Issue 41 - 20 April 2022

Health and care news from across north east London

Welcome to our public bulletin keeping local people informed about health and care services; and how you can stay well and keep safe.

For daily updates, follow us on Twitter at @NELHCP.

Get urgent care faster

Hospital A&Es and ambulance services are extremely busy at the moment. Many people can be treated safely and comfortably elsewhere, meaning those who need to be seen urgently for life-saving treatment can be seen faster.

If you are feeling unwell and need urgent care there are a number of options for you to consider. It is important that you visit the right service for your needs.

If you feel unwell or have a minor injury, your local pharmacy can offer advice and some medicines. This can help you treat your condition yourself at home. Pharmacists can also help you see the right person, if you need to see someone else.

If you have a more serious illness, you should visit your GP practice website or NHS 111 online for advice. If you cannot access the internet, call 111 or your GP practice directly. GP appointments are available on evenings, weekends and bank holidays.

A 999 call should only be used for life-threatening emergencies or serious injuries.


Get urgent help with your mental health

If you need urgent help because you are worried that you might harm yourself or someone else, you can call your local mental health crisis line for immediate support, based on the area that you live in. All numbers are available 24/7 for adults, children and young people.

If you want to discuss your mental health concerns you can always speak to your GP, who can provide you with advice and direct you to the best support for you.

Alternatively, if you are stressed, worried, or feeling down, you can access our local adult mental health services, called ‘Talking Therapies’ (Talk Changes in Hackney and the City of London), without having to contact your doctor.


What to do if you're eligible for new Covid-19 treatments

The NHS is offering antibody and antiviral treatments to people with Covid-19 who are at highest risk of becoming seriously ill. If you have a health condition which means you're eligible for these new Covid-19 treatments, you should be sent a Covid-19 test to use if you develop symptoms. You can also order free NHS tests yourself, if you have not received any tests yet or have used the tests you've been sent. 

If you have any symptoms of Covid-19, you should take a rapid lateral flow test as soon as possible, even if your symptoms are mild. Do not use a test you have bought, such as a test from a supermarket or pharmacy. You need to report your test result so the NHS can contact you about treatment if your result is positive. If you cannot report your test result online, you can call 119 free of charge.


OCEAN Service

New OCEAN service to support maternal mental health

The OCEAN service – offering compassionate and emotional support for those living through birth trauma and loss – is a new maternal mental health service run by East London NHS Foundation Trust, and available for people living in Hackney, City of London, Newham and Tower Hamlets.

You can read more about what the service offers, details of the therapeutic programme, how people can be referred, and contact details here. The OCEAN team will be hosting an introduction webinar from 12-1pm on 5 May, during Maternal Mental Health Week, so you can find out more about the service and join the Q&A. You can register here.



Do you want to help improve Homerton services? We are looking for patients and service users to become Patient Partners at Homerton

Become a Patient Partner at Homerton

Homerton Hospital is looking for Patient Partners. Patient Partners are volunteers who spend time with patients on wards and further represent the patient voice at safety and experience meetings.

You can apply here by 21 April. If you have questions, contact the Patient Experience team at or 020 8510 7084.



Queen opens critical care unit

The Queen officially opens The Royal London Hospital critical care unit

The Queen marked the official opening of the Queen Elizabeth Unit at The Royal London Hospital last week, speaking via video link from Windsor Castle.

Built in 2021, in a record five weeks, to accommodate a rising number of Covid patients, it is one of the biggest critical care units in the country. The Queen spoke to staff at the unit and a former Covid patient.



Lift someone out of loneliness

Explore the impact of loneliness for Mental Health Awareness Week

The theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week (which runs from 9-15 May) is loneliness and how we can tackle it.

Recent research by the Mental Health Foundation showed many people have increasingly been suffering from feelings of isolation and loneliness which has led to harmful consequences.

For advice on ways to help yourself or others who may be feeling lonely, visit Every Mind Matters on Loneliness.



Closer collaboration helps reduce backlog

Joint working between north east London hospital trusts: Barts Health and Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT), is helping cut waiting lists.

The Trusts’ collaboration has seen more than 2,000 people waiting for ultrasound scans at Barts referred to BHRUT and 900 Barts endoscopy patients undergoing procedures at King George Hospital and Queen’s hospitals.

BHRUT has benefited from extra temporary staff and scanners at Barking Community Hospital and the trusts are now focusing on waiting times for gastroenterology and ENT procedures. To read more about the story, see here.


Join Havering Mind’s parent support group

Havering Mind have agreed some new dates for their Parent Support Group 6-week programme. It is designed for parents and carers who are struggling to support their young person (aged 11-25 years) with their mental health (diagnosed or undiagnosed) and wellbeing.

The 6-week programme commences 6pm-8pm, 18 May to 29 June 2022 via zoom and will provide advice, reassurance, tips/techniques on topics such as communication, self-care, increased resilience and coping mechanisms. To secure a space, email or call the team on 01708 457040.

Updated: 20/04/2022