On this page you will find information on the latest situation, and links to further advice and information that Healthwatch has produced. You can access specific information about symptoms and self-isolating, and extra precautions for those who are considered to be the most vulnerable (referred to as "shielding"). Additional links are also provided to useful resources, including information which is available in other formats such as sign language and Easyread.
Information issued by Brighton & Hove Council
On 4th January the UK government announced that there will be a new nationwide lockdown in England. Find out what this means here.
Detailed information about the COVID-19 vaccination is available on a separate webpage that you can access by clicking here.
Symptoms of coronavirus
Stay at home if you have:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- loss of smell or taste
- if you have symptoms of coronavirus, you'll need to stay at home
- Read the advice about staying at home.
This will help to protect others in your community while you are infectious.
Testing for coronavirus
Advice from Brighton and Hove Council is available here. A test for suspected COVID-19 is free and NHS treatment for COVID-19 is free for all, including overseas visitors who are not usually entitled to free treatment from the NHS
To help ensure the people that really need to get a test can please:
- Only request a test if you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been advised to have a test
- Keep trying to book through the NHS website or by calling 119
- Self -isolate immediately for 10 days if you have symptoms and all household members also need to stay at home.
Walk- in coronavirus test centres are available but must be pre-booked
Click here to get a coronavirus test.
If you don’t have access to the internet, you can call 119 to book or order a test.
In the event that people with symptoms are unable to obtain a local test, it is not recommended that they travel long distances. Government advice is to try booking again in a few hours. A good time to try is 8.30pm when new slots are made available.
Test and Trace mobile phone app
The app provides advice and outlines actions you need to take around self-isolating or getting a test. It also informs users if the local area becomes high risk. All leisure, hospitality, sports and faith venues that the public visit will need to display their own QR code poster so customers can check in quickly and easily.
Download now from:
Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details...
Apple App Store: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/id1520427663
Find out more: https://covid19.nhs.uk
A video with BSL sign language which explains the app is available here
Healthwatch England has produced guidance for patients which you can access here
Brighton and Hove City Council
Updated information is being issued by Brighton & Hove Council. Information is available in British Sign Language.
Vulnerable people can get additional COVID-19 related support including emergency food bank referrals, shopping and medicine collection from the community advice and support hub.
- If you, or someone you know needs support to get essential supplies like food or medication and you don't have family, friends or a support/care worker to help you, go to: new.brighton-hove.gov.uk/coronavirushel
- If you have no way of getting online and no one to help you, call 01273 293117, and press option 2 (Monday to
Friday, 10am to 4.30pm)
- It is now possible for people refer themselves for help from an NHS volunteer. This website will provide you with further information if you are self-isolating and are in need of support.
Areas covered include schools, food poverty, services for homeless people and those who are rough sleeping, Council Tax help, support for business, support for vulnerable adults and much more
COVID-19: letter to clinically extremely vulnerable people which is also available in different languages, British Sign Language and audio format.
Data on COVID cases and deaths
Daily updates on the number of cases are published by the government and available here
Numbers of cases in Brighton can be accessed here.
Our local hospitals
For up to date information on our local hospitals and Trusts please click the links below. Please note visitor restrictions are now in operation across all hospital sites.
Royal Sussex County Hospital - click here. A number of appointments are now being conducted online or over the phone, whilst others are being postponed.
Advice for the most vulnerable
The government has issued advice for those who are considered to be at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) because of an underlying health condition.
Information in accessible formats
Keeping Busy – during lockdown
- Mencap have lots of new creative ideas and resources on their website. Plus Easy read information on COVID-19
- Beyond Words is providing free picture stories and illustrated guides to support people with learning disabilities and autism through the coronavirus pandemic
- Resources from Learning Disability England
- Public Health England stay at home guidance, translated and in easy read
- NHS guidelines translated into up to 50 languages by Doctors of the World and find video advice here
- The NHS have also created easy read posters like this so people know when and how to get a test for coronavirus.
- The handwashing rap, produced to help people who have a learning disability
- Going for a virus test
- YouTube – having a swab test, wearing a face mask, how the shops are different and explaining the new normal from SABNHS Trust
- Government information on being discharged from hospital
- Brighton and Hove Specialist Community Disability Service has compiled information on shopping and wellbeing for people with learning disabilities
- Photosymbols - Easy read Coronavirus posters
- Learning Disability England - host A Coronavirus hub
- Opening Doors – wellbeing plans
- Easy Health - easy read leaflets in one place
- Down’s Syndrome Association - Support and information for individuals and families: Click here to visit our coronavirus hub
- Signhealth has made their InterpreterNow remote BSL interpretation service available for free across all healthcare services
- Signhealth is providing a video of summaries of key coronavirus guidance in BSL
- Signhealth advice for testing
- Information has produced by Sussex Interpreting Services
- To access the NHS 111 BSL online services click here
For people with aphasia
- Information produced by Speakeasy is available here
Healthwatch Brighton and Hove updates, advice and information
You can access the following Healthwatch information:
- Our regular bulletins providing updates on COVID, and health and social care services are posted in the news section of on our website
- An essential update on changes to local health and social care services during the COVID-19 outbreak. Please click here.
- How to request help for a vulnerable people (for yourself or someone else). Please click here
- Advice about seeing a dentist.
- Advice about seeing a GP.
- And how to arrange the collection of prescriptions.
- Advice about avoiding scams, and how to report these.
- We have also produced a list of commonly asked questions.
- Tips and advice about keeping active indoors and looking after your mental health.
- Maternity and pregnancy
Healthwatch England has produced information for you and your loved ones discuss your preferences for end of life care. This is especially important if you have been identified as high risk of severe illness if you catch Covid-19.
If you have any additional questions do please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01273 234040
- Community and charity advice and information produced by Community Works
- Ageing Well services- including a directory specifically with supermarket opening times and dedicated shopping times for older people, carers, vulnerable people and NHS workers http://ageingwellbh.org/
- Support for people experiencing homelessness (Groundswell)
- Guidance for carers (Carers UK)
- Supporting yourself and your team's wellbeing (Mind)
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) and HIV
- Story book to help explain Covid-19 to children and young people
- The World Health Organisation has produced a Myth Busting guide about the virus which you can read here.