On this page:
- Help and support available
- Advice on staying at home
- Guidance for health professionals
- Links to helpful information
- Media enquiries
Help and support available
NHS 111 has a specialist online Coronavirus help service. Use this service if:
- you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
- your condition gets worse
- your symptoms do not get better after 7 days
Please only call 111 if you cannot get help online.
Mental wellbeing and keeping safe during the coronavirus outbreak
New emergency support line for vulnerable people needing urgent help
Cumbria County Council and partners have launched a new emergency support service for people at high risk of becoming seriously ill, as a result of COVID-19, and who do not have support available from friends, family or neighbours.
The Emergency telephone support line is 0800 783 1966.
Or you can email your request for help to COVID19support@cumbria.gov.uk.
The telephone ‘call’ centre will operate Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5pm and 10am to 2pm at weekends. The service will also accepts referrals from members of the public who may be concerned about people in their community.
The helpline 0800 783 1966 is there to support those at ‘high risk’ and include people over 70 years old, pregnant women and those with underlying health conditions who should be protecting themselves by staying at home. The majority of these people will already be receiving support from family, friends or local voluntary groups with tasks like shopping or collection of medicines if they require it. But we know that a small number of people will not have this support. If they have no alternative, these people will now be able to call the Freephone number to request help with getting food, medicines, essential supplies and home deliveries.
Cumbria County Council has been working closely with District Councils, CVS, Cumbria Community Foundation, community and voluntary sector, private sector and military to establish these new arrangements. To support the new helpline every area is coordinating a supply of essential food, medicines and supplies which can only be accessed via the emergency helpline or email. The requests received asking for help will then be matched with local support and supplies being offered by community groups, volunteers, councils and businesses.
Cumbria is already seeing widespread community and voluntary sector support for the response to COVID-19 and informal support, including neighbourhood WhatsApp groups and community Facebook groups, alongside a commitment from existing community emergency planning groups, local churches and faith groups and formal voluntary sector organisations who are working with the county council and partners including District Councils and NHS.
How to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus
- wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
- always wash your hands when you get home or into work
- use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
- try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
- do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
Information on Red Hubs
During the current COVID-19 outbreak patients experiencing certain symptoms (breathing issues and / or fever), and have been telephone assessed by a GP to need a face-to-face examination, will be seen in separate dedicated ‘Red Hub' within their own practice or will be called to their local hub if they require additional medical help.
Advice on staying at home
Stay at home if you have either:
- a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
- a new, continuous cough – this means you've started coughing repeatedly
- Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home.
Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you're staying at home.
How long to stay at home:
- if you have symptoms, stay at home for 7 days
- if you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms
- If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days.
If you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible.
Guidance for health professionals
- The latest Coronavirus NHS guidelines translated into 26 languages
- COVID-19: Guidance for health professionals
- When to use a surgical face mask of FFP3 respirator (for healthcare staff)
- COVID-19: Advice for care homes, supported living and home care
Advice on the Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Care Workers, Social Workers and Occupational Therapists During the COVID-19 pandemic:
Links to helpful information
- COVID-19: guidance on social distancing and for vulnerable people
(including language translations)
- Cumbria County Council's Coronavirus (COVID-19) information
- MENCAP - Easy read information about COVID-19
If people have questions about care homes / domiciliary care they need to make contact via the following email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Easy Read Documents (select to view and download PDF versions)
Further Resources including information for Disabled Children
- National Autistic Society – guidance and helpline for parents’, young people and staff
- Mencap - Easy Read guide to Coronavirus
- Place2Be – Guide to helping parents answer questions from their children and to support family wellbeing
- Young Minds - Talking to your child about Coronavirus and 10 tips from their Parents Helpline to support family wellbeing
- Carers UK - Guidance for carers
- Covibook – an interactive resource designed to support and reassure children aged 7 and under, designed to help children explain and draw the emotions that they might be experiencing during the pandemic
- Amaze - information pack for parents
- "Keep calm and take sensible steps to protect yourself and others urges region’s NHS"
Regional Press Release from the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System (19 March 2020)
- North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Medical Director, Prof Chris Gray, speaking to ITV highlighting that the practice of social distancing is a 'life saving intervention' at this time.
We can get through this together:
Stay calm and support each other:
Using Services Wisely:
The Chief Medical Officer has stated, NHS services are likely to come under intense pressure as the coronavirus spreads, and we need to ensure that we have as many beds available as possible to care for patients with severe respiratory problems when the number of infections peaks.
Therefore, in line with well-established plans for situations like this, every hospital in England has now been asked to suspend all non-urgent elective operations from 15 April for at least three months, with some other procedures likely to be rescheduled before then so we can train our staff and adapt certain areas.
Urgent and emergency cases and cancer treatments will be carrying on as normal, but we know many people waiting for treatment will be disappointed or worried, and we will be contacting everyone affected as soon as possible.
COVID-19 information requests from journalists - Any information required about cases of Coronavirus will be confirmed by the Department of Health media team. Please contact them if you have any enquiries.