Worcester News Article – 11th January

The start of 2021 brings yet more challenges for us all with the increase in cases of Covid-19 and return to lockdown. We also recognise the pressures this is placing on our health and social care services, in addition to the huge undertaking of rolling out Covid-19 vaccinations.

Vaccinations have already begun in Worcestershire. The first groups to receive the vaccine are those aged over 80 and residents and staff in care homes. Following this, others will be called in the order of the priority groupings, based on age and vulnerability. GP practices are working together to deliver the vaccines, meaning that patients may have their vaccination delivered from a location that is different to their registered practice but one that will still be nearby to where they live. NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Group are stressing the key message for patients is that the NHS will contact people in priority groups when it is their turn to receive the vaccine and they should not contact their GP practice directly asking for an appointment.

At this time looking after our mental health as well as our physical health is vital. We know that many will be finding the current situation very difficult. Links to further information about mental health and emotional wellbeing and how to access support can be found on the Advice and Information pages of our website. With the closure of schools we are especially aware of the impact on our children and young people. We are still running our survey to capture the experiences of young people at this time and to hear their feedback about how we can enable them to access information and support.

Last week saw the first meeting of a patient and carer testing group for the new NHS digital patient portal and shared care records system for Herefordshire and Worcestershire. We had a good response from people wanting to take part and some valuable discussion and feedback at the meeting highlighting some key considerations for patients and carers.

Contact us to share in confidence your experiences of local health and care services. Or visit our website for links to our young people’s survey and recording of our NHS Question Time session in December.

info@healthwatchworcestershire.co.uk / 01386 550264  www.healthwatchworcestershire.co.uk