Our latest infection rate is continuing to fall and was 262 cases per 100,000 people last week which was the second lowest in Greater Manchester. This is still high in terms of the overall pandemic but it looks like cases may be levelling again.
This month we have seen the return of our schools and it is wonderful to see children back in classrooms and a returning to a little bit of ‘normality’ with the majority of restrictions in schools lifted. Like all other areas we are now waiting to see what impact the return of children to schools will have and working together with Rochdale Borough Council and partners we will continue to monitor this.
September also sees autumn arrive which marks the start of the flu vaccine season. The flu vaccine is a safe and effective vaccine. It’s offered every year on the NHS to help protect people at risk of getting seriously ill from flu. Flu vaccination is important because, more people are likely to get flu this winter as fewer people will have built up natural immunity to it during the Covid-19 pandemic, if you get flu and Covid-19 at the same time, research shows you’re more likely to be seriously ill and getting vaccinated against flu and Covid-19 will provide protection for you and those around you for both these serious illnesses. If you’ve had Covid-19, it’s safe to have the flu vaccine. It will still be effective at helping to prevent flu. The flu vaccine is given free on the NHS to people who, are 50 and over (including those who’ll be 50 by 31 March 2022), have certain health conditions, are pregnant, are in long-stay residential care, receive a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person, live with someone who is more likely to get infections and frontline health or social care workers. If you are contacted to receive your flu vaccine, please don’t delay and book it in as soon as possible, the best time to have the flu vaccine is in the autumn or early winter before flu starts spreading.
Our Covid-19 vaccination programme continues and on Wednesday 1 September the Joint Committee on Vaccination Immunisation (JCVI) advised that people with severely weakened immune systems should have a third vaccine dose. People in our borough who fall into this category will be contacted directly by their GP surgeries.
Last week almost 3,000 doses were delivered in the borough, which means that since the vaccination programme began in December last year 272,088 doses have been administered. This is about 7,500 per week over the 36 weeks of the programme so far and testament to the incredible efforts that have been made by people working and volunteering across the different organisations involved.
Also this week the JCVI has advised that Winter 2021-22 will be the first in the UK when COVID-19 will circulate alongside other respiratory viruses, including the seasonal flu virus. Therefore, it is essential that everyone working in social care, and the people they care for who are most vulnerable, are protected against these diseases.
Regulations will come into force from 11 November requiring those deployed in care homes to be fully vaccinated unless medically exempt. This means that staff will need to have their first dose of the vaccine by 16 September, so they can receive their second dose ahead of 11 November. For more information on how to access the Covid-19 vaccine in the borough, please visit the website here: http://www.rochdale.gov.uk/covidvaccine
The details of how Covid-19 boosters will be delivered will depend on further advice from the JCVI, and we will soon be able to share more information with you when we know more on how and when the booster programme for Covid-19 will be rolled out.
Friday 10th September is World Suicide Day, an awareness day observed every year, in order to provide worldwide commitment and action to prevent suicides. This awareness day is followed by the Greater Manchester Month of Hope, which runs from World Suicide Prevention Day on the 10th September until World Mental Health Day on the 10th October. The month is about promoting and raising awareness of suicide and encouraging people to have open conversations about suicide whilst also sharing positive messages of hope. This year Shining a light on suicide have launched a campaign and are encouraging everyone to share what gives them hope, with friends, family, colleagues, or on social media using the hashtag #MonthofHope. You can find out more here: https://shiningalightonsuicide.org.uk/take-part-in-this-years-greater-manchester-month-of-hope/
Friday 17 September is World Patient Safety Day and we will be promoting this with a week long social media campaign on our Facebook and Twitter pages. The focus of this years day is newborn and maternal care and you can read more on our website here: https://www.hmr.nhs.uk/local-partners-join-forces-ahead-of-world-patient-safety-day-to-promote-safe-maternal-and-newborn-care/
The next CCG meeting in public is taking place on the 17th September sees our Governing Body meeting taking place at 9.30am which will be livestreamed again on our YouTube channel. Our Governing Body meeting will be followed by our Annual General Meeting (AGM), this will again be a virtual showcase of our achievements over the last year using Zoom. The meeting will start at 10.45am and everyone is welcome to join the zoom session. Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 12 noon on Thursday 16 September and we’ll send you an invite, or you can also watch it live on: https://www.youtube.com/NHSHMRCCG
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