Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19)
The impact of the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19), continues to be felt all over London and the UK. With such a wide variety of information sources available it’s important to receive and share accurate information, so that you can take the necessary steps to keep yourself, your family and those you care for safe.
This page will provide residents, carers and professionals with accurate information sources so that everyone in Lewisham can help themselves to keep safe and well.
The precautions and advice we should all be following are changing rapidly, ensure you keep up to date with what you need to do to protect yourself and others by reading the latest advice from the Government UK.
Safeguarding During COVID-19
During the last few months the borough has seen a noticeable reduction in the number of safeguarding concerns raised with our partner Lewisham Adult Social Care.
We would like to remind you all that Safeguarding remains a statutory duty under the Coronavirus Act 2020. The Care Act easement: guidance for local authorities states that partners should continue to work to prevent and reduce the risk of harm to people with care and support needs.
The Coronavirus Act 2020 also makes it clear that there is a duty to continue to undertake safeguarding work, e.g. S42 enquiries and S44 Safeguarding Adult Reviews, and this is further emphasised in the Care Act easements guidance. Information on the Care Act 2014 easements can be found further down the page.
We know that there are many different reasons for the reduction in the number of safeguarding concerns raised but now that the UK is starting to come back together we would like to see this return to normal levels.
To refresh your knowledge we advise reading our webpage on the forms and signs of abuse.
If you are concerned about yourself or anyone that you care about may be at risk of abuse or neglect please call Lewisham Adult Social Care Advice and Information Team (SCAIT) on 020 8314 7777 alternatively if you have concerns about the immediate safety of an adult at risk then please contact the Police on 999.
If you would like to make a referral to the Safeguarding Adults Board for their consideration of a Section 44 Care Act 2014 Safeguarding Adult Review please use our dedicated SAR referral web platform.
COVID-19 and safeguarding adults - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
These FAQs from Local Government Association (LGA) & Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) is a helpful document on adult safeguarding issues that are arsing in the current pandemic.
The FAQ's are grouped under three headings: overarching issues; issues for Safeguarding Adults Boards (SABs); and safeguarding issues regarding specific areas of abuse or neglect.
The FAQs are aimed at a wide range of people involved in safeguarding adults including local government officers and members as well as partners of Safeguarding Adults Boards.
Safeguarding Adults at Risk through the Corona virus Epidemic: What do Volunteers Need to Know to Keep Themselves and Others Safe?
With the outbreak of corona virus, community groups and volunteers are increasingly crucial in supporting individuals at risk.
With that in mind, if you are volunteering within your local community, or you are hiring volunteers, it is important that you safeguard yourself and others from harm and abuse.
The Anna Craft Trust has published information to help.
Safeguarding Factsheet: Community volunteers during COVID-19 outbreak
The Government has published a factsheet which is designed to address specific concerns that people involved in supporting their community may have at this time.
Understanding Domestic Abuse during Covid-19 Webinar
The Lewisham Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Forum, supported by the Lewisham Safeguarding Adults Board, and Lewisham Safeguarding Children Partnership delivered a webinar surrounding 'Understanding Domestic Abuse during Covid-19'. The sessions are aimed at ‘volunteers’ currently working to support local residents during this challenging period. View presentation.
COVID-19: Information Governance and Information Sharing
During the outbreak of COVID-19 carers, social care professionals and clinicians need to be able to talk to each other and to the people they care for. Under the Health and Social Care (Safety and Quality) Act 2015 it is legal to share information to support a person’s care.
Government notification of data controllers to share information to support efforts against coronavirus
Notification of data controllers in healthcare organisations, GPs, local authorities and arm’s length bodies that they should share information to support efforts against coronavirus (COVID-19).
Lewisham Council has a dedicated Coronavirus COVID – 19 webpage where you can find accurate, up to date advice and information including:
Lewisham Council – Newsletter – Latest advice
Sign up to receive a newsletter with the latest corona virus advice from Lewisham Council.
Find out how corona virus is affecting the delivery of public services nationally.
The NHS has dedicated, accurate and up to date health Corona Virus COVID-19 information available on their website.
If you think you or someone you care for may have the symptoms of Corona virus you can check their symptoms on the NHS Symptom Checker.
It is important that we all follow the advice from the Government and the NHS and do not attend your GP surgery or A&E if you have the symptoms of Corona virus but follow the advice on their websites.
GP video consultations for Lewisham residents
Residents who are unwell whilst isolating due to the Corona Virus and are worried about having to leave the house to see their GP, the ASK NHS app now has a Video Consultation function to allow patients to see their own Lewisham GP from home using their Smartphone.
Ask NHS doesn't replace your GP but instead complements them and is supported by all Lewisham GP’s.
Over 32,000 Lewisham residents are already signed up and using it to book GP appointments and manage their health well-being.
The App is free to download/use and is available for both Apple and Android (search for ‘Ask NHS’).
Staying alert and safe (social distancing)
The Government has issued new guidance on Social Distancing.
Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can't do
The Goverment has issued a helpful frequently asked questions guide on what you currently can and can't do.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for people receiving direct payments
This guidance is aimed at people who receive support via direct payments through personal budgets and personal health budgets, and local authorities, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and providers who support and deliver care via direct payments.
It sets out key messages to support planning and help slow the transmission of the coronavirus (COVID-19) as the outbreak progresses across the country.
It takes account of the latest advice on self-isolation for households with possible COVID-19 infection, set out in guidance issued by Public Health England (PHE).
It also takes account of the latest guidance from Public Health England (PHE) on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) about safe ways of working for all health and care workers, including personal assistants, and the recommended PPE for community settings, including care in people’s own homes.
COVID-19: Guidance for Health Professionals
Information on COVID-19, including guidance on the assessment and management of suspected UK cases.
Skills for Care: advice and support for frontline managers
Skills for Care have a number resources available to support registered and frontline managers who are managing CQC regulated adult social care services.
An advice line is available to help managers access the latest information, resources, funding, online learning and other opportunities provided by Skills for Care and can also signpost to the latest guidance and advice produced by other agencies. The advice line is open from 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday on 0113 241 1260.
Other support options include a series of 30-minute webinars on a range of topics, with new webinars being developed as issues and priorities emerge during the crisis, a Facebook group for registered managers, and peer-led local networks for registered managers which continue to meet virtually.
Visit the Skills for Care website to find out more.
SCIE New Infection control e-learning course
Social Care Institute for Excellence has launched a new infection control e-learning course.
Infection prevention and control are essential to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). This video-based course for care providers in care homes and home care will teach you about the spread of infection and what you can do to protect both yourself and the people you care for.
Understanding infection control will provide you with the tools to help prevent COVID-19 from spreading.
SCIE also has a useful safeguarding during COVID-19 hub on their website.
Helping to prevent infection in care homes - A quick guide for managers & staff
Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) has a useful guide for Managers and staff in care homes that can help during the coronavirus outbreak. The guide acts as a reminder of the most important methods of preventing infection such as:
- Hand decontamination
- Personal protective equipment
- Waste disposal
- Education and information
Coronavirus (COVID-19): admission and care of people in care homes
Guidance on How to protect care home residents and staff during the coronavirus outbreak.
COVID19 Legal guidance for Mental Health, Learning Disability and Autism, and Specialised Commissioning Services
This guidance concerns the impact of COVID-19 on the use of the Mental Health Act and supporting systems to safeguard the legal rights of people receiving mental health, learning disabilities and specialised commissioned mental health services.
Q&A Coronavirus (COVID-19): Questions and answers for social care
Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) and Department of Health & Social Care asked for your questions on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting care services.
Questions from social care professionals with answers from the Minister of State for Social Care, the Social Care Institute for Excellence and NHS England.
Coronavirus Act 2020 – Temporary easing of legislative and regulatory requirements
Professionals should be aware that the Coronavirus Act 2020 (enacted 25 March 2020) has introduced temporary legislative and regulatory easing.
The easing includes:
- NHS Continuing Health Care assessments
This provision allows NHS providers to delay undertaking the assessment process for NHS continuing health care (NHS CHC) until after the corona virus outbreak has ended.
- Temporary amendments to the Mental Health Act 1983
Allowing a single approved practitioner or single registered medical practitioner to undertake certain functions, and extension of time limits relating to detention and transfer of patients.
- NHS and local authority care and support
Covers three provisions:
- Provision that in a corona virus outbreak a Local Authority (LA) may lawfully prioritise who and what type of needs it will meet, rather than being required to meet all eligible assessed needs as specified under the Care Act 2014.
- Provision that in a corona virus outbreak LA's may lawfully determine whether and the extent to which it will carry out assessments of individuals’ needs or review care plans, or carry out financial assessments, rather than being required to carry these out in all cases required by the Care Act 2014 as at present.
- Provision for the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to direct LA's in relation to the prioritisation of services to meet care and support needs in accordance with guidance issued by the Department of Health and Social Care.
Care Act easements: Guidance for Local Authorities
This guidance sets out how Local Authorities can use the new Care Act easements, created under the Coronavirus Act 2020, to ensure the best possible care for people in our society during this exceptional period.
Social Distancing and Self-Isolation – Increased Risk
We know that social isolation is an increasing risk factor in relation to abuse and neglect. In particular, we know that incidences of domestic abuse, self-neglect and carer stress will increase with social isolation. With more people being asked to self-isolate as a result Covid-19 this needs to be a key consideration. Social isolation can mean:
- Abuse/neglect is hidden from professionals or others;
- People do not get the support they need;
- People feel like they do not want to ask for help for fear of being an added burden;
- Increased household stress and tension;
- People ask for help from people who might want to take advantage of their vulnerable position.
Services in Lewisham that continue to offer help, advice and support
If you are worried about a loved one, or about self-isolating with a perpetrator, please call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247 or contact the Helpline via Refuge’s contact form at www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk.
The Athena service, run by Refuge, provides confidential, non-judgmental support to those living in Lewisham who are experiencing gender-based violence.
Telephone 0800 112 4052
Email Lewisham VAWG @ Refuge
Website Athena Service
Concerned about your drinking?
Take the 2-min DrinkCoach Alcohol Test to find out. The Alcohol Test is a 2-minute 10 question screening tool developed by the World Health Organisation. It will tell you how risky your drinking is and signpost you to additional support after screening, including online support free for Lewisham residents.
Drugs and alcohol – worried about someone?
Are you worried that someone you know is using drugs or drinking more alcohol than is good for them?
There are a number of services in the borough that can offer advice and information. Some also offer a dedicated programme for relatives, partners and carers, for example counselling and complementary therapies.
The Lewisham Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector
Lewisham Local, Voluntary Services Lewisham and Age UK Lewisham & Southwark are all working with Lewisham Council and all local partners in the community to co-ordinate a response to help the most vulnerable in our community. Please note: the agencies listed above have suspended most if not all of their normal services to co-ordinate efforts and respond to Covid-19.
The community response will focus on:
- The provision of accurate, up to date information
- The delivery of food and wider supplies to vulnerable individuals
- Befriending and social isolation support, using phone and IT techniques wherever possible
- Support to those who are looking to volunteer or assist directly in their local area
- Providing toolkits for community action to ensure that people are safe as they support each other
People in need of support or other professionals wanting to find out more or connect up efforts can go to Lewisham Local website.
Lewisham Carers Information, Advice and Support (IAS) Service 0203 886 0970 continues to operate (remotely).
Neighbourhood Carer Support Officers continue to be available between 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday to support carers in Lewisham.
Carers Lewisham continue to accept referrals for unpaid carers that support someone aged 18 or over living within the borough of Lewisham and will be able to provide support via telephone or email.
Carers Lewisham at Waldram Place will be closed from Wednesday 18th March until further notice.
Scams and Fraud
Reports of scams related to the Corona virus have been increasing.
Metropolitan Police Service has produced a helpful guide to telephone scams. The information in the Little Booklet of Phone Scams includes examples of the most common types of telephone scams, tips on how to protect yourself and how to report scams.
Keep up to date with the latest advice on personal fraud from Metropolitan Police Service.
Keep up to date with the latest scams relating to the Coronavirus from Action Fraud.
Being vigilant against fraud
Law enforcement, government and private sector partners are working together to encourage members of the public and those providing support and care to be more vigilant against fraud – particularly about sharing financial and personal information – as criminals seek to capitalise on the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Take five to stop fraud campaign offers advice to help everyone protect themselves from preventable financial fraud. Information, advice and resources are also available on the Friends Against Scams website.
Staying alert to scammers
Fraudsters are taking advantage of the COVID-19 through scams online, by phone and on the doorstep. At particular risk are older and vulnerable people who are isolated from their family and friends. Please be alert to scams and help protect those most at risk by reporting any suspicious activity.
Lewisham Council also offer help and advice on doorstep scammers.
Download the LSAB Coronavirus Scam Alert poster
NHS – HEALTH EDUCATION ENGLAND Coronavirus - e-Learning for Healthcare
The programme is freely available to all colleagues working in the NHS, independent sector and social care.
The programme contains e-learning courses relating to the prevention and treatment relating to the Coronavirus pandemic. In addition, useful links are included to other sources of information from the NHS and the UK Government.
Skills for Health - Coronavirus (COVID-19) Awareness course
This free COVID-19 resource is delivered by Skills for Health, the UK’s leading provider of online learning for healthcare.
The resource is approximately 2 hours in duration and includes information such as infection prevention, PPE, hand and respiratory hygiene, management and assessment, sampling and testing, patient transfers/managing patients and much more, to support you in your role.
The resource is designed to support our public sector workforce to continue delivering the best possible service during these unprecedented times.
The Royal Society of Medicine - E-Learning Hub
The COVID-19 learning hub has been created to support healthcare professionals with access to education and learning resources during the COVID-19 outbreak. Resources include links to access past COVID-19 Series webinars, recommended guidance, specialty training, a round-up of current clinical trials and references from the RSM Library.
COVID-19 Webinar Series - For health professionals, by health professionals.
This webinar series is dedicated to give healthcare workers on the frontline, regular and easy-to-access updates from healthcare leaders on COVID-19.
Chaired by leading experts, these webinars will discuss different topics and challenges that healthcare workers, leaders and the public are facing, and how we are responding.
All COVID-19 Series webinars are free to watch on Zoom.
Latest updates, advice and information for pharmacy.
Royal College of General Practitioners - COVID-19 Resource Hub
The COVID-19 Resource Hub has been created to support GPs in understanding and managing this pandemic, with topics ranging from diagnosis to keeping your practice safe. The hub is updated daily with the latest developments and guidance.
Safeguarding Children - Coronavirus
If you need information on safeguarding children, Lewisham Safeguarding Children Partnership have been working hard to ensure there is a wide range of up to date information and resources on their website.