Coronavirus Doncaster: Update
Hi, my name is Dr Rupert Suckling and I am the Director of Public Health in Doncaster.
Last weekend saw a major milestone for Doncaster as many of our restaurants, bars and pubs were able to safely reopen and welcome you back after many weeks of lockdown.
These small steps back to normality are welcome for many of us, whether it is being able to enjoy a meal with a friend or get that long awaited haircut. We must, however, remain vigilant when out and about and remember to maintain a safe physical distance, wash our hands and plan ahead for when leaving home.
You'll find a reminder below about some of the things to bear in mind - let's do it for Doncaster!
Certain areas of our parks and open spaces have also now reopened. This will bring enjoyment to many adults and children and an opportunity for more exercise and fresh air. Please use these areas responsibly and remember the points outlined in the article below.
You may have seen that earlier this week Mayor Ros Jones provided a snapshot of her plan to help the borough bounce back from the unprecedented effects of the last few months. Whilst we remain responsive to the ongoing pandemic we must now continue to plan for the future and look beyond the immediate difficult times. You can read more about this on the council website.
Finally, as next week marks the last week of the school year, and what an unprecedented year it has been, many children across our borough have been given transition workbooks as they prepare for a new school year in September. More details about this can be found further down in this week's update.
Dr Rupert Suckling
Director of Public Health
Areas of parks/open spaces reopen on a restricted basis
Following the latest government guidance on the easing of restrictions, certain areas of our many parks and open spaces which we had previously closed are now open.
We have installed signs and made checks to ensure play and gym equipment, multi-use games areas and skate parks can be used on a restricted basis.
If you are visiting, there are a few things to remember:
- Adhere to physical distancing guidance at all times
- Take hand sanitiser and use it regularly
- DON’T visit if you have any coronavirus symptoms
- Respect the park. Take your litter home or use the bins provided
- If you’re with your dog, pick up any dog mess
Plans for the weekend?
It's almost a week since some of our pubs and restaurants reopened their doors.
This weekend might be the first time you've been out for a meal or drink in months, but it’s still really important we follow guidance to keep yourself and everyone else safe!
Here are some things to bear in mind going into the weekend:
- Reserve your place: Many restaurants and pubs are working on a pre-booking only basis, so make sure you book your place! (Not every pub or restaurant is open yet either, so it's worth checking before you set off anywhere).
- Plan your journey: Think about how you're getting there and back; especially if you plan on having a drink. Book your taxis beforehand or see if someone can give you a lift.
- Stick to small groups and maintain physical distancing: 2m is still the safest distance, so try and keep to that as much as possible.
- Face covering/hand sanitiser: Make sure you've got both of these; many taxis will ask you to wear a face covering and the hand sanitiser is always handy these days!
Transitioning to new school years
Is your child moving up to secondary school in September?
Due to the pandemic, things are a little different than usual this year, so we've created a virtual transition offer for all children moving from Year 6 to Year 7.
Every child going to a mainstream secondary school will receive a transition workbook in the post with information on how they can access their allocated secondary school Google classroom for a virtual transition.
If they're back in school, their teacher will be able to support them to complete the booklet and access their Google classroom.
For specific information about your child’s current school or the school they'll be attending in September, information can be found on each school’s website.
Other transitions such as nursery to reception and year 2 to year 3 are also covered on the web page.
New survey launched to hear people’s views on GP and nurse care during the Coronavirus pandemic
Patients in Doncaster who have accessed healthcare support from their local practice during the Coronavirus pandemic are being encouraged to have their say in a new survey by Healthwatch Doncaster.
Andrew Goodall, Healthwatch Doncaster Chief Operating Officer, said: “We want to hear about your experiences of accessing a GP or Nurse appointment on the phone or through a video call during the Coronavirus pandemic. We want to share your voices and stories with staff who work in local practices so that you can help shape the future of how services will be delivered.”
Dr David Crichton, local GP & Clinical Chair, NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Coronavirus has brought about a lot of changes for the NHS.
“The introduction of video and online consultations is just one of the ways the NHS has responded to the Coronavirus pandemic, ensuring that NHS services remain open and available to people when they need them.
“Whilst online and video consultations are welcomed by many of our patients, we acknowledge some patients will find it more difficult. Coronavirus is expected to be with us for some time to come so access to local NHS services will need to continue using digital tools. It’s important we seek the views from all patients across Doncaster, we especially need to hear from those who would find it more challenging to use digital tools to access local services, our aim is to make things better and improve people’s experience of accessing medical services."
Green bin collections
We have collected nearly 2000 tonnes of waste from green bins since we resumed our rounds!
Thank you to our bin crews for dealing with plenty of heavy bins during some of the hottest – and wettest - days in the last month.
Collections continue – if you are still waiting for your first green bin collection and don’t know when it will take place, then you can find all the information you need here: Bins, recycling and waste
Answering the call for nursing
The dedication and commitment of our fantastic key workers has shone through during the current pandemic. Here is a heartwarming story about the achievements of Dellroy Blake who has pursued a completely new career at the age of 57.
A former planner and designer in a kitchen and bathroom showroom has answered his calling and taken up a new career in nursing at the tender age of 57.
Dellroy Blake, pictured, has started his first Bank Nursing Assistant role with Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH).
Dellroy, who is in the final year of a four year Open University BSc (Honours) Mental Health Nursing Degree, has been working with the team over at Tickhill Road in Doncaster.
He said: "Throughout my working life, various people have told me that I should go into nursing because of my caring nature and people skills.
"Age is just a number and it shouldn't put you off changing careers. I am now doing a role which I am very passionate about. I can see the positive difference it makes to people's lives. It's fulfilling and enjoyable and I would recommend nursing to anyone."
Read more at Answering the call for nursing
Update on visiting arrangements at hospitals
Visiting restrictions at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH) have been updated and eased in certain services following a review by health professionals at the Trust.
Please visit Updated Visiting Restrictions to find out more.
Current visiting arrangements for inpatient services at Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH) including Tickhill Road Hospital and St John's Hospice can be found on the RDaSh website.
NHS Test and Trace service
The NHS Test and Trace service ensures that anyone who develops symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19) can quickly be tested to find out if they have the virus and helps trace recent close contacts of anyone who has tested positive.
Save the NHS Test and Trace number in your phone, and answer if they call you. The number is 0300 0135000.
Be aware of scams – the test and trace team will NEVER ask you for bank details, request payments or tell you to set up a PIN or password.
Sharing is caring
Don’t forget to share the messages in this newsletter with people who may not be online, whilst following government guidance on physical distancing.
Council services update
HMP Hatfield residents run 345km to raise £1,000 for hospital Rainbow Gardens
Jason Marsh from the PE department at HMP Hatfield
Fifty one residents and staff took part in the sponsored run covering 345 kilometres, or 690 laps around the sports field, with at least one person running at all times from 8am to 8pm. The event raised a massive £1000 which will go towards the memorial ‘Rainbow Gardens’ at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospital sites.
The inspiration for the event came from one of the residents who approached Jason Marsh from the PE Department to say he wanted to do something to support the local NHS for all they are doing in the current challenging times. Jason suggested a sponsored run and was thrilled when so many residents wanted to get involved.
Emma Shaheen, Fundraising Lead at the Trust, said: “I would like to say thank you from everybody at DBTH to everyone at HMP Hatfield. They have raised a fantastic amount of money, all of which will go towards developing two Rainbow Gardens at the Trust which will be places for our colleagues and local communities to go to remember loved ones we have lost during this pandemic, including our much missed colleagues Dr Medhat Atalla and Kevin Smith.”
If you’d like to get involved in the appeal go to: https://www.dbth.nhs.uk/charity/rainbow-gardens/