Families and friends to be reunited with loved ones in care homes as visits restart

Care home residents are set to be reunited with friends and family as visits begin again following the publication of new guidance on 22 July.

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The Government has put in place a number of measures to help return the country back to a ‘new normal’.

Changes to advice include:

  • People can meet in groups of up to two households – indoors or outdoors – however people should remain socially distanced.
  • A number of shops and businesses are now open, along with public places such as places of worship.
  • From 6 July those shielding will be able to spend time outdoors in a group of up to six people including those outside of their household, while maintaining social distancing.
    Read more about the updated shielding advice.

You can find out more about what people can and cannot do on the Government website.

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Face coverings: when to wear one and how to make your own

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Local hospitals have set up a Next of Kin helpline for family members who want to check up on their loved ones – please nominate one family member:

Bedford Hospital

The nominated next of kin will receive a general daily update between the hours of 13:30 and 16:30 every day of the week. Should you fail to receive a call back during this time, and are concerned, the helpline is also available: 01234 730500.

Luton & Dunstable Hospital

The nominated family member to call 01582 718884 between 8am and 6pm.

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Bedfordshire Community Health Services

Bedfordshire Community Health Services have created a new website page for their Bedfordshire Services, and all the latest information regarding these services, during this outbreak, click on this link.

ADULT SERVICES

  • Acquired Brain Injury Service: 01582 709037
  • Neuro rehabilitation and early supported discharge stroke service: 01582 707651

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Central Bedfordshire Council Adult Learning goes online

The Bedfordshire Employment and Skills Adult Learning team (BESS) has moved from the classroom, to online during the COVID-19 national emergency.

Until a month ago, 90 per cent of adult learning operated as a face-to-face service, but since the lockdown we have reshaped how the service is delivered.

Online and distance based courses currently include support with wellbeing and mental health, using IT to stay in touch and communicate with others, understanding children’s mental health and challenging behaviour and preparing for employment. More courses will be added over the next few weeks.

To see the courses available, for more information and to enrol visit the Adult Learning Courses pages.

The team also continues to provide a National Careers Service (NCS) for information, advice and guidance with finding work. To arrange one-to-one support please complete an online form and you will be contacted by an adviser.

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How are charities and other organisations helping us during the Covid-19 Pandemic?

  • Covid-19 is a particularly challenging time for people and families affected by genetic, rare and undiagnosed conditions. Genetic Alliance UK  hub has been set up to enable quick and easy access to relevant information and will be updated regularly while Covid-19 remains a threat to health. Also, see their practical resources page.
  • The Princes Trust have pulled together some of the most useful advice, guidance and resources so 11-30 year olds can continue to upskill by developing their confidence and abilities during this challenging time, as well as find the answers to questions on work and self-employment. They also have a live chat for advice and guidance. https://www.princes-trust.org.uk/about-the-trust/coronavirus-response/resource-centre
  • Food can affect your mood! There is a link between what we eat and how we feel so it’s important to have a healthy, balanced diet for both your body and mind. Eating well doesn’t have to be expensive. Try these sites for brain food on a budget:
  • Coping as a keyworker – when you’re busy doing important work, it might not feel possible to take care of yourself. But even doing small things for yourself can make a big difference to your mental wellbeing, and there are lots of ideas you can try. National Mind now have a page dedicated to coping as a keyworker
  • Circle Integrated Care communication concerning running of services during the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Carers in Bedfordshire are still here for carers. They are still also accepting new referrals. Please call their telephone support service on 0300 111 1919 between 9.30am and 4.30pm, or visit their website.
  • Independent Age local volunteers stepping up to support their older neighbours across the UK.
  • Carers UK has produced recommendations for carers.
  • The Financial Conduct Authority has released information for consumers on personal loans, credit cards and overdrafts: https://www.fca.org.uk/consumers/coronavirus-information-personal-loans-credit-cards-overdrafts?
  • Housing Justice has issued specialised advice to homeless shelters. Glass Door is emphasising the importance of handwashing and has boosted their stock of hand gels kept in their vans that move between shelters. Pathway and Crisis have called on the government for guidance on how best to protect homeless people against coronavirus.
  • The British Red Cross can help support people find missing family during Covid. Read more here
  • Full Fact has generated a fact check page on covid-19 to help dispel any false information.

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Are you a Volunteer and worried or anxious, or want to offload a bit?

  • Bedfordshire Local Emergency Volunteers (BLEVEC) has set up a peer support service for volunteers from voluntary sector organisations involved in the coronavirus emergency. BLEVEC volunteers have good listening skills and are able to provide emotional support.