Cllr Veronica Jones: Northumberland is doing all it can for residents during the ongoing covid-19 outbreak

Northumberland County Council is reassuring residents they will be fully supported during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

It is a rapidly evolving situation and the council has put in place detailed plans to ensure continuity of council services - with key services prioritised and running as usual wherever possible.

Maintaining the safety of all our residents remains our top priority, and we continue to work with our partners to closely monitor developments to provide services to those who use and need our services particularly our most vulnerable residents.

At present all information available continues to suggest Northumberland is faring better than other parts of the country, with only 6 confirmed cases at the time of writing, compared with 3269 across the UK.

The situation is, however, evolving, and the Council will continue to follow guidance from the Government and Public Health England. The government and its agencies are now seeking to delay the spread of the virus so that its peak moves forward, away from the winter months and the pressures on the NHS caused by seasonal flu and other winter illnesses. Everyone has a part to play by following public health guidelines on self-isolation and maintaining good hand hygiene.

The council’s Adult Services have been working with both residential homes and the home care providers to prepare how continuous support can be provided as the situation progresses. For those who need care at home, plans are being made to provide their care. This may be family, friends or neighbours, or other in the community if they should become ill.
Most residential homes have now closed to visitors to protect their vulnerable residents.

In addition, there are many voluntary organisations and faith groups who are able to help when people are either self isolating or unable to get out. The Council’s Ageing Well network includes over 100 organisations which provide services for older people who will also be able to provide support.

Please check up on neighbours and family members to make sure they have everything they need. If you are worried about any vulnerable residents in your area, Northumberland Council’s ‘One Call’ care helpline is available 24 hours a day and this number is there if you have concerns about any older people:
One Call-01670 536400

Though this situation changes by the hour the best way we can protect our older residents is to continue to follow the government’s advice to prevent the spread of the virus.