Update on support for vulnerable residents
The Basingstoke and Deane Community Hub continued to operate across the Easter period and responded to requests from vulnerable residents during this time.
The community hub continues to be working well and is receiving triaged enquiries from Hampshire County Council.
If you are aware of vulnerable residents in your ward who need support, please ask them to contact the Coronavirus Hampshire Helpline on 0333 370 4000. The helpline is available seven days a week, from 9am to 5pm.
Following the award of £200,000 of emergency funding last Wednesday to BVA, community groups are being encouraged to submit applications for funding – see https://www.bvaction.org.uk/covid-19-emergency-response-community-grant/
A number of applications are currently being considered and funding will be issued as soon as possible to ensure groups can continue to provide support in their communities. Please help by sharing this with the groups operating in your area.
More information about the community groups providing support in your wards can also be found on the BVA website – www.bvaction.org.uk/basingstoke-deane-community-hubs/
In recognition of the wide range of support required by residents during this period, we have updated our website with details of charities providing support on issues such as mental health, domestic abuse and loneliness. If you are aware of any residents that require this support, please direct them to www.basingstoke.gov.uk/covid-19-community-hub for more information.
Residents support ‘stay at home’ restrictions during Easter
Despite the warm weather and the bank holiday, the vast majority of residents continued to follow the government’s social distancing measures over Easter.
The Community Safety Patrol Officer team was on patrol over the weekend and continued to support the police by educating residents and reinforcing the importance of staying home to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
In readiness for the weekend, the decision was taken on Thursday to close the car parks at a number of ‘destination parks’ across the borough, including Eastrop Park, Crabtree Plantation and Lime Pits, as people were continuing to travel from a distance to use these facilities.
Following reports of a number of cars parked at Black Dam Ponds too, the decision was taken to close this car park on Saturday as well.
Residents are still able to enjoy a daily walk or run to get essential exercise in the borough’s parks which remain open but should keep a two-metre safe distance.
Play parks and outside gyms have already been closed in line with government guidance to stop them spreading coronavirus through people using the equipment without washing their hands. But the council is having to inspect the play parks and put up more signage after incidents of people removing ‘closed’ signs and even cutting padlocks to get in and use them.
There are also reports that people are continuing to use the Down Grange running track, ignoring signs that has been closed to ensure people are observing social distancing when exercising.
People should be staying at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and should only be going out under government restrictions to exercise once a day, to travel to and from work where absolutely necessary, to shop for essential items and for any medical or care needs.
Advice for tenants in houses in multiple occupation
We have contacted landlords of houses in multiple occupation (HMO) to offer information and advice to help keep their tenants safe and reduce the spread of COVID-19. Tenants in HMOs share facilities and live in close proximity to others.
Landlords are advised to:
· reinforce the importance of good personal hygiene with their tenants including frequent hand washing, especially after they have been using communal areas
· request tenants clean all communal areas regularly including door handles, bannisters, kitchens and bathrooms.
Visit www.basingstoke.gov.uk/houses-in-multiple-occupancy for more information.
St Andrew’s Centre Covid-19 patient assessment centre
The local NHS has sent us details to share with you about a new service set up at St Andrew’s Centre in response to the COVID outbreak – a COVID Assessment Centre:
This is where the NHS can see patients with severe Covid-19 symptoms and carry out assessments to see if they need to be referred to hospital, or can continue to manage at home. This service is for referrals only – please note it is NOT a drop-in service – staffed by GP practices in and around Basingstoke.
The service is NOT a ‘Covid testing’ centre – there is no national community testing at this time.
Patients will be seen both in the St Andrews Centre, and also in their vehicles, using tents in the car park. For both car and clinic appointments our staff will be wearing protective clothing.
The assessment is likely to include checking a temperature with a thermometer and measuring the amount of oxygen in the patient’s blood using a fingertip monitor, as well as checking the pulse and breathing rate.
Clearly this is not normal practice but is intended to reduce social contact, and so limit the spread of the virus, keeping patients and staff safe at a challenging time.