Department of Health and Social Care, Public Health England and NHS England. Their customer contact centre expects to start taking non-clinical COVID-19 calls in support of 111.

Local community support, good neighbour schemes and volunteering

Good neighbour schemes use volunteers to help people who need help and support with things like shopping, dog walking, gardening and collecting prescriptions. They are now offering support for people who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK - You can find your nearest Mutual Aid group here. Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK is a support network for people organising in their communities. Local support groups are not directly affiliated with Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK. PLEASE NOTE: Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK is run entirely by volunteers and not medical professionals.
  • Northamptonshire County Council Volunteering - In addition to the Government's volunteer scheme for people to help the NHS, NCC is co-ordinating a local effort along with other councils and partner organisations for people to help their community. They want to hear from people who can volunteer or who represent a community group that needs extra volunteers in the coming weeks and months.
  • Daventry District Council - DDC has set up an online system for anyone requiring support (such as prescription collection, and shopping) during this time. The form and further information can be found on the Daventry District Council website. 
  • One Wellingborough - their qualified and DBS-checked team will listen and help by linking those in need with volunteers and relevant services. Anyone can call 01933 677326 or email info@glamishall.org.uk. Phones are open from 9am – 4pm (Monday-Friday). A message can be left outside these hours.

Voluntary and community organisations

Carers

  • Northamptonshire Carers - Although Northamptonshire Carers office is closed to visitors: The Northamptonshire Carers Support Line remains open on 01933 677907; Monday to Friday 9am-5pm.
  • Carers' Voice Northamptonshire is trying to keep up to date with Carers' issues locally.

Citizens Advice

  • National advice
  • Central and East Northamptonshire - Face to face advice has been suspended and their advice service remains available through telephone and email. Full details of each service, including contact methods, is available from the Adviceline 03444 111 444 or their Email Service.
  • Daventry and District - Face to face advice has been suspended. Telephone advice is offered via the Adviceline on 03444 88 9629 or if you would rather be supported via email please complete the online enquiry form.
  • Corby and Kettering - Face to face advice has been suspended. They are currently providing telephone advice only via the AdviceLine: 03444 111 444. For emergencies only, you can call them on 01536 482281 (Kettering) or 01536 265501 (Corby).

Domestic abuse

Locally, the following sources of support are available:

Read more local advice on Northamptonshire County Council website

Older and vulnerable people

Volunteer centres and community transport

Many of the community transport schemes are still running a service. Contact them directly to find out more. All the contact details are in this guide.

  • Corby Voluntary and Community Services (CVCS) - They are not able to operate Corby Carpool for now and the office is closed but you can call CVCS on 07385924343 to get a message to them or email tracey@corbyvcs.plus.com.
  • Daventry Volunteer Centre - click on the link to find out about their services and they have produced a guide for volunteers involved in supporting isolated people.
  • Northampton Volunteer Car Scheme and Northampton Door to Door Service (NDDS) - Both are still running a reduced (Volunteer Car Scheme) or normal (NDDS) service. NDDS is looking to implement some additional services which may include a basic shopping service and collection of prescription medication. They will be liaising with passengers with particular attention to those they know are more vulnerable and isolated to see how they can assist them further. Find the latest updates here.
  • NVCA (Nene Valley Community Action) - The office is shut and events cancelled.
  • Serve (East Northamptonshire) - Links to how to contact them are on their homepage and they have an update on their services. Serve is in partnership with the Community Resilience Hub set up by the Government which is being led by East Northamptonshire District Council. Their direct crisis service delivery is coordinating and supporting individuals in the community with essential groceries and prescription and hearing aid battery collection, along with 500 wellbeing befriending telephones call being made each week. If you know of anyone in the community who needs additional support, please get in touch with their Community Wellbeing Resilience Team: Mental Health, Family or Financial Support contact on Cheryl Smith on 07764 560863; Shopping, Prescription Collections or Essential Deliveries contact Gemma Hager on 07747 245631.
  • Shire Community Services (Wellingborough) - Contact them for more information.
  • SNVB (South Northants Volunteer Bureau) - The office is shut but staff are working from home and can be contacted using email or telephone message. They are committed to keeping their work and projects going through this crisis.
  • Towcester Area Door to Door (TADD) - They still have a reduced team of volunteer drivers available for any member requiring the service. They are unable to help with shopping and other errands.
  • Volunteer Action Oundle - They are still providing transport and are looking at running a befriending service.
  • Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire - VIN is collating information about voluntary services in Northampton and has links to resources as well as news about their own services.
  • Rushden Night Shelter has needed to close due to a shortage of available staff and volunteers, and ENCS has been working closely with East Northants Council and Homes Direct to secure accommodation for those who were clients. The Cornerfield Café has also closed, Corby Night Shelter is working with Corby Council to continue to provide accommodation and support for its residents, and the Recovery House and Food Bank are continuing, operating in different ways from usual due to the Government’s restrictions.

Young people's support

  • Service Six - Is still providing advice and support to young people with daily Facebook updates. Their helpline is open 9am to 5pm - 07718 003219, email referrals@servicesix.co.uk.
  • The Lowdown - Has shut its doors but is offering remote support and has useful links on their website.
  • Northamptonshire’s CAMHS crisis service now available 24 hours - see 'Mental Health' section above for details.
  • Youth Works Northamptonshire has an online live chat every Monday and Tuesday, 5pm - 7pm where a young person, parent or carer can message to receive mental health support and advice. This is available via their Facebook and Instagram pages
  • Northampton Town FC, Keep Calm and Cobbler On - the club has set up a free mental health first aid hotline for teachers in our partner schools to support and provide them with coping strategies at this very uncertain time. For more information on this please contact anna.letts@ntfc.co.uk. ​Other services being provided are; supporting their network of mental health first aiders who they have trained over the past few months by sending out tips and advice for supporting other staff within their school or business, spare coaching staff to attend for additional hours where possible in their partner schools free of charge and developing online content to support families, older adults and vulnerable people to stay mentally and physically active over the coming weeks. More information. 
  • Local Offer - Special Educational Needs coronavirus guidance - Information, resources and guidance relating to coronavirus for families with children and young people with special educational needs (SEN).

Young people's activities and internet safety

Other organisations

  • Community Law Service - they are providing specialist advice in the following areas: Debt, Welfare Benefits, Housing, Energy Advice. Immigration Service is temporarily suspended. The telephone service is available Monday – Thursday 10.00am- 2pm and Fridays 10am -1pm  01604 621038. Agency referrals can use the online Referral Form or direct to the phone service. Financial Health and Wellbeing Service (Benefits, Debt and Energy advice for people who are experiencing ill health or have a disability): 01604 235709 or email financialhealth@communitylawservice.org.ukChildren’s Benefit Take-Up Project (for children and young people who are ill or who have a disability): 01604 624070 or email j.coe@communitylawservice.org.ukEast Northants Project (providing Debt & Benefit advice to residents within East Northants Council area) - 01604 621038 or via our websiteNorthamptonshire Energy Saving Service (support for households to better afford energy bills including benefit advice and income maximisation, utility debt advice, tariff switching and energy efficiency advice) - Tel: 01604 623700 or enquire via the website
  • Deafconnect - Face to face services have stopped but the organisation can still be contacted.
  • Headway East Northants - They have closed their Irthlingborough centre for the time being, due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak crisis.
  • Hope Centre - The Hope Centre is continuing to providing an adapted service that ensures those without shelter and those in poverty are supported. Read more.
  • NAB (Northamptonshire Association for the Blind) - Their office is closed and the phone is not in use so please contact them by email should you need to get in touch - helpline@nab.org.uk.
  • Northamptonshire ACRE - Staff are home working and can be contacted as described on their website. They are offering support and advice to community groups who are offering support to neighbours.
  • Northamptonshire Domestic Abuse Service (NDAS) - They are still manning their 24 hour advice line and their refuges are still open. Please do call them if you need help on 0300 0120154. If you can’t speak they can support you via email or text. Email and the worker on duty can give you their number to text them on. For any general enquires email: info@ndas-org.co.uk, For advice and support email: advice@ndas-org.co.uk. You can also find more advice about support here.
  • Northamptonshire Safeguarding Adults Board
  • Northamptonshire Safeguarding Children Partnership - Read NSCP's latest (April) newsletter with child safeguarding update's during COVID-19
  • Reach for Health - Reach for Health Centre is running a telephone service to assist with improving the caller’s independence, wellbeing and mental health. They can assist with personal occupational issues such as helping a person to combat anxiety from being socially isolated, to advice with self-care health management and completing activities of daily living. The helpline is: 01327 828 260 and is open from 10am to 4pm each day. Find more information about their service. The centre has also put together 12 exercise plans designed to keep people active and also tailored to individuals who may have disabilities.
  • Substance to Solution - Before attending an appointment, please call to check it's still going ahead. There might be some changes to opening times too, so please ring before coming in. Their groups are not currently running. If you're worried about something, please get in touch. You can contact them on 0808 169 8512 or email them on northants@cgl.org.uk
  • Voluntary Impact - Information on where to go for support in each area, funding for individuals, local supermarket updates, and working from home advice.
  • Voice for Victims and Witnesses - the free, confidential support service for victims and witnesses of crime in Northamptonshire released the Voice Home Support Hub app, to help people cope and recover from the effects of crime during social distancing. The app is available for download now, for free, here. You can also call 0300 303 1965 or visit voicenorthants.org. Find out more about Voice here.

Message from Northamptonshire Police

In the present climate we are having to rethink the ways in which we engage and keep in touch with you and your community. Rachel and Christian (Community Engagement Officers) do however want to maintain our contact. If you want to keep in touch with us we are still available on the phone, by text, by email or WhatsApp. Please let us know if you have any community policing concerns. If you need to report a crime or police emergency, please call 101 or 999. We have attached our leaflet and some information below about hate crime, police recruitment, personal and home safety.

Rachel; Tel. 07557 347227  rachel.packman@northants.pnn.police.uk

Christian; Tel. 07557 778181  christian.buckenham@northants.pnn.police.uk

Scam awareness

Whilst there are lots of people and groups who are doing amazing work in local communities, we need to be aware that there are people who will use the current situation to exploit others for their own benefit. Scams can come in the form of people knocking on your door, fraudulent emails, phone calls, text messages or posts via social media. Fraudsters will attempt to get recipients to disclose personal or financial information or click on links that may contain malware - which then will be used for their own fraudulent purposes.

Find out more on the Northamptonshire Trading Standards page and find a list of scams on the National Trading Standardspage.

Two examples of scams are:

1. Breached stay home regulations scam - Fraudulent text messages from .GOV.UK issuing fines for leaving homes.

2. Free school meals scam - Fraudulent messages to parents entitled to free school meals requesting bank details.

Detailed counter fraud advice is available online, including from ScamsmartActionFraudCIFASTakeFiveCitizens AdviceTrading Standards and the National Cyber Security Centre.

The Norfolk Safeguarding Adults Board has informed us of the following scam involving calls from somebody claiming to be from Public Health England, asking residents if they had received their letter from the government and then asking if they have support from family and friends, etc. and trying to obtain personal details. 

If you receive any such fraudulent contact please report via: