A Message from our CEO

 

In light of the ongoing Covid-19 Virus Pandemic, the Burnham Health Promotion Trust has put a hold on all current Health Promotion initiatives and is working collaboratively with the Parish Council and other agencies to provide help and support to the community at this difficult time.

In line with Government guidelines, the BHPT staff are currently working remotely from home.  If you require assistance, especially with Foodbank or Foodshare vouchers, and you need to speak to us please ring our hotline number on 07483 326525 which will be manned during office hours or email us on gemma@bhpt.org.uk

 

We are continually working on our website to provide you with access to advice, assistance and support. If there is anything you feel ought to be included or you wish to tell us something, please email gemma@bhpt.org.uk or ring our hotline number above.

Stay safe and look after each other.

Dawn Harries Chief Executive Officer and The Trustees of Burnham Health Promotion Trust

As soon as we have an update on re-opening, we will post an announcement here and also on our Facebook page.

For now our groups/groups supported by us, are currently closed. This includes:

  • Men's Sheds
  • Carers Support Group
  • Chair Based Exercise
  • Intergenerational Project
  • Tea Dance
  • Singing for the Memory
  • Simply Walk

Foodbank and Foodshare vouchers

BHPT are able to continue issuing Foodbank and Foodshare vouchers whilst working from home. If you require assistance please do call us on our hotline 07483 326525. There are systems in place where no contact is needed.

Our Community room services have also been affected by the surgery closures and of course the stay-at-home guidance.

We do recognise that now more than ever there will be a need to contact some important services whilst you are in isolation at home, so below are the contact details if you need to get hold of any of them:

  • DASH Domestic Abuse Charity - The Dash Charity frontline workers are supporting their clients remotely.  Their helpline remains open from 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday on 01753 549 865.  You can also contact them using the online form on their website here. If you or anyone you know is in immediate danger please call the police using 999. There is also a 24 hour National Domestic Abuse helpline 0808 2000 247.
  • P3 Housing Support - To contact P3 with housing related issues please visit their website here, or call their freephone number on 0808 164 1810
  • Citizens Advice - Our advisor is still offering telephone appointments each Wednesday. If you wish to make an appointment, please telephone 01494 791391 or you can visit their website here for more information.
  • One Recovery Bucks - One Recovery offer support and guidance relating to drug and alcohol issues and support to families.  They have online resources and referrals available. Please do look at their website here and if you would like to, give them a call on 0300 772 9672
  • Carers Bucks - Carers Bucks are working from home so can continue to deliver information, advice and guidance services via the telephone. They will be continuing to take calls during our normal working hours, Monday to Thursday 9am - 5pm and Friday 9am - 4.30pm. You can reach them on 0300 777 2722 or visit their website here.
  • Slough Carers Support - The One Slough Community Response is using skills from across all sectors to meet the needs of Slough residents. If you or somebody you know is in need, encourage them to call 01753 944198. Alternatively, register here to offer help or request support.
  • The Samaritans - An agency we don't personally work with, but who offer an invaluable service. Someone to talk to night or day on their freephone number 116 123. there are also other ways to speak to someone, have a look around their website here.
  • And lastly, Burnham Health Centre - the contact number is 01628 666326. The Health Centre are operating a telephone triage system for all patients, to ensure everyone is kept safe.  Here is a note from Dr Jamil, one of the senior Partners at the surgery, with an update:

Hello Everyone, I just wanted to say a few words on behalf of Burnham Health Centre.

Recent government research from laboratory antibody blood tests seem to indicate that almost 5.6 million people in the UK may have already had the coronavirus (CV). There are some significant variations with London the highest at  15.6 % already affected and the South West where only 2.6 % of the population have had the virus.  The differences are not surprising as there are so many more people living closely together in large cities such as London.  Even if these people are immune to CV – and we are still not sure how long this immunity lasts – there is still 90% of the population that is susceptible. 

To get a shrinking pandemic we need the R value – the number of people that an infected person passes the virus onto -  to stay as far below 1 as possible.  Unfortunately it is nudging above 1 again in certain parts of the UK – especially the North West. The R number has a 2-3 week lag so with more easing of lockdown restrictions coming up we may get a second wave soon. Then we will be moving into September which is the time of year when respiratory viruses tend to transmit slightly easier. That’s when we might hit a third peak.

Many of us are getting tired of lockdown and being unable to see or hug the ones we love. However, as much as possible, we all need to continue to maintain social distancing,  hand hygiene and the wearing of face masks or face coverings.

Ideally you should aim to see no more than 6 people as more than that can make it difficult to keep 2 metres apart. See your friends and family in the garden or a park as  this will greatly reduce your chances of infection. If you are a vulnerable patient or have been shielding – you can go out for short walk but be sure to maintain that 2m distance and wear a mask. Some studies show that masks can reduce infection rates by up to 40%.  Don’t forget to wash them daily. 

There’s a lot of pressure on the government to reduce the social distancing rule from 2 metres  to 1 metre as this will help pubs, restaurants and public transport.
Most doctors & scientists don’t agree with reducing the social distance. Why? the coronavirus is spread mainly through large droplets when people cough or sneeze. These fall to the ground relatively quickly after leaving the body. Research indicates that the risk of infection when people stand more than 1 metre away was 3%. However it was 13% if they stood within 1 metre.  The infection gets in through your mouth, nose and eyes. In fact wearing eye protection (face shields/googles/glasses) can reduce the risk of infection.

So physical distancing matters and will reduce your chance of infection. Do wear masks or face coverings when going into a shop or using public transport. At the Burnham Health Center we are asking all patients to wear masks when seeing a doctor or nurseThis will protect you and the staff.

The ‘Test, Track and Isolate’ government scheme has been a little slow so far but once fully operational should give us more specific data about where we might be getting more infections – this will allow local lockdowns to be targeted to those specific areas.

Globally over 7 million people have been infected with 400,000 recorded deaths. In the UK we are still getting more than 8000 cases per week with well over 100 deaths per day (we had 77 yesterday but that is an underestimate due to the weekend). Most of us who get CV will have mild symptoms but who is most vulnerable? Anyone over 60 has a greater risk of having complications; Men more than women; pregnancy;  people with other significant illness such a poorly controlled asthma, COPD diabetes and heart disease; people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds (BAME); being significantly overweight is also a risk factor. A recent study seems to indicate that bald men may also be more prone. Apparently higher levels of testosterone help the virus to attack cells.  Children under 12 months may also be prone to complications but this is very rare.  Anyone who has symptoms that seem more than a simple cold or cough should call 111 or the health centre for advice. We can do telephone and video calls or even see you for a CPC – car park consultation.

As I have said before an effective vaccine and some accurate home testing are the ways through this pandemic.  If they turn out to be accurate, the 10 minute home tests will be available in the summer. The vaccine – if we find one -  may be sometime away – probably 2021 at least. AstraZeneca, the drug company working with the team in Oxford on the vaccine seem hopeful. Their CEO appeared on radio a few days ago and they have a vaccine undergoing trials. They have already set in place factories in the UK and India to manufacture billions of doses so that IF the vaccine gets approval they are ready to move. That is a big IF and a large number of things need to happen before we get an effective and, just as important, safe vaccine.

Lastly a few words on Vit D – I mentioned it last week and a number of people had queries. Vit D certainly seems to have a role in many of the body’s processes – something that we did not appreciate previously.
So how much should you take? Most of your Vit D should come from the sun – it’s manufactured in your skin by the action of the sunlight. So go for a daily walk, spend time in the garden or outside getting plenty of sun – preferably with sleeves rolled up and shorts. Obviously if it’s a hot sunny day then wear sun protection especially around the face and neck and wear a hat. A good vit D diet is ideal (eg. salmon, tuna, egg yolk, dairy products). Supplements -  do not take more than 10,000 per week. You can take this once weekly or divide it up daily so about 800-1000 units per day. In summer you can halve the dose down to 5000 units per week and increase back up again in winter.
Stay safe everyone. Coming out of this Covid era will be a long and slow process  but we will get there. We can all do our bit to minimise risk of infection to ourselves and others until we find ways of detecting it and treating it effectively.   
Bye for now.

Dr M Tanvir Jamil
Senior Partner
Burnham Health Centre