Carers Centre Tower Hamlets

6th April 2020

Contact us for help – 020 7364 3030

Tower Hamlets Council has set up a new phone line to support residents that have been identified as being extremely vulnerable and at the highest risk of severe illness from COVID-19 caused by coronavirus. This number is for Tower Hamlets residents, their families or their carers to let the council know if they have any urgent requirements.

 Any carers need to talk to anyone or reach out due to domestic abuse, they can call Victim Support on 0207 364 2448/7957 or the Domestic Violence Duty Line on 0207 364 4986 between 9am – 5pm.

Hello Carers of Tower Hamlets

 How was your weekend?  I would love to hear from carers about their experiences of self-isolating, what did you think about the Queens speech?  If you have opinions or stories to share, then please email:  tony@ccth.org.uk

Clapping for Carers – this is now going to be a regular weekly initiative.  Every Thursday at 8pm and this means everyone is clapping for you as well as the keyworkers doing an amazing job.  As I have said many times you do a remarkable job day in day out, all year round.   Tower Hamlets Carers Be Proud of Yourselves.

 Tower Hamlets

Food packages for vulnerable residents

Boxes containing food and grocery supplies for extremely vulnerable people have begun to be distributed across Tower Hamlets.

Supplied by the government, the food was delivered to Bethnal Green where our staff and volunteers prepared and packed it for delivery. The council supplemented the boxes with some additional fresh food to ensure they were nutritionally balanced.

The boxes are for residents who the NHS has identified as extremely vulnerable and are advised not to leave home at this time. Delivering boxes directly to these vulnerable residents is vital, as many will have no other way of accessing food supplies.

As well as the extremely vulnerable, we are helping provide food to people with other urgent needs and who may not be able to access food, either because they are self-isolating due to illness or because they have other health conditions that put them at high risk.

Anyone who needs support with food supplies can contact the council by phoning 020 7364 3030 or by completing our online form.

Weekly worship services now on air

BBC local radio is helping to support faith communities unable to visit places of worship due to the current coronavirus outbreak.

As of this morning, Muslim reflections will air every Friday at 5.50am on BBC Radio London.

A Christian service is also being broadcast every Sunday at 8am.

We will keep you updated as we become aware of other similar initiatives to help support our faith communities at this time.

Coronavirus and claiming benefits            

If you’re in work and not claiming benefits

 If you cannot work due to coronavirus and are eligible for Statutory Sick Pay you will get it from day one, rather than from the fourth day of your illness. This applies retrospectively from 13 March 2020.

Statutory Sick Pay will be payable if you have coronavirus or are self-isolating on government advice.

If you are a carer who is getting Carers Allowance and you cannot provide care to person you cared for because either you are self-isolating or the person you care for, your Carers Allowance will not be affected.

If you’re in work and not claiming benefits

 If you cannot work due to coronavirus and are eligible for Statutory Sick Pay you will get it from day one, rather than from the fourth day of your illness. DWP intends to legislate so this measure applies retrospectively from 13 March 2020.

Statutory Sick Pay will be payable if you have coronavirus or are self-isolating on government advice.

If you are a gig worker and/or on a zero hours contract, you may be entitled to sick pay. Check your eligibility for Statutory Sick Pay

If you need to provide evidence to your employer that you need to stay at home due to having symptoms of coronavirus an Isolation Note can be obtained from NHS 111 online. If you live with someone that has symptoms, an Isolation Note can be obtained from the NHS website.

If you are not eligible to receive sick pay you can apply for Universal Credit and/or apply for New Style Employment and Support Allowance

You can also apply for these if you are prevented from working because of a risk to public health.

If you’re already claiming benefits

Changes to jobcentre appointments

 People receiving benefits do not have to attend jobcentre appointments for three months, starting from Thursday 19 March 2020.

People will continue to receive their benefits as normal, but all requirements to attend the jobcentre in person are suspended.

You should not attend the jobcentre unless directed to do so for an exceptional purpose.

People can still make applications for benefits online if they are eligible.

If you apply for Universal Credit you will need to make an appointment for your new claim interview. This interview will take place by telephone with a work coach. You will be given the number to call to book this appointment when you have submitted your claim.

If you’re already claiming Universal Credit and think you may have been affected by coronavirus, please contact your work coach as soon as possible. You can do this using your online journal

Changes to health assessments

 Considering the current coronavirus outbreak, the Department for Work and Pensions has taken the precautionary decision to temporarily suspend all face-to-face assessments for health and disability-related benefits. This is aimed at reducing the risk of exposure to coronavirus and safeguarding the health of individuals claiming health and disability benefits, many of whom are likely to be at greater risk due to their pre-existing health conditions.

If you already have an assessment appointment arranged, you do not need to attend. Your assessment provider will contact you to discuss your appointment and explain the next steps to you.

If you have made a claim for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Universal Credit or Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) but do not have a date for an assessment appointment, you do not need to do anything. You will be contacted shortly by telephone or letter to let you know what will happen next.

If you are already receiving PIP, ESA, Universal Credit or IIDB you will continue to receive your current payments as normal.

If you have made a new claim or wish to make a new claim, DWP will continue to take claims for all benefits.

Changes to how much you’ll get

 From 6 April the government is increasing the standard allowance in Universal Credit and the basic element in Working Tax Credit for one year. Both will increase by £20 per week on top of planned annual uprating. This will apply to all new and existing Universal Credit claimants and to existing Working Tax Credit claimants.

This means that for a single Universal Credit claimant (aged 25 or over), the standard allowance will increase from £317.82 to £409.89 per month.

From April, Local Housing Allowance rates will be increased to the 30th percentile of market rents. This will apply to all private renters who are new or existing Universal Credit housing element claimants, and to existing Housing Benefit claimants.

If you’re self-employed

 If you are self-employed and claiming Universal Credit, and are required to stay at home or are ill as a result of coronavirus, the Minimum Income Floor (an assumed level of income) will not be applied for the period of time whilst you are affected.

From 6 April the requirements of the Minimum Income Floor will be temporarily relaxed. This change will apply to all Universal Credit claimants and will last for the duration of the outbreak. New claimants will not need to attend the jobcentre to demonstrate gainful self-employment.

The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) whose income has been negatively impacted by coronavirus. The scheme will provide a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month. Read more about eligibility for SEISS

You should not contact HMRC about accessing SEISS now. HMRC will use existing information to check potential eligibility and invite applications once the scheme is operational.

The Self-employment Income Support Scheme will be treated as earnings in Universal Credit. Your Universal Credit payment will adjust in response to changes in your earnings.

If you need financial help whilst waiting for SEISS, check your eligibility for Universal Credit

Changes to your earnings

If you are in work and already claiming Universal Credit, and are staying at home on Government advice, you should report this in the usual way via your online journal. If this means you are working fewer hours, the amount of Universal Credit you receive will adjust as your earnings change.

If you’re making a new claim

Don’t delay making a benefit claim, even if you think you may be affected by coronavirus.

You can apply for Universal Credit online. If you are eligible you will need to make an appointment for your new claim interview. This interview will take place by telephone with a work coach. You will be given the number to call to book this appointment when you have submitted your claim.

The appointment booking line is exceptionally busy, therefore your local jobcentre will call you if they’ve seen you’ve applied online but haven’t been able to get through to get an appointment yet. They will use your online journal to let you know they’ll be calling and will contact you as soon as they can.

You should continue to try and book a new claim interview until you have been contacted.

Universal Credit users are experiencing extended waiting times for GOV.UK Verify. We appreciate how frustrating this is and we are working to improve the situation as quickly as possible. Not everyone will be able to verify their identity online. Don’t worry if you can’t – call the number provided once you have submitted your claim, to book a new claim telephone interview with a work coach.

If you need to claim Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) because of coronavirus, you will not be required to produce a Fit Note.

If you are affected by coronavirus you will be able to apply for Universal Credit and can receive up to a month’s advance upfront without physically attending a jobcentre.

If you are suffering from coronavirus or are required to stay at home and want to apply for ESA, the usual 7 waiting days for new claimants will not apply. ESA will be payable from day one.

If you need support or need advice email: abdul@ccth.org.uk or ruhela@ccth.org.uk

I will be signing off every time now with this message.

To the Carers who have lost family members and friends recently, The Carers Centre Team sends their heartfelt condolences and if you need any advice or support then please email us on enquiries@ccth.org.uk

 Keep well & stay safe

Tony Collins-Moore  – Carers Academy Manager


4th April 2020

Contact us for help – 020 7364 3030

Tower Hamlets Council has set up a new phone line to support residents that have been identified as being extremely vulnerable and at the highest risk of severe illness from COVID-19 caused by coronavirus. This number is for Tower Hamlets residents, their families or their carers to let the council know if they have any urgent requirements.

Hello Carers of Tower Hamlets

How is everyone feeling?  I received a letter from my GP yesterday telling me that I am considered extremely vulnerable and that I must begin shielding immediately.  This is due to my Asthma and Diabetes; I have to say it did shock me how vulnerable I am right now and that I must adhere to the instructions prescribed in the letter.

As carers for family and friends have you or the person/s you care for received a letter?   If you have I would love to hear from you tony@ccth.org.uk as you may have questions about support, information and advice and ways to manage this extraordinary situation?

What does shielding mean:

  • Strictly avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • Do not leave the house for 12 weeks.
  • Do not attend any gatherings. This includes gathering of friends and families in private spaces, for example, family homes, weddings and religious services.
  • Do not go out for shopping, leisure or travel and, when arranging food or medication deliveries, these should be left at the door to minimise contact.
  • Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet and social media.

Then the letter highlights the importance of reaching out when in need.  This leads me nicely onto getting in contact with the Carers Centre if you need support collecting medication or food.  The Carers Centre will signpost you or make referrals to organisations working within Tower Hamlets that can assist you or the person you care for.

Keep in contact with your friends and family by phone (I know lots of carers have a shared group WhatsApp, that they keep in touch and check on their peers).  There seems to be lots of different video calling Apps such as Skype and Zoom that will allow you to see the person you are talking to. Don’t forget social media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram that could prove useful.   I know how important keeping in touch with people is and I am chatting to my Mum and Dad as much as I can.

Young Carers

As you know I have been asking for carers to contribute any information, guidance or example of good practice and fantastically a Young Carer called Sanyu emailed me asking if she could write something for this blog.  Please read below Sanyu’s contribution and thank you Sanyu for your words.

With no fault of our own, we are all living in a pretty crazy time.

Digesting all that is going on can be scary, especially with all the numbers of cases rising every day and even worse, deaths from covid-19.

As a young carer it is important to remember that you are an essential participant in the care and health of others, alongside the doctors and nurses and key workers, so for that you are held highly. You are incredible! While taking care of yourself and your loved ones can be a anxious time, it is very important that in your down time, whether it’s before bed or early in the morning, take a moment to breathe.

If you have internet access, watch your favourite Netflix show. Perform a Tick Tok to the latest dance trends, read a book or video call friends and family. Maybe even go for a quick jog by the local park, (2 metres apart remember!)

It is vital that your mental health is supported and taken care of during this time, so please take time for yourself.

Until next time!

Sanyu 

Tower Hamlets

Flexibility for residents who receive care packages

We are working with partners organisations, including PeoplePlus, REAL and the NHS, to ensure that people with a direct payment and/or a personal health budget continue to be supported during these challenging times. These partnerships have allowed us to respond quickly and make changes where needed. These include:

  • Increasing all direct payments by 10 per cent to allow for a contingency budget.
  • Additional flexibility to amend support packages if this is required and meets the person’s needs. This includes the option to employ family members where appropriate.
  • Support to get personal protective equipment (PPE) to direct payment recipients.

https://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/lgnl/health__social_care/longer-term_support_and_person/direct_payments.aspx

Reminder: please watch out for scams 

A reminder that government, police, the National Crime Agency (NCA) and others are urging the public to be aware that criminals are using coronavirus to scam people.

Some websites, emails or phone numbers can look like they’re part of an official government service – but they can be fake. If you’re unsure, please do not respond.

Nearly a third of all fraud is committed over the phone, and so the Met Police is asking people to read its booklet of phone scams to raise awareness of the different ways scams can be carried out over the phone.

Government guidance on access to green spaces

The government has released new guidance on access to green space, which complements the existing guidance on social distancing.

In addition to only leaving your home when necessary – you must:

  • Stay local and use open spaces near to your home where possible – do not travel unnecessarily.
  • You should only go outside alone or with members of your own household.
  • Always keep at least two metres (six feet) apart from anyone outside your household.
  • Gatherings of more than two in parks or other public spaces have been banned and the police will enforce this.
  • Take hygiene precautions when you are outside and wash your hands as soon as you are back indoors.

Parks in Tower Hamlets currently remain open, except for Victoria Park.

Don’t forget, all our outdoor gyms, playground equipment and skate parks across the borough are closed and must not be used. To help make this clear, we’ve added signage and wrapped the facilities where possible. Coronavirus can live on hard surfaces for three days and can be spread by people who have no symptoms. These measures really are to help protect you and the health of others.

Condition Specific Information

Autism

The National Autistic Society has online support and information on the Coronavirus for people with Autism as well ideas when caring/supporting someone with Autism.  Please use this link:  https://www.autism.org.uk/

Asthma

Asthma UK have support and information relating to Asthma and the Coronavirus.  They have tips about the importance looking after yourself, using inhalers and a Asthma attack checker.

As a lifelong Asthmatic I strongly advocate getting the best advice, use your prescribed inhalers and medication and if deemed extremely vulnerable stick to the self-isolating guidance.

https://www.asthma.org.uk/

https://www.asthma.org.uk/coronavirus

I just wanted to end today’s entry by saying to the Carers who have lost family members and friends recently that The Carers Centre Team sends their heartfelt condolences and if you need any advice or support then please email us on enquiries@ccth.org.uk

Keep well & stay safe

 Tony Collins-Moore – Carers Academy Manager


1st April 2020

Contact us for help – 020 7364 3030.

Tower Hamlets Council has set up a new phone line to support residents that have been identified as being extremely vulnerable and at the highest risk of severe illness from COVID-19 caused by coronavirus. This number is for Tower Hamlets residents, their families or their carers to let the council know if they have any urgent requirements.

Hello Carers of Tower Hamlets

Well it is a new month and life is going to remain the same for some for the next few weeks/months.  So I thought I would pass on more information that could help fight the boredom, understandable carers might have little time to get bored as your caring role continues and if you have your children home from school you have more to do than ever.

If you have any information or good news stories you wish to share please email:  tony@ccth.org.uk

Tower Hamlets Council

Free School Meals:  The Council has information on the provision of free school meals during coronavirus outbreak, please visit linked page below for the latest news and information.

https://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/lgnl/education_and_learning/school_finance_and_support/free_school_meals.aspx

Council Tax: The Council has a page on their website explaining your council tax bill, the easiest way to manage and pay your bill and how to claim council tax reduction if you are eligible.  Please visit the page if you need further information.

https://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/lgnl/council_and_democracy/council_tax/Your_Council_Tax_bill_explained.aspx

Outdoor Gyms: The council has closed all outdoor play, sports and gyms and are requesting that they are not used.  They have wrapped the equipment making it unusable for the time being.  I know this is difficult as you might want to exercise but it is for you own health and the health of others.

Benefit Advice

I have been chatting with my colleagues Abdul and Ruhela who are the carers Centre Benefit advisors, you have probably met them at the centre and had excellent advice and support?

They have asked me to pass on some details that are helpful during this time.

If you need information about Universal Credit claims and the Coronavirus, then click on this link:   https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus/

If you are a registered carer and need support with your benefits then please email Abdul@ccth.org.uk  or Ruhela@ccth.org.uk

Health & Wellbeing

I am looking at ways to inform you of initiatives o n maintaining good mental and physical health and wellbeing.  This will include links to supporting your mental health while dealing with self-isolation as well as ideas for physical exercise.  I am hopeful that I can examples to cheer you up and make you smile.

The link below is guidance from the Government, stating the following:

‘During this time, you may be bored, frustrated or lonely. You may also feel low, worried, anxious, or be concerned about your health or that of those close to you. Everyone reacts differently to events and changes in the way that we think, feel and behave vary between different people and over time. It’s important that you take care of your mind as well as your body and to get further support if you need it’.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-public-on-mental-health-and-wellbeing/guidance-for-the-public-on-the-mental-health-and-wellbeing-aspects-of-coronavirus-covid-19

Sport England has an online advice called Stay in, work out, it gives you Tips, advice and guidance on how to keep or get active in and around your home.

https://www.sportengland.org/stayinworkout

The National Theatre Home is streaming a variety of productions such as ‘One Man, Two Guvnors’, ‘Jane Eyre’, ‘Treasure Island’ and ‘Twelfth Night’ which you will be able to watch over the next four weeks.  This may give you some much needed distraction, so check it out.

https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/nt-at-home?queueittoken=e_safetyevent25mar20~q_00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000~ts_1585746956~ce_true~rt_afterevent~h_08e2161003de933359c96267e3c4725fdc1813eab7a874abadad8054c4dff1dd 

Advice for Specific conditions

The Alzheimer’s Society are providing information and advice on a range of issues relating to Dementia and COVID 19 virus such as information directly for people with Dementia, for carers supporting people in the same home, carers supporting people from a distance as well as activity ideas.  Please use the link provided.

https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/coronavirus-covid-19

Diabetes UK are also doing something similar and are providing information about how to manage your own Diabetes as well as the person you care for while self-isolating.  As a diabetic myself I found it very useful and there is a lot of information that covers exercise, insulin usage, checking your bloods daily and how to keep hydrated.

https://www.diabetes.org.uk/about_us/news/coronavirus

Take Care and Keep Well

Tony Collins-Moore – Carers Academy Manager


30th March 2020

Contact us for help – 020 7364 3030

Tower Hamlets Council has set up a new phone line to support residents that have been identified as being extremely vulnerable and at the highest risk of severe illness from COVID-19 caused by coronavirus. This number is for Tower Hamlets residents, their families or their carers to let the council know if they have any urgent requirements.

Hello Carers of Tower Hamlets

Continuing with this blog, I continue to hope that everyone is safe and well?

How was your weekend?   Anyone have anything they wish to share about keeping well and filling your precious time when not undertaking your caring role?   Have your caring tasks increased?  Have you come across new problems that you need support with?

Please let the Carers Centre know and we will do our best to try and help.

So, my attempt at keeping well is that I have downloaded the Couch to 5k App, I did my third run early this morning, did not see anyone (following Government advice/correct distancing) I wheezed my way round my local park for 30 minutes.  I have not really exercised properly for years; I am overweight and have Diabetes, so I am determined to do something positive during this crisis.

I urge you to do some form of daily exercise if possible, this could be jogging, in door Zumba or armchair yoga.  Do what suits or interests you the most, you could think of it as time out from your caring role, easier for some I know.

Feeling Anxious and Stressed (Coronanxiety)?

During the weeks of self-isolating and being housebound you might become anxious and stressed, you may need to help with this, and I have come across this service that could be useful. https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/

They have a dedicated COVID 19/Coronavirus online support.

You will find easy access to a range of information, resources and support for helping you understand how to deal with your anxiety during these difficult times while Coronavirus (COVID-19) is impacting on our lives.

I really recommend checking it out as there is helpful blogs, webinars and links that can support you and your loved ones.

Hate Crime & Carers

The Carers Centre ethos upholds the ‘Tower Hamlets No Place For Hate’ campaign and principles led by Tower Hamlets council.  We promote the carer agenda and issues; we have trained Hate Crime Champions both carer and staff and are represented on relevant forums within Tower Hamlets.

I have been sent information form the forum with information/video’s on how to report hate crime in English, Mandarin, Cantonese and Japanese.

Please click onto this link:

https://mps.box.com/s/e7jgq9kuda4svqdvibj8vep4bq2a1rhe

Bereavement

I came across this service that hopefully carers will not need but I wanted to give you every piece of information I could that would support your caring role.

The Good Grief Trust is a national online service that provides you with useful information, advice and encouraging stories from others to help you in this most difficult of times and to make the future that bit brighter.

They have a dedicated page on Bereavement and COVID 19 and the link is:

https://www.thegoodgrieftrust.org/need-know-info/coronavirus-bereavement-advice/

I will be writing this blog every Monday, Wednesday and Friday until we are over the worst and when the Government gives us the all clear and we can all meet up at the Carers Centre.

Keep Well

Tony Collins-Moore – Carers Academy Manager


27th March 2020

Hello Carers of Tower Hamlets

This is my second instalment for this blog, and I hope everyone is keeping well and safe?

Wasn’t Thursday nights ‘Clap for Our Carers’ and ‘clap for NHS’ amazing.  It was very moving and admirable how this country is standing in solidarity for health care professionals and carers.  I just wanted to shout out to all the carers of Tower Hamlets you do an amazing job all year round and please keep yourself safe and those you care for.

I have some more information from Tower Hamlets Council to pass on to everyone.

Stay at home to stop coronavirus spreading

Everyone must stay at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

You can only leave the house for one of the following reasons:

  • shopping for basic necessities – for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
  • one form of exercise a day – for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household.
  • any medical need – or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person (this really applies to carers)
  • travelling to and from work – but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.

Important:

  • These four reasons are exceptions – even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are two metres apart from anyone outside of your household.

Shielding our vulnerable Carers and the people you care for.

Certain groups of people with existing illness and underlying health conditions are considered extremely vulnerable and at risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

You may be considered extremely vulnerable if you:

  • have had an organ transplant
  • are having certain types of cancer treatment
  • have blood or bone marrow cancer, such as leukaemia
  • have a severe lung condition, such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma
  • have a condition that makes you much more likely to get infections
  • are taking medicine that weakens your immune system
  • are pregnant and have a serious heart condition

If you’re at high risk, you will be contacted by the NHS by Sunday 29 March 2020. Do not contact your GP or healthcare team at this stage – wait to be contacted. If you haven’t received a letter by this date, you can discuss any concerns with your GP or a hospital clinician.

Here is a link to an easy read version of advice about staying home:

https://easy-read-online.co.uk/media/53210/free-document-on-the-lockdown-easy-read-lo-res_v1c.pdf

Support from energy suppliers

Working with the government, energy suppliers are in the process of putting in place new measures to help customers who need support around prepayment metres, or for people who are in vulnerable circumstances and may be unable to pay their bills.

You can find a summary of how prepayment suppliers are helping customers along with helpful contact information on the MoneySavingExpert website. This information will be continually updated as more information becomes available.

Please watch out for scams 

The National Crime Agency (NCA) is urging the public to be aware that criminals are using the coronavirus pandemic to scam the public.

Criminals are experts at impersonating, they spend hours researching you for their scams, hoping you’ll let your guard down for just a moment.

  • Do not give out private information (such as bank details or passwords), reply to text messages, download attachments or click on any links in emails if you’re not sure they’re genuine.

The NCA reports current scams include online shopping (for protective face masks, hand sanitiser and other products) where goods never arrive, and fake COVID-19 testing kits being offered for sale.

Criminals are also using government branding to try to trick people, including impersonating HMRC to make false offers of financial support through unexpected emails, phone calls and text messages.

Some websites, emails or phone numbers can look like they’re part of an official government service – but they can be fake. If you’re unsure, please do not respond.

The advice is that you:

  • Stop: Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.
  • Challenge: Could it be fake? It’s okay to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
  • Protect: Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam and report it.

So just to remind carers if you want to pass on any information or advice for your fellow carer please email me tony@ccth.org.uk and I will do my best to get the message out, supporting Tower Hamlets carers to keep safe and continue their amazing work.

Have a peaceful weekend.

Tony Collins-Moore – Carers Academy Manager


COVID-19 – Update and Information for Carers

26th March 2020

Hello Carers of Tower Hamlets

I am writing this blog to share some information I have been sent while I am working from home due to being deemed ‘high risk’ because of my Diabetes.  I hope you are all observing the ‘Self Isolation’ where possible and applying this to the family and friends you care for.

I know from my nine years of working at the Carers Centre how well you all look after your loved ones and hopefully we can all get through this unscathed.  The centre is here to help with telephone support and signposting.

National Plans

Currently there is emergency legislation that will go through Parliament very quickly.  It is scheduled to go through all Common stages on Monday 23 March and Lords stages on Weds 25 and Thurs 26 March, and it is expected to receive Royal Assent shortly after that.

The Government’s aims with the Bill are to: 

  • Increase the available health and social care workforce
  • Ease the burden on frontline staff
  • Containing and slowing the virus
  • Managing the deceased with respect and dignity
  • Supporting people.

 Most crucially the Government expects Local Authorities, working with providers, to do everything possible to maintain services over the coming period.”

I have attached a link that is for carers:

https://www.carersuk.org/images/News_and_campaigns/Coronavirus/Coronavirus_Bill_as_at_22.3.2020_detailed_on_health_and_care_provisions.pdf

Here is another link if you or the person you care is deemed vulnerable and you need to get some help:

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable

Tower Hamlets Council

 https://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/Home.aspx

Closer to Home

 I have been sent some up-to-date information from our Local Metropolitan Police force who are doing an amazing job in keeping people safe in these extraordinary times.

The Following statement was sent by Supt. Martin Rolston, A/BCU Commander.

“This is a very serious time for the country and for our city. We all have a key role to play in encouraging our communities and businesses to adhere to the new measures. At this difficult time, our relationships with our communities matter more than ever. As we do every day, we, alongside you, will be treating the people of London with respect, kindness and courtesy.

We fully anticipate the public and businesses in London will want to adhere to the new restrictions to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. In helping people to understand and comply with this new guidance, we will of course not be expecting officers to stop everyone in the street. We do not at this stage have additional powers to enforce these new measures, but these will follow. We will be applying our common sense and experience, taking a sensible and graduated approach to the situation. For example, if people are on their own or in a household group there will be no need to speak to them. If, however officers see a group of more than two people who do not appear to be a household, they will speak to them and talk to them about the new guidance. They may then need to ask them to go their separate ways and play their part in protecting the NHS and saving lives. If a business is open which should not be then we will remind them of the need to follow government advice.”

Rumours of threats against NHS Staff

There continue to be rumours of NHS workers being victims of robbery at hospitals.

Our medical and health colleagues are working tirelessly to protect the public from COVID-19, and the police are continuing to support and assist them during this time.

I would like to reiterate that we have no knowledge of such crimes taking place at this time and I ask that if you do hear of rumours or speculation please let me or a member of my team know and we will be able to provide some clarity.

Supermarkets

Whilst we are aware of rumours and speculation about looting and rioting in supermarkets, the Met has no information to say that this has taken place in London.

Over the weekend, we were called to a small number of minor incidents at supermarkets across the capital. It transpires that these calls were mainly for overcrowding and not crime related. No action needed to be taken by our officers.

The Government advice for shoppers remains the same; that the public should be sensible when buying food and groceries and there is no need to panic buy.

Domestic Abuse One Stop Shop

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, Tower Hamlets Domestic Abuse One Stop Shop at Whitechapel Idea Store is currently suspended.

We are sorry that we unable to support you face to face.  Please be assured that you can still access Violence against Women & Girls (VAWG) services.

In an emergency please call 999

Tower Hamlets Victim Support Independent Domestic Violence Advocate (IDVA), 020 7364 7957/2448, Mon-Fri 9-5pm

24-hour National Victim Support Line 0808 168 9111

For legal advice relating to domestic abuse and family law, such as non-molestation orders, child arrangements, or divorce, please contact Bowling & Co solicitors: family@bowlinglaw.co.uk0208 221 8000 and in case of emergencies 07464 925 083

Homelessness 0207 364 7474, after 5pm emergency line 0207 364 4079

National Domestic Violence Helpline 24 hour 0808 200 0247

Tower Hamlets Crisis Intervention Service 020 3222 4027 Mon-Fri 9-5pm & weekends 10-6pm.

LBTH VAWG Team, Domestic.Violence@towerhamlets.gov.uk

LBTH duty line, 0800 279 5434, Mon-Fri 9-5pm

Women’s Aid online help: https://chat.womensaid.org.uk/

Religious funerals

Government ministers have assured Jewish and Muslim communities that their religious burial rights will be respected during the coronavirus outbreak, after concerns were raised over forced cremations.

We are working with our Independent Advisory Groups (IAG’s) to support these communities.

Isolation and being alone

The Carers Centre understands that we are being asked to self-isolate and this could be lonely for some carers and the people they care for so I have got a few suggestions that might be of use:

Facebook has a Tower Hamlets page see link:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/2740546326063053/

If you ever wanted to join a choir then here is a link to an online national choir, this would keep you busy and improve your lungs:

https://decca.com/greatbritishhomechorus/

Finally, if you have any other suggestions that can help your fellow carer, then I would love to hear from you?

Please email me tony@ccth.org.uk

Keep well and look after yourselves

Tony Collins-Moore – Carers Academy Manager

Get in touch

The Carers Centre
21 Brayford Square
London, E1 0SG

020 7790 1765

enquiries@ccth.org.uk

Opening hours

Monday – 9.30am – 5pm
Tuesday – 9.30am – 5pm
Wednesday – 9.30am – 7pm
Thursday – 9.30am – 5pm
Friday – 9.30am – 5pm
Second Saturday of the month 11am – 3pm
Sunday – Closed

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