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Social Care and Health.

On this page:

GENERAL INFORMATION AND ADVICE.

How to book a test if you have symptoms.

Anyone experiencing these coronavirus symptoms – a high temperature and continuous cough – is able to apply for a home testing kit using the new UK online portal. For further information and a link to the booking website visit: 

Alternatively, members of the public can apply for a home testing kit by phoning the free number 119. 

People with hearing or speech difficulties can call 18001 119.

What is contact tracing?

Welsh Government is attmpting to map the occurences of Coronavirus in Wales and needs your help if you've tested positive for the virus. To find out more about how this is happening, go to https://gov.wales/contact-tracing-your-questions

Shielding guidance in Wales.

https://gov.wales/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-people-defined-on-medical-grounds-as-extremely-vulnerable-from-coronavirus-covid-19-html

Local Health Board Covid-19 pages.

Welsh Government guidance for unpaid carers.

https://gov.wales/guidance-unpaid-carers-coronavirus-covid-19-html

Welsh Government links to help and information in Wales.

https://seneddresearch.blog/2020/03/17/coronavirus-constituency-support/

Optometry and ophlamology.

(See Eye Care Services below).

Sight Cymru's Bablin Molik talks to Rhagu Ram about the situation in Cardiff's Ophthalomology cinic in this Zoom video.

Health and behavioural advice.

For advice and updates about the Coronavirus, visit these official websites:

Information in other languages.

Covid 19 videos in a number of languages (for England primarily): http://hawaherts.co.uk/covid-19-advice-in-other-languages/

Also: http://www.doctorsoftheworld.org.uk/coronavirus-information/

Older People's Commissioner for Wales.

Older People's Commissioner for Wales coronavirus information hub.

CONTACTING SOCIAL SERVICES

If you have any questions about the support you receive from social care such as from your Rehabilitation Officer for Visually Impaired (ROVI) or would like information on such services as meals on wheels, contact your local authority directly:

ACCESSIBLE INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION.

This advice on communication needs has been compiled for health workers in Word and PDF. Additional material from Welsh organisations can be found in Word format at communications_needs_wales.docx

Accessible coronavirus advice.

There is signed information at signhealth.org.uk/coronavirus/

and NHS has the following:

Welsh Ambulance Service.

The following BSL and audio videos talk about Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), what it is and why you may see our staff wearing it:

The following explains the new Covid19 Symptom Tracker App and encourages all to download and report  their symptoms daily, even if that means reporting having no symptoms:

A wide range of information in Easy Read can also be accessed on the NHS Direct Wales website https://www.nhsdirect.wales.nhs.uk/easyreads/articlelist/Coronavirus (COVID19)

PHYSICAL, EMOTIONAL AND MENTAL WELLBEING

Top Five Accessible Mindfulness Apps.

The team at Vision Support has identified their top 5 mindfulness apps:

1) Headspace (seven day free trial, subscription) - Chances are that if you are at all interested in mindfulness apps, you will have heard of this one. Headspace is worth mentioning, however, because of its large variety of features and its colourful, user-friendly design.

2) Moodfit (Free) - This great app allows you to track moods, set goals and complete tasks to help your physical and emotional wellbeing. It encourages a proactive approach while still focusing on self-compassion. It also features a bold, simple design.

3) The Mindfulness App (Free with in-app purchases) - A good alternative to Headspace, the Mindfulness App can be synched with Apple Health for a more integrated way of keeping on top of your wellbeing.

4) Ten Percent Happier (Free with in-app purchases) - Designed ‘for the sceptics’, this is a self-help app that focuses on small steps toward emotional wellbeing. It features a minimalistic interface and is easy to set up.

5) Breethe (Free with in-app purchases) - Now with features designed to help you during lockdown, this app allows you to tailor your wellbeing goals with a variety of relaxing ambient sounds and guided meditations.

OTHER USEFUL ORGANISATIONS.

Age Cymru Friend in Need service.

http://www.ageuk.org.uk/cymru/get-involved/friend-in-need/

Care and Repair "Keeping in Touch" Telephone Support Service.

In response to the Coronavirus outbreak Care and Repair in Bridgend are offering a telephone befriending and advice service to older people who are self-isolating.

They want to help as many older people to get the help and support they need during this difficult time by "keeping in touch" and offering advice over the telephone to help you keep well, feel less isolated and more connected to your community.

If you don't have any family or neighbourhood support or know another older person who could benefit from a "keeping in touch" telephone call, contact Bridgend County Care and Repair on Tel: 01656 646755.

Address: Avon Court, Cowbridge Road, Bridgend CF31 3SR
Email: enquiries@bridgendcareandrepair.co.uk
Web: www.careandrepair.org.uk

Diabetes UK.

Information for people with diabetes, including the impact of Covid-19: www.diabetes.org.uk/

EYE CARE SERVICES.

Welsh Government has issued the following advice to eye care professionals:

Low Vision Service Wales.

Update August 2020.

Welsh Government have issued further guidance to help optometry progress through the Amber phase of the COVID 19 response.  As a result Low Vision Service Wales (LVSW) Practitioners  are once again able to see low vision patients (both existing and new)  in opticians practices on the high street and within their own homes, where it is safe to do so from the 17th August.   All our LVSW practitioners have appropriate social distancing and infection control processes in place to ensure that the safety of all is the top priority.

Some things however are a little different than pre pandemic times.   Going forward remote consultations, (perhaps over the phone) may now form part of the LVSW assessment.  Our aim as a service is to try and keep  physical face to face consultation time to a minimum in order to  keep people as safe as possible.  Patients will also  have the option to consent have any prescribed Low Vision Aids  sent directly to their home rather than have to collect them from the opticians practice.

The situation with COVID 19 and the WG response continues to evolve and the LVSW continue to work very hard to safely maintain the quality of service and support for our patients that we have always provided in the past.  .

Should you have any problems or wish to discuss any of the above further please contact 

Donna.martin@wales.nhs.uk

Optometric practices.

All 354 opticians across Wales should now be seeing patients. Some will be operating a ‘locked door’ and ‘by appointment’ policy and will be undertaking where possible ‘remote’ consultations to avoid the need for a patient to have to make unnecessary trips.  PPE has been provided to all practices and the highest standards of infection control are in place. Routine Recall of patients started in August to allow practices the opportunity to recall routine (non urgent) patients for their due sight test; however, the prioritisation and scheduling of appointments will continue with domiciliary and low vision services suspended and delivered via individual arrangements within each health board on a case by case basis. 

The list of optometry practices can be found here: http://www.eyecare.wales.nhs.uk/home/

If you have any queries, contact Sali Davis, CEO, Optometry Wales on 01443 400796 or email Salidavis@optometrywales.com

Tips on maintaining eye health while Coronavirus measures are in place.

This is a UK perspective, so be mindful that certain advice may require modification in Wales: http://www.visionmatters.org.uk/news/news

BENEFITS

Disability benefits have been affected due to the coronavirus outbreak. The following information has been announced by the Department for Work and Pensions:

All face-to-face assessments for all sickness and disability benefits have been suspended for at least three months, effective from 17th March 2020. This will affect new claims for, and existing claimants of, Personal Independence Payment (PIP), those on Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), some on Universal Credit, and people who receive Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit. If you have a face-to-face assessment appointment scheduled from 17th March onwards, you do not need to attend and you will be contacted to discuss the next steps and alternative arrangements. Further updates will be available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/face-to-face-health-assessments-for-benefits-suspended-amid-coronavirus-outbreak

The DWP is continuing to accept new claims for all benefits. Anyone already receiving PIP, ESA, Universal Credit or Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit, will continue to receive their current payments as normal while alternative arrangements are put in place to review or reassess their claim. You now have more time to complete and return your form. 

Personal Independent Payments

Website: https://www.gov.uk/pip/how-to-claim

Personal Independent Payments Enquiry Line: 0800 121 4433

Some information here: Temorary Changes to PIP

Attendance Allowance

Website: https://www.gov.uk/attendance-allowance

Attendance Allowance Enquiry Line: 0800 731 0122

Disability Living Allowance (if you are under 16)

https://www.gov.uk/disability-living-allowance-children

Disability Living Allowance Enquiry Line: 0800 121 4600

OTHER RESOURCES

Direct Payments.

If you are worried about how Covid-19 affects your Direct Payments, check the following links:

English: https://socialcare.wales/service-improvement/flexible-use-of-direct-payments-during-the-pandemic

Cymraeg: https://gofalcymdeithasol.cymru/gwella-gwasanaethau/defnyddio-taliadau-uniongyrchol-mewn-ffordd-hyblyg-yn-ystod-y-pandemig

For information, here are the generic direct payments web pages:

English: https://socialcare.wales/service-improvement/direct-payments-a-guide

Cymraeg: https://gofalcymdeithasol.cymru/gwella-gwasanaethau/taliadau-uniongyrchol-canllaw

Sight Advice information

https://www.sightadvicefaq.org.uk/independent-living/Covid-19/

CRIME, DOMESTIC ABUSE AND FRAUD.

Live Fear Free.

The Live Fear Free Helpline offers support to victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence. Welsh Women's Aid offers a National Helpline for Wales and supports women, men and children. They are acutely aware that the period of social isolation when victim and perpetrator are possibly in the same property 24/7 is exacerbating what may already be a volatile situation. The service is bilingual and they can also offer the services of Language Line if required:

Llinell Gymorth Byw Heb Ofn / Live Fear Free Helpline 0808 80 10 800

Di-dâl. Ar agor 24 awr / Freephone. Open 24 hours.

Hate crime.

If you are a victim of a hate crime, or witness one, contact:

Phone: 0300 3031 982
e-mail: Hate.CrimeWales@victimsupport.org.uk
Web: https://www.reporthate.victimsupport.org.uk/

 

Contact:

This page is being maintained by Richard Bowers: richard@wcb-ccd.org.uk. Please send updates and corrections to him.