COVID-19 Support & Guidance Page
Healthwatch CWL is following the latest information from Public Health England. You can also read the government response and the NHS response to the outbreak, along with the latest developments from the World Health Organisation.
A nationwide lockdown is currently in place.
We can all play our part by:
- Following the Government's stay at home instructions
- Get tested and isolate if you have symptoms
- Remembering hands, face and space
Read this government guidance for what you can and cannot do during the national lockdown.
Click on this link for the full guidance on how to keep yourself and others around you safe. If you want information quickly and you can't find what you need then call our team on 020 8968 7049.
- For guidance and support specific to Kensington and Chelsea, click here
- For guidance and support specific to Westminster, click here
You can view and download our practical and specific contact list here
- Take our 'Coronavirus; Your Experiences Matter 2' survey
- If you wish to leave a comment on how you have been impacted by Coronavirus, please click here.
- Young Healthwatch Westminster wants to hear from young people about their mental wellbeing - talk to us
Can I access the key guidance in another language?
- BSLHealthAccess have produced this free, on demand video access to BSL intepreters for communication with deaf people in healthcare settings
- Doctors of the World have produced COVID-19 advice in 20 languages
- HEAR have published a British Sign Language (BSL) video explaining social distancing and self-isolation
- SignHealth has created BSL videos to help deaf BSL users either working in charities or receiving support.
- Here is an easy read support pack with infographics
- NW London Health & Care Partnership have released guidance on changes to the NHS in Polish, Urdu, French, Arabic, Gujurati, Punjabi and Somali
- BME Health Forum, Imperial College medical students and West London CCG have co-produced videos about using the NHS during the pandemic in Arabic, Farsi, Kurdish, Sylheti and Somali.
What should I do if I have an underlying health condition?
- Diabetes UK has provided an updated information page for people living with diabetes
- British Lung Foundation have published this support page for people living with a lung condition
- Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis have put together this page with guidance, resources and case studies for those living with the disease
- The British Heart Foundation has published their latest guidance if you have a heart or circulatory condition
- The National Eczema Society has offered advice on handwashing techniques for people with eczema and other skin conditions.
- Disability Rights UK has compiled an excellent guidance page with advice on everything from benefits assessments, housing, shopping, utilities and employment.
- Narcotics Anonymous have released information about online meetings during lockdown.
- Macmillan Cancer Support have released this support page for individuals living with cancer and The Eve Appeal have compiled this support page for those living with a gynae cancer.
- The Cystic Fibrosis Trust, Primary Immunodeficiency UK and the Mental Health Foundation have all issued advice and support.
- Mencap have produced this easy read support
- Click here for local support on the clinically extremely vulnerable
I have received a letter from the NHS or my GP telling me I am clinically extremely vulnerable. What should I do during the January 2021 national lockdown?
- The Government has published new guidance for people who have been told to shield.
- The Government are advising those who are clinically extremely vulnerable to not attend work, school, college, or university, and to limit the amount of time they spend outside.
Where can I find out more about the vaccine?
- This NHS webpage has a lot of information about the safety of the vaccine, who will get it and much more
Has hospital care been affected due to the pandemic?
Imperial College Healthcare Trust have released this video to explain what they are doing across their five hospitals to keep care at a high level
What is being done to address concerns within BAME communities around hospital care?
Watch the video below for the response from Imperial College Healthcare Trust to a number of concerns that have developed. The video was produced with BME Health Forum and will be translated into different languages in due course
I'm homeless (or am worried for someone who is) - what should I do?
- Housing Justice has issued specialised advice to homeless shelters.
- Glass Door do excellent work supporting London's homeless. Click here to see how you can help
- Pathway and Crisis have called on the government for guidance on how best to protect homeless people against coronavirus.
- Groundswell have produced a package of resources to support people experiencing homelessness, including guidance for people living in hostels or temporary accommodation (with translated advice).
- Streetlink exists to help rough sleepers in London get connected with local services that can help them
I have a mental health condition - what support can I get?
- Rethink Mental Health have issued this update on the mental health act, how to support yourself, support for carers and a general COVID-19 page
- OCD UK have released these survival tips to help you through the pandemic
- Visit Anxiety UK to get support now
- The NHS have a comprehensive list of mental health helplines
- If you feel your are in a crisis, you can contact the single point of access for assistance
- CNWL, who provide mental health services in London, have launched a new website for their Talking Therapies service. Here you can self-refer for free and confidential therapy for anxiety and depression, access a crisis line for urgent help and find useful FAQs and resources
I'm worried about someone over 70 - what advice and support is there?
- Age UK have this practical advice for helping older people. You can also find information on befriending services, a free advice line, local services, information on home care and day centres and more on this services webpage
- You can find assistance for the vulnerable person from an 'NHS Responder' on this website
- Please refer to the 'Local Authority' and 'Local Support' sections below for key support and information
I'm a carer and I really need help - what can I do?
- Carers UK has produced recommendations for carers.
- Age UK have this help page for carers looking after a loved one
- Carers Network are here to help with carer assessments, reviews, advice and information
- Rethink Mental Health have produced this guide for carers looking after someone with a severe mental illness
- Bi-borough Adult Social Care (Westminster & Kensington & Chelsea) has created a FAQ sheet to offer support you and the person people you care for, with advice on direct payments, personal protective equipment (PPE), minimising risk and various practicalities
I'm worried about a loved one in a care home - what help can you offer?
- Here is the action plan from the government for adult social care, published on 15th April.
- Healthwatch Central West London has produced this comprehensive support page that we hope can answer a lot of your questions
- Here is the most up-to-date government page on adult social care guidance (updated 11th September 2020)
I'm young and afraid - what support is there for me?
- Young Minds have produced this comprehensive guide on their blog and tips on looking after your mental health while self-isolating
- Young Healthwatch Westminster wants to know what's causing you stress and your experience of mental health support so we can do more to help - talk to us
- One of our Young Healthwatch Westminster volunteers has written this blog of his experience
- Try making a 'self-soothe' box
- Mental health charity, Mind, has compiled this support page
- Anna Freud Centre have produced some useful guidance and resources for parents and carers, and for young people, around supporting wellbeing
- Emerging Minds have published this support carried out by Oxford & Reading Universities for parents, carers and people who work with young people
- Kooth have a stellar package of support available with their discussion boards where you can discuss your concerns with the Kooth community and a chat service where you can talk 1:1 with a counsellor and much more. Kooth has no referrals or waiting lists
- CNWL have announced an additional CAMHS mental health emergency service at Northwick Park hospital which will divert young people from A&E in several boroughs including Westminster
- Drug and alcohol support service, Insight, is still talking with young people, providing support, help, advice and accepting referrals - contact them now
- Angelou Support Service can offer help and support if you are aged 13 or over and are worried about abuse at home
I'm a parent worried about my child - can you help?
- Here is some comprehensive guidance from NHS specialists
- Click here for resources to help parents during COVID-19, produced by Connecting Care for Children and Imperial College Healthcare Trust
Where can I go to volunteer?
- Volunteer Centre Kensington & Chelsea are looking for volunteers to support their work in the borough
- Westminster Connects has also been created to connect volunteers with those in need of help during the COVID-19 outbreak. Residents and organisations can also contact the Westminster Connects team by emailing westminsterconnects@
westminster.gov.uk or via their website, or call on 020 7641 1222, available from 8am to 10pm seven days a week
- You can register yourself as an NHS responder on this Royal Voluntary Service webpage
- Covid Mutual Aid UK is a group of volunteers supporting local community groups organising mutual aid throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. They focus on providing resources and connecting people to their nearest local groups, willing volunteers and those in need.
- The number of groups is growing everyday so to access a local group click on this link, enter your postcode (just above the map) and your local options will be generated
- You can sign up to volunteer with the NHS here
How can I volunteer safely?
- The government has put together this advice for how to help people in your community safely
I'm pregnant - what should I do?
- The Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists have released this useful Q&A page to address your concerns
Where is my local foodbank?
- Trussell Trust can help you find emergency food, donate money to a local service and donate food
- You will find more local information by accessing the council pages in the 'Local Authority' section of this page
- KCSC have released this helpful list of foodbanks that are still accepting donations in Kensington and Chelsea
- The National Domestic Abuse Helpline are here to help and have this 24 hour helpline: 0800 2000 247
- You can access Rape Crisis Services here
- Galop is the UK's only specialist LGBT+ anti-violence charity. They have national and London-based helplines.
- Women’s Aid have various support options, including live chat, email, the Survivors Forum and information on local services
- Men’s Advice Line is a confidential helpline. There is also email and a webchat service for male victims of domestic abuse
- Respect Phoneline is a confidential helpline, email and webchat service for domestic abuse perpetrators and those supporting them
- If you are worried about a child, there is help available. Westminster City Council have produced this guidance (with phone numbers)
What should I do if I feel scared and anxious?
- Healthwatch England have produced some guidance if the COVID-19 pandemic is having an adverse effect on your mental health
- Recovery College Online have produced an online course to equip you with the tools to cope during this pandemic.
- Good Thinking have published a set of tools to hep you if you're feeling anxious, sad, stressed or experiencing sleep deprivation
- Mental health charity, Mind, has compiled this support page
- West London Clinical Commissioning Group, Public Health England, Community Champions and Maternity Champions have created a series of three information sheets to signpost and support local residents who may be struggling with their mental health. They cover Urgent Support, NHS Services, Online Resources.
Can I go to my GP?
- Here is the NHS advice
- GP are still operating and looking after patients, but please ensure you call ahead instead of going directly to your practice.
- In this video, a GP explains how practices - and other primary care services - are working at the moment
Can I still go to the dentist?
- Discover the latest guidance on dental treatment from West London CCG.
- The Oral Health Foundation have created this detailed graphic to explain what dental teams are doing to assist patients before an appointment, during an appointment and afterwards to help to combat the spread of the virus
What are local healthcare providers saying?
- West London CCG have announced the temporary suspension of the St Charles Urgent Care Centre service from Tuesday 14th April - click here for full details. A 'hot clinic' has been set up in its place to help patients who have - or who are suspected to have - COVID-19 as well as additional health conditions that require medical treatment. Furthermore, Pembridge hospice will temporarily re-designate inpatient beds for those with COVID-19 - more details can be found here. If you have questions on these service changes, contact the CCG on email@example.com
- Imperial College Healthcare Trust – Here is the latest information on their website
*This includes Charing Cross Hospital, Hammersmith Hospital, St Mary’s Hospital, Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea Hospital and Western Eye Hospital
- Chelsea & Westminster Hospital Foundation Trust – Here is the latest information on their website
- West London Health Trust – For residents of Hammersmith & Fulham, Ealing and Hounslow the new (as of 3rd December 2020) 24/7 Mental Health Single Point of Access phone line is changing its number to 0800 328 4444.The change does not affect the Ealing Community Partners SPA (Ealing Community Referral Hub) which will remain 0300 1234 544.
- Central & North West London Foundation Trust (CNWL) - Here is the latest information on their website - Click here for their easy read guidance
- Royal Brompton & Harefield Foundation Trust – Here is the latest information on their website
- The Royal Marsden Foundation Trust – Here is the latest information on their website
- North West London Collaboration of CCGs (NWLCCGs) – Here is the latest advice on their website
- NWLCCGs have announced a single point of contact for ALL safeguarding issues. Call: 020 3350 4033 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Phonelines are open Monday - Sunday 8am-8pm.
- North West London Health & Care Partnership have released this information with guidance about changes for patients
What is happening with Grenfell?
- For information on the works that are taking place on the site, access to support and up-to-date contact details click here
- Grenfell Health and Wellbeing Service have some fantastic resources on how to cope during COVID-19 if you’ve experienced trauma, including videos on practicing mindfulness, as well as tips on looking after yourself to mark the 3rd anniversary of the disaster.
- A wellbeing support service (phone appointments) are available in Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster for BME residents - click here for more information
- The RBKC Covid-19 Hub offers dedicated and targeted support to vulnerable people in the borough - get in touch here or call 020 7361 4326
- Join Hammersmith and Fulham’s Community Aid Network which is coordinating volunteers in the borough
- You can contact Westminster council via their dedicated Coronavirus support webpage for information on how to help, who to contact if you are worried about someone who may be vulnerable and much more
- You can contact Kensington & Chelsea council and see their latest advice on their dedicated Coronavirus support webpage
- Here is the latest information from Hammersmith and Fulham Council
- Download the NHS COVID-19 app here
- Whatsapp an the World Health Organisation (WHO) have teamed up to to provide a reliable, free and prompt service to answer your COVID-19 questions - find out more here
- Full Fact has generated a fact check page on COVID-19 to help dispel any false information
- UK researchers have launched a symptom tracker app to help tack the spread and understand who is most at risk in an attempt to better understand the disease
- Echo service is the free online repeat delivery service for anyone who is reliant on regular prescription medication - register here
- Lockdown tips: Read the Guardian's survival guide for getting through lockdown
- Here is a video on how to wash your hands properly in 20 seconds
You can reach out to us in a range of ways:
Call us on 020 8968 7049 or email us on email@example.com
Our Local Healthwatch partners
There are several other Local Healthwatch organisations across Central and West London, so if you live in one of the areas below, we encourage you to reach out to your local Healthwatch: