Information from the NHS in Derby and Derbyshire

General updates from NHS organisations, GP practices and pharmacists in the city and county.

Hospitals

Hospitals information

The safety and wellbeing of patients and staff is the most important priority for Derbyshire’s hospitals. Below you will find useful links to services that have changed due to the outbreak of Covid-19. Please make sure that you do not enter hospital buildings if you are experiencing the symptoms of Covid-19.

University Hospitals of Derby and Burton 

  • Information about changes to services, visiting times and what you need to do if you require urgent and emergency treatment can be found here
  • Changes to the emergency department at Royal Derby Hospital can be found here
  • Changes to the emergency department at Queen’s Hospital, Burton, can be found here
  • Changes to children’s services at Queen’s Hospital, Burton, can be found here
  • Changes to phlebotomy clinics here.

Chesterfield Royal Hospital 

  • A summary of updates from Chesterfield Royal Hospital with regards to the Covid-19 pandemic can be found here
  • Information about changes to services as and when they happen will be provided here
  • Information about visiting restrictions can be found here
  • Changes to maternity visiting and birthing partners can be found here
  • Information to help support you with your health and wellbeing needs can be found here
  • Accessible information, including easy read, British Sign Language translations, and different languages, can be found here.

Outside of Derby and Derbyshire

See the following websites for information and changes to services regarding hospitals outside of Derbyshire:

Macclesfield District Hospital

Nottingham University Hospitals

Sheffield Teaching Hospital

Sherwood Forest Hospitals

Stepping Hill Hospital

Tameside Hospital

Mental health services

Mental health services information 

Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (DHFT)

Derbyshire Healthcare provides health services to children and families, people with learning disabilities, people experiencing mental health problems and people with substance misuse needs. To find out more about the services they provide, support available and also about the changes they may need to make to services during the Coronavirus pandemic please visit their website:

Derbyshire Healthcare information for patients

Derbyshire Healthcare advice for inpatients

Derbyshire Healthcare information for carers

Derbyshire Healthcare self-help guidance during the pandemic

For confidential advice, support and information on health-related matters you can also call 01332 623751, freephone 0800 027 2128 or email dhcft.patientexperience@nhs.net

In additional to these Derbyshire Healthcare weblinks, you can also find useful support and advice if you are feeling anxious, worried or overwhelmed on the Derbyshire County Council website, including trusted and checked sources of mental health support.

Mental health support line

Mental health support is now available to Derbyshire residents of all ages through a new mental health support line. Call 0300 790 0596 between the hours of 9am and midnight, seven days a week.

Services for children and young people

In addition to accessing the Derbyshire Healthcare Mental Health Support Line, Children and Young People, and their families can also find a whole host of information to support their mental health and wellbeing from the NHS Derby and Derbyshire emotional health and wellbeing tooklit.

Support and advice for parents – this website features a section on ‘mental health support’ for children and ‘how to talk to your child about coronavirus’ with links to trusted and checked sources of mental health support.

Online mental health support for children and young people

We know that the closure of schools due to the Covid-19 pandemic has the potential to be an anxious and uncertain time for children and young people, parents and carers.

Free online counselling to support mental health and wellbeing, without the need for a referral, is available in Derby and Derbyshire via the Kooth and Qwell services.

  • Kooth is for children and young people aged 11 to 18 years, and up to 25 years for children in care
  • Qwell service is for parents and carers whose children are under 18 years.

The services provide access to text-based counselling support from 12 noon until 10pm on weekdays and 6pm until 10pm on weekends, and 24/7 access to online forums where concerns and relevant articles can be shared and discussed.

Autism support - Derbyshire

Autism Information and Advice for Derbyshire is a new service for people in the county aged over 16. The service has a YouTube channel to support those with an autism spectrum condition throughout the period when we all have to stay at home. There will be lots of ideas to help maintain physical and mental wellbeing including ideas to help the whole family. There is also a dedicated website. 

Dementia support – Derbyshire

Local Alzheimer’s Society teams continue to provide information, support and guidance to those who need it. All face-to-face and home visits have currently been suspended. They will increase the number of phone calls with service users to help support their wellbeing and guard against isolation. They have extended the national Dementia Connect Support Line operating hours. Trained advisors can be contacted via 0333 150 3456 for advice and guidance. 

Dementia support – Derby

Making Space are working closely with community services and other local providers to continue providing support in the community wherever possible, following the latest guidance from Public Health England. Although they have had to scale back on face-to-face support, support is being offered via welfare telephone calls/checks, emotional support over the phone, support with errands, and help co-ordinating medical support.

Dementia support - online

Specialist older people’s mental health day services have had to suspend their group programme due to Covid-19. To compensate for this, an online version of the Living Well with Dementia Programme has been developed. It cannot offer a supportive face-to-face environment but does offer information and signposting during the current crisis. The programme is suitable for people with mild dementia, carers and family.

Supporting people with dementia in your community

If you are volunteering in your local Coronavirus response, whether for the NHS, a community group or by supporting a neighbour or friend, you may be helping somebody living with dementia. See this Alzheimer’s Society guide.  

We are living in unprecedented times, with everyone having to adapt quickly to an uncertain and stressful change in their lives. Coping with caring for a person with dementia in this situation may well bring extra challenges and pressure. This resource pack is full of useful support and advice.

Eating disorders

First Steps ED are now fully using their private and secure Video Clinic service to deliver support to any EDISS service user from universities and colleges. Click here to make a referral.

Head High - Derby

Following the suspension of the Head High out-of-hours mental health Night Bus service due to Coronavirus, the team has launched the Virtual Night Bus on Friday and Saturday nights, 7pm-8pm until further notice. Use the Night Bus link on the Zoom system. The service is specifically aimed to support anyone feeling low or alone during this time.

Peer support and recovery services

Derbyshire recovery and peer support service update:

Rethink mental illness – emotional support helpline if you need some support, a listening ear or you just want a chat, call 01773 734989, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Groups are operating on Facebook or via video links. You can find out more about their range of services on the Rethink website.

Derby City Life Links:

If you need someone to talk to or would like to refer yourself for telephone and/or webchat support, call 0800 0322202. There is a lot more information on the website.

Service user and carer engagement

Mental Health Together engagement service

Most of our project work is on hold during this pandemic but we are still happy to hear from people about their experiences of mental health support at this time. Your feedback enables us to help services provide the best service they can. The email address is enquiries@mentalhealthtogether.org.uk

Talking Therapies (IAPT)

Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group fund a range of talking therapy services across the city and county. These are often referred to as IAPT services (Improving Access to Psychological Therapy). The majority of services remain open to access by direct referral.

Trent PTS is still taking online referrals. Anyone aged 16 years and over and registered with a Derbyshire GP can make a self-referral via the website.

Community health services

Community services information 

In Derbyshire there are two NHS organisations that provide community services – Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust (DCHS) and Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (DHFT). These organisations provide different types of services to our communities across Derbyshire. 

The following information will direct you to the latest updates on any changes to services during the Coronavirus pandemic. These changes will help limit the spread of the disease and protect our patients and our NHS staff.

DCHS care for patients across a wide range of services and are increasingly delivering care in patients’ own homes and community locations as well as 11 community hospitals and more than 30 health centres across Derbyshire. To find out more about the services they provide and possible changes to these services during the Coronavirus pandemic please visit their website:

DCHS home

DCHS Covid-19 response

DCHS news

DCHS ward visiting announcement

DCHS outpatient appointment information

DCHS contact

Call: 01629 812525 or 01773 525119

Email: DCHSTpatientexperienceteam@nhs.net

Wheelchair services

AJM Healthcare is the wheelchair service provider for residents currently registered with a GP in the NHS Derby and Derbyshire CCG area. They provide manual and power wheelchairs for those who meet the NHS eligibility criteria for the provision of wheelchairs. Referral is by a GP or healthcare professional. Services include clinical assessments, specialist seating provision, delivery of the chair to the home or school, repairs and maintenance, and collection when the wheelchair is no longer required. AJM Healthcare can also provide information about the personal wheelchair budget scheme.

Primary care (incl GP practices & pharmacists)

Changes to the way GP surgeries/practices operate

Your local GP surgery/practice has changed the way in which it is delivering care to patients due to the Coronavirus pandemic. These important measures have been put in place to limit the spread of the disease and to protect patients and staff.

Practices are working together to deliver care to patients while managing high rates of staff absence due to self-isolation and staff with medical problems being unable to work in the normal way.

If you need to get in touch with your local GP practice, we advise you to visit their practice website in the first instance to understand how best to contact them and understand how they are operating at this time.

In general:

  • Visiting: it is vital you do not visit the practice in person unless you are asked to following discussion with a clinician
  • Making an appointment: if you think you need an appointment please contact your surgery. Practices have moved to a total triage system. Patients requesting an appointment will be booked a telephone or video appointment - most medical issues will be able to be dealt with via telephone or video consultation. However, if the clinician feels it is appropriate for you to be seen, they will offer you a face-to-face appointment. You will be given specific instructions on what to do on arrival at the surgery - please also note this may not be at your usual GP practice
  • Consultations: instead of face-to-face consultations, nearly all consultations will now be carried out by telephone or video-call, with only a small percentage of patients being asked to visit a surgery to see a clinician at a specified time
  • Routine annual reviews: clinics for conditions such as diabetes and asthma will be carried out by telephone as much as possible. If your condition requires a face-to-face consultation your clinician will see you by prior arrangement following a telephone call to check your general health status
  • Referrals: because of the huge impact of Coronavirus on hospital services, GPs are very limited on what routine problems they can refer to hospitals; including outpatient appointments, x-rays and scans. However, they are still able to address and refer on urgent problems and to cancer services. If you have an urgent problem and you need to speak to a GP please do
  • Prescriptions: will be sent to a nominated pharmacy (no collections from surgery). If you have not nominated a pharmacy please telephone your GP surgery or your pharmacy to set this up
  • Repeat medications: Patients can access and order their repeat prescriptions across Derbyshire via:
  1. Online from GP Practices – patients can check out their practice’s website for details of how to register - How to order repeat prescriptions online
  2. Using the free NHS App on a smartphone. Download the app here
  3. Via the Medicines Order Line. More information is available here.
  4. Patients may also be suitable for electronic repeat dispensing (eRD).
  • Test results: can be viewed online through the NHS App, or you can telephone your practice reception in the usual way.

Find your nearest NHS Service

If you want to find your GP practice, or nearest NHS service, use this search facility.

Extremely vulnerable patients

If you are an extremely vulnerable patient and have received a letter from the NHS, you need to follow the ‘shielding’ advice as you are at a higher risk during the pandemic and are advised not to go out at this time. If you need to see a GP they will determine the most appropriate place to assess/perform any required procedures. This may mean attending the surgery at a specified time. You can find answers to frequently asked questions here.

Help us to help you

It is important you work with us to protect the NHS, not just for unwell patients with Covid-19 but all other urgent conditions such as heart attacks, cancer care or car accidents. Staff in general practice are working hard to continue to provide services to those in need, please help them prioritise serious cases by not getting in touch about minor illnesses. Instead you can seek advice about minor illnesses by looking at the NHS website or app, and/or speaking to your local pharmacist. 

Information about ordering your medication 

In these uncertain times it is understandable that people might get anxious about the supply of their medications and start to stockpile repeat prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines. 

Currently there is no concern with medicine supplies, but there is a concern that this might become an issue if people stockpile medication. To prevent this from happening please: 

  • Only order the medicines you need when you need them
  • Do not order medicines you have not required in the last three-to-six months for ‘just in case’.

Specific medication advice

Inhalers 

It is important you take your regular inhaled medications correctly, as prescribed. There is some evidence that the better your lung condition is controlled, the less likely you are to get complications from viral infections. Check your inhaler technique to ensure you are making every puff count – have a look at inhaler technique videos.

Requests are increasing for inhalers from patients who have not had them for a significant period of time. Please only order your inhaler as you normally would and where you have a clinical need. There is a risk to general supply of inhalers for those who do need them if we significantly increase prescribing inhalers on a ‘just in case’ basis.

The Medicines Order Line will only be allowing patients to order one of each inhaler at any one time to ensure all patients have access to the medicines they need. 

Rescue packs 

We have been made aware of some inaccurate information circulating (especially on social media) regarding special ‘rescue packs’ of antibiotics and oral steroids for patients with pre-existing respiratory conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or even for those who do not have these conditions.

COPD patients

Advice from the British Lung Foundation and the British Thoracic Society is that patients with COPD who have exacerbations and normally have a rescue pack as part of their personalised action plan should continue to use these as recommended. There is no evidence to use or not use inhaled corticosteroids outside usual guidelines in COPD patients with COVID-19.

Asthma patients

Advice from the British Lung Foundation and Asthma UK for patients with asthma is that rescue packs are not recommended for people with asthma as standard. If someone’s asthma is bad enough to consider rescue steroids then it is essential that they are assessed by a healthcare professional.

Please do not contact your GP practice for a rescue pack unless this is something that has been previously agreed and prescribed by your medical team. You should continue to manage your condition in the usual way and if you feel you have symptoms of Covid-19, go to NHS 111 online or call 111 (online services should be used first if possible) before doing anything else.

Paracetamol 

There has been an increase in requests for Paracetamol on prescription. This is causing additional pressures for GPs at this intensely busy time. Please do not ring the GP for Paracetamol unless it is absolutely necessary. GP practices will only prescribe Paracetamol for long-term medical conditions on repeat prescription. If you need short-term pain relief, have a fever or viral infection please visit your local pharmacy or retail outlet to buy Paracetamol.   

Top tips for obtaining over-the-counter medicines during Covid-19 pandemic:

  • Order from an online pharmacy or shop
  • Try to buy your over-the-counter medicines when you are completing your essential shop 
  • Ask family/friends to see if they have any spare stock of the over-the-counter item you require, check it is in date and ask to use this 
  • If you do have to go out specifically for over-the-counter medicines, ring to check the store has what you require in the first instance, to ensure you do not have a wasted journey.

Medication Order Line / repeat prescription ordering 

Please order repeat medication via the dedicated phone line for your area. Like all NHS services at the moment the medicines order line is experiencing huge demand. It may mean that a call handler has to take the number you are calling from and call you back within 24 hours to process your order. 

If your GP practice is not part of the medicines order line then:

  • Please follow their specific instructions on how to order your usual medicines
  • Do not physically go to the practice to request medications unless you have been asked to attend the practice by a member of their team
  • You can request that prescriptions be sent electronically to your local community pharmacy for collection, so you do not need to visit the practice once the prescription is ordered
  • There is no need to stockpile medication during the coronavirus pandemic but please be sensible and ensure you order one to two weeks before you run out of your medication to give the GP practice time to process the prescription and the pharmacy time to dispense it. This usually takes three-to-five days but at the moment may take slightly longer 
  • For quicker and easier ordering of repeat medicines register with your GP practice for electronic repeat prescriptions. More information can be found at online services.

If you are self-isolating

Community hubs have been set up in Derbyshire to support self-isolating patients who have no family member who could collect medication or food for them. To access this service use the following contact details:

Pharmacy opening times

At present, pharmacies are allowed to reduce their opening times for patients to a minimum of 10am-12noon and 2pm-4pm (until 6pm for some pharmacies) to allow them time to catch up with dispensing, therefore its recommended that patients ring their local pharmacy first to check opening times, or visit during these times to ensure they can collect their medication.

The Government is helping pharmacies to deliver prescriptions. If you do not currently have your prescriptions collected or delivered, you can arrange this by:

  • Asking someone who can pick up your prescription from the local pharmacy 
  • Contacting your pharmacy to ask them to help you find a volunteer (who will have been ID checked) or deliver it to you.

How to keep safe when getting medicine or treatment online

Online healthcare services and apps can help people take more control of their health, by getting access to care easily and when it suits them. You need to make sure any medicine, treatment or health advice you get is safe and right for you. Click here (opens document) for six top tips that will help you keep safe.

Dentists

Accessing dental services in the East Midlands

In line with national guidance issued in response to the Covid-19 pandemic dental practices in the East Midlands are currently closed for routine “face to face” dental appointments.

People seeking help with dental problems should not visit their dental practice but instead phone their normal practice for information on alternative arrangements in place or contact NHS 111. Most practices are offering telephone or video-link consultations and can prescribe pain killers and antibiotics if needed. They can also advise on how people with urgent dental problems can access alternative services. People seeking help should not visit A&E departments or GP surgeries for dental care.

The NHS is setting up regional hubs to treat those patients who need to see a dentist urgently. For safety, some sites will be designated for patients with Covid-19 symptoms or those self-isolating because of their contacts and others for patients without symptoms. A small number of sites will treat only vulnerable or shielded patients. 

NHS England and Improvement is aware of the problems currently being experienced by those seeking urgent dental care across the East Midlands in advance of these arrangements being fully in place. We have been working on interim arrangements to ensure that patients can access care.

We will be advising all dentists in the region on where patients needing urgent treatment should be referred to. This will initially be at a smaller number of sites, with additional more local hubs being added as these become operational.

We will continue to provide further updates on these services.

For further information, see this poster on access to NHS dentistry.

Dental update – June 2020

Dental practices are beginning to re-open from 8 June 2020. 

The priority will be to ensure public and patient safety. Whilst we are observing social distancing, you should continue to telephone your practice, rather than attending in person without an appointment. Your practice will look different as it will be operating in a way that observes Covid-19 social distancing and hygiene rules, as part of measures taken to ensure your safety and that of the dental team.

The range of treatments you will be offered may be different to that you received before 25 March 2020 and may vary from practice to practice. This will depend on the staff and equipment available to the team at the time. The dental team may also be wearing different protective equipment to what you are used to seeing.

It will likely be some months before the services return to providing care in a similar manner to that which you previously experienced and will be dependent on the further easing of Covid-19 control measures.

Eye care and opticians

Anyone with a regular optician should as a first step call their practice/store. Please do not visit the practice/store.

The optometrist will assess your situation over the phone, give advice and, if needed, issue spectacles or contact lenses if these have been supplied before. These can be collected from or delivered by a local optician. 

If you require spectacles to function with essential tasks such as work or driving as a key worker and it is not possible to dispense spectacles based on a previous prescription, then the optometrist is able to arrange a face-to-face consultation at the practice. This is subject to the optometrist’s clinical view of:

  • Covid-19 risk for both patient and practice team
  • The patient’s essential need for spectacles and/or contact lenses
  • Anyone without a regular optician can find details of local practices via the NHS.

If the optometrist thinks that urgent or emergency eye care is needed, they will refer you into the local urgent or emergency eye care service so that any necessary treatment can be carried out. This may be carried out by the same optical practice or another local practice. 

For eye care problems, please contact your optician first. Please do not visit A&E, your GP practice or pharmacy. 

Managing your health at home

To maintain social distancing and prevent the spread of coronavirus, you are advised to stay at home as much as possible. While you are at home it's still easy to get NHS help and support using your smartphone, tablet or computer. 

The NHS Health at Home webpage has information on: 

  • Contacting your GP
  • Ordering repeat prescriptions
  • Managing long-term conditions
  • Maintaining your mental and physical wellbeing 

If you need an NHS service, try to do it online first. If you cannot get what you need this way try asking a friend or family member to help you, or speak to your GP surgery on the phone.


Twitter feeds

  • Public Health England @PHE_uk - 15 hours ago
    Be informed and stay safe, wherever you and your loved ones may be travelling to. Working with PHE, @NaTHNaC have published a range of general health advice listed by country. Find out more: travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries pic.twitter.com/YFVJfNTOWu
    @PHE_uk
  • Public Health England @PHE_uk - 21 hours ago
    Hand washing still plays a key role in protecting yourself and others from #coronavirus. ▪️ Wash your hands regularly ▪️ Use soap and water for 20 seconds ▪️ Or use hand sanitiser Make sure you store hand sanitiser safely out of reach of children. pic.twitter.com/dO1IHupWzf
    @PHE_uk