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Coronavirus: Wash hands, cover face, make space…. Find our Covid-19 information and updates here.

carers and confidentiality

Covid-19 (Coronavirus) - Keeping safe and well

COVID-19 is an illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called coronavirus. This page will be updated regularly with information and guidance for patients, carers, friends and family.

Our staff understand that these are worrying times and that you and your loved ones will have lots of concerns, particularly about your loved ones. We understand those concerns and are here to help you throughout it.

The latest information on symptoms of Coronavirus infection as well as advice on looking after yourself and what to do if you are a carer can be found on nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/.

As a Trust, our top priority remains the safety of our patients and staff and as the Covid-19 situation continues to evolve we are working with NHS England and our staff to ensure that we are working in line with Government guidance. This means that sometimes we may make changes to the way we deliver patient care. We will only do this to protect our patients and staff and to ensure the whole NHS system works together to protect those whose need is greatest.  

We are taking great precautions and changing ways of working across our services during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure the safety of all our staff and patients.

We are offering more virtual (online or telephone) appointments, to ensure that patients are only brought on-site where necessary, helping us to adhere to social distancing. Please refer to the information in your appointment letter to confirm how your appointment will take place. If you need any support using digital methods to access a virtual appointment, please call the number on your letter and we will help you get this.  If you wish to request a face-to-face appointment, please call us and we will try to accommodate this.

Face-to-face appointments: Please do not attend your appointment if you have COVID-19 symptoms (a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss of sense of taste / smell) or if you or your family are self-isolating.

When you visit our sites:

  • Wear a face covering. We will provide you with one if needed. Children under 12, and anyone with an exemption, will not need to wear a mask, in line with government guidelines.
  • To minimise the risk of infection, and to support social distancing, we need to limit the number of people on-site. So we ask you to attend your appointment alone, unless you have assistance or communication needs.
  • Only one parent or carer can attend with each child. We are able to make exceptions if a second carer is needed to support the child because of their additional needs. We will do our best to accommodate in these circumstances, but please call us in advance so we can discuss and make arrangements.
  • Please arrive no more than 10 minutes early for your appointment, ensure you sanitise your hands upon arrival and respect social distancing guidance during your visit, including while with your clinician.

A number of voluntary groups across South West London are offering their help to those who are unable to leave their homes during this difficult time. We have compiled a list of voluntary groups across Wandsworth, Merton, Richmond, Sutton and Kingston and have also included contact details for those services if you need them. You can find a full list of volunteer services here.

You can find lots of helpful information and guidance:

Find out about:

The symptoms and how to get a test for Coronavirus here

Staying at home and self isolating here

Social distancing and changes to everyday life here

Support in a crisis

If you are already a patient at our Trust, between the hours of 9am-5pm Monday to Friday we encourage you to call the mental health team that looks after you. You can find their contact details here. Otherwise, please contact the 24/7 Mental Health Support Line on 0800 028 8000. The Mental Health Support Line offers emotional support and advice to people who are affected by urgent mental health issues, at any time of the day or night. It is open to adults of all ages, and to people who haven’t previously accessed mental health services.

Please only attend A and E if you have an emergency with your physical health. The Mental Health Support Line can help and direct you to the right service for your mental health.

If you are already a patient at our Trust, between the hours of 9am-5pm Monday to Friday we encourage you to call the mental health team that looks after you. You can find their contact details here. Otherwise, please contact the 24/7 Mental Health Support Line.

If you are calling urgently from a partner agency and require support and direction, you are encouraged to also contact the 24/7 Mental Health Support Line.

If you are Deaf, you can call our Mental Health Support Line using Sign Live Video Relay Service (VRS):

  • On a computer, go to https://signlive.co.uk/login/ and register using Facebook, Google or email
  • On phone, iPad or tablet download SignLive’s app for free and register

You will then be able to call the Trust for free.

Guidance on children and young people under the age of 18 in mental health crisis

For A&E staff

If a young person presents to A&E, follow the normal process and make a referral to the CAMHS Emergency Care Service (CECS) by completing the referral form and telephoning our duty number: 0203 513 6239 or 07870 917 114. Referrals will be screened for appropriateness, and a telephone or video assessment will be offered in the first instance. Face-to-face assessments in A&E will occur when clinically indicated.

For professionals including GPs, social workers and education on SWSLTG Crisis Service for Young People and Families.

We understand that Covid-19 has impacted young people/families in lots of different ways. CAMHS is still here to provide support; at times we will continue to do this by phone or video.

If a young person is currently a CAMHS service user, please call the appropriate CAMHS team to speak with the duty worker Mondays to Friday between 9am -5pm:

  • Sutton: 020 3513 3800
  • Merton: 0208 254 8061
  • Wandsworth: 0203 513 4644
  • Kingston: 0203 513 5183/5321
  • Richmond: 0203 513 3238

At weekends and Bank Holidays and between 5pm-9am, please call the Mental Health Support Line (MHSL) on 0800 028 8000

If a young person is not currently a CAMHS service user, professionals can call the local Single Point of Access team (9am-5pm) for advice. However, if an emergency response is needed, please telephone the 24/7 the Mental Health Support Line on 0800 028 8000.

Other helpful numbers

  • Childline 0800 1111 – calls are free and confidential
  • HOPE line UK 0800 068 4141
  • Samaritans 116 123
  • Young Minds Crisis Messenger - provides free, 24/7 crisis support across the UK mental health crisis - if you need urgent help text YM to 85258
  • If you need medical attention for a life threatening emergency call 999 or attend your local A&E

Visiting relatives

Visitors are asked to follow social distancing guidance and provide a contact number in case they need to be contacted in the event of follow up. All visitors must ensure they wash their hands thoroughly before entering the unit and must wear a mask at all times which they are required to wear throughout their time on the ward/department.

All visitors must ensure they wash their hands thoroughly before entering the unit must wear a mask at all times which they are required to wear throughout their stay on the ward/department.

Family and Friends are asked to not visit even in the above circumstances if they:
  • Should be self-isolating
  • Are unwell or have any of the symptoms of coronavirus – a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
  • Are vulnerable or aged 70+
  • Are aged less than 12 (except with the ward manager’s permission)

Information for patients on Clozapine

If you are on clozapine it is important to continue to take your medication. There is no evidence to suggest that being on clozapine would make you more at risk from Coronavirus.

If you are not well, please let your clozapine clinic know before you attend the clinic for your blood test. They will talk through with you if you need to come in or if we can send you a small additional supply of your medicine until you are feeling better.

In some circumstances we may be able to visit you at home to carry out your blood test.

Leisure and keeping occupied

Over the coming weeks we will be spending more time that we generally do at home. Having so much unstructured time can be hard to fill, particularly at a time of worry. Right now it is really important that we look after our mental welling as best we can and find some respite and diversion from the news and media coverage.

With this in mind, we have assembled some uplifting and hopefully enjoyable resources for you explore.

We hope you find something that suits you!

Managing a routine and daily living at home

Having a basic routine of looking after ourselves and our home environment is something a lot of people say really helps with keeping their mental health on an even keel. Having some structure and daily routine at home can be difficult at the best of times, particularly if we are feeling low in mood, preoccupied with worries, or tired. But right now, with the added restrictions on going out and not being able to do our usual activities it is a particularly challenging.

With this in mind, we have brought together some resources that you might find helpful over the coming weeks.

Hopefully it will not be for too long, keep safe and keep connected to others if you possibly can, that will help!

Useful resources

Information and ideas for children and families

Coping with social distancing and isolation can be extra challenging for families with children and young people. Children and young people may struggle with understanding why their lives and routines are changing and why they can’t see their friends and extended family. Keeping a routine and structure for them may be especially important to help them feel safe and secure. This section will provide some information and ideas for children and families about the corona virus and ideas for coping at home whilst in lockdown.

Useful resources

Information and resources for carers

Information and resources for older people

With the coronavirus spread, older people are one of main vulnerable groups so it is particularly important to heed the guidance.

The various restrictions that have been put in place, ranging from the closure of important services such as day care, to the prohibition of visits to care homes affects older people more than most, particularly those with dementia and their carers.

As such we hope that you find the guidance and resources below helpful.

General Guidance and information: Sources of emotional and practical support: In addition to contacting your allocated healthcare staff in the trust

Guidance for family carers
    The guidance on social distancing provides a very real dilemma for concerned family carers who would normally provide regular face to face support to their vulnerable elderly relative. Clearly this is a ‘best interest’ judgment call which will involve weighing up the risk of exposing the elderly person to the virus versus the risk of neglect or harm as a result of their care needs not being met.

    In the latter case, if the person’s care needs are such that any remote support will not be sufficient, the family carers should adhere to the social distancing guidelines ie washing hands immediately on arrival, no physical contact, keeping a distance of 2m wherever possible and keeping visits as short as possible.

    Information and advice or people with learning difficulties

    People with learning disabilities may require information in an easy read format to help them understand the current and frightening situation surrounding COVID-19 and being in ‘lockdown’.

    The following information supports the learning disability population understand the information in a format that uses pictures and easy to read language. Other useful resources

    Safeguarding and Covid-19: Keeping everyone safe

    COVID-19 is an extremely challenging situation for everyone.

    Families are under increased amounts of stress due to financial pressures, household isolation, school closures and lack of normal outlets for stress and frustrations.

    Adults are at increased risk of financial exploitation by some pretending to help under the guise of ‘COVID kindness’.

    Children, young people and adults who are already at risk of abuse or neglect may be more at risk as the normal support mechanisms for them are not in place. Many children and adults may be struggling without the regular contact and support they get from friends, workmates or school.

    Self or household isolation could mean some people are trapped in their homes with abusers and isolated from people who can help them.

    Here are some useful contacts and websites you may find helpful at this time.

    Are you experiencing domestic abuse? You are not alone. If you’re worried about a child, even if you’re unsure, contact the NSPCC’s professional counselors for help, advice and support. For free, confidential advice and support for any child or young person under 18 years, whatever the worry. MIND: Mental health support with specific advice on ‘Coronavirus and your wellbeing’ YoungMinds: Supporting children and young people and their parents/carers with their mental health and wellbeing.
    • Specific advice on managing self-isolation and anxiety about coronavirus here.

    ICON: Babies cry: You can cope

    Other useful websites and resources