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All the latest Coronavirus information from the Trust | 21 January 2021

Our latest position

We are continuing to care for many patients with COVID-19 across our sites. We are working together with our partners every day to manage the current pressures on services due to the pandemic. The first week in January was Cumbria’s worst week for new COVID-19 infections with 3,499 across the County, which has brought extraordinary pressure on health and care services that has never been experienced before. 

To get the message out to the public about the pressure we are under and how they can help, a number of our NHS colleagues have stepped up to help out by sharing videos that we have posted on our social media channels this week – these videos have reached 301,317 people. Please help by sharing these messages with your networks.

We also now have around 40 volunteers ready to support our teams, they will be invaluable in supporting wards by providing a meet and greet service and being able to take patient belongings to and from the ward. This will support ward staff who can remain on the wards delivering the direct patient care.

Supporting our workforce

We understand and are very aware how difficult it has been for our staff and the pressures everyone is under. This is a situation that none of us have found ourselves in before and the challenges brought about by the pandemic affect everyone differently.  

To help support our staff we have stepped up our existing health and wellbeing support to look after the wellbeing of trust colleagues. This includes a staff wellbeing network that is managed through our in house psychology team.  The team are able to signpost staff to the most appropriate source of support for their needs.  We have further resources available on the health and wellbeing pages on the Trust’s internal staff website, including access to our Employee Assistance Programme that offers 24/7 help and support. We have many online tools and courses available for staff including sleep programmes and stress management support. We have also introduced free tea and coffee in restaurant areas for our staff during breaks.

We hugely appreciate the efforts of our staff and are so appreciative of their support.

The NHS is still here for those who need it

Despite the significant pressure the message is clear that anyone who needs urgent medical help should still feel confident that services are there for them.

People do not stop having heart attacks, strokes or accidents and it is still a priority that anyone having a medical emergency will be treated.

This is equally important for people who may need urgent medical advice through their GP, for instance they may be concerned about symptoms of cancer.

Infection sciences hit 100,000 milestone

The Infection Sciences team at North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust have reached a milestone of processing 100,000 COVID tests. Laboratory teams at the Cumberland Infirmary and West Cumberland Hospital sampled the 100,000th COVID test on January 18 2021. The record amount of samples taken in one day was 1,201!

Coronavirus figures in Cumbria

For the week ending Friday 15th January 2021 there were 2,632 new cases in Cumbria (a decrease of 868, -25%, from 3,500 cases in the previous week). For the 5th week in a row Carlisle had the greatest number of new cases (+924 new cases). Carlisle also had the highest rate of new cases for the 3rd week in a row (850 new cases per 100k population). Rates in Carlisle, Allerdale and Barrow-in-Furness were above the national average rate (England = 495 new cases per 100k population).Full details are on Cumbria County Council’s website.

Other news

Paediatric nurse team improve A&E services for children

A new paediatric nurse team is improving A&E services for children at West Cumberland Hospital. The service launched 6 months ago and is already proving a success. It’s benefiting triaging and helping with fast turnarounds of admissions or discharges. It’s also helping with the quality of care for children and safeguarding.

Cervical Cancer Prevention Week

Smear tests aren’t easy for everyone, but they can save lives. The number of people going for smear tests is lower than ever, yet they prevent 75% of cervical cancers! So while they may not be pleasant, they are important. Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women aged 35, and 75% of cervical cancers are prevented by cervical screening (smear tests).

Cervical Cancer Prevention Week runs from January 18 to 24 and it encourages women to reduce their risk of the disease by promoting the steps they can take to look after their health.

Domestic abuse victims can seek help by asking for Ani

Domestic abuse victims in Cumbria can now discretely seek help from pharmacy staff taking part in a new scheme - by “asking for Ani”.

The phrase is code that they are making a call for assistance, with staff at participating pharmacies trained on the next steps to take.

Boots stores across the county are taking part and other participating pharmacies will display posters to show they are also available to help – with the scheme being rolled out across Cumbria.