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CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)


This webpage is frequently updated. Please check back regularly for the latest news.


HELP WITH THE FLU JAB

This Winter it is particularly important to look after your health. You are entitled to a free flu jab to protect you for this season. If your GP is unaware of your seropositive status, we have a letter you can give to them to ensure you can access your free jab, without your confidentiality being broken. We are making it possible for you to collect a letter from reception, upon request. It is also possible for the letter to be sent to your home address. We are unable to send it directly to your GP. 

 

More information about the flu vaccine from the NHS website can be seen here: 

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine/

 


CHRISTMAS OPENING TIMES

The Courtyard Clinic will be open over the Christmas period. Here the opening times:

 

DECEMBER 2020
Wednesday 23rd 9.00am Midday
Thursday 24th 9.00am 1.00pm
Friday 25th CLOSED
Monday 28th CLOSED
Tuesday 29th 9.00am 5.00pm
Wednesday 30th 9.00am Midday
Thursday 31st 9.00am 1.00pm
JANUARY 2021
Friday 1st CLOSED
Monday 4th Normal hours

 


GMHC

The Gay Men’s Health Collective (GMHC) is the umbrella for three beautifully proportioned independent volunteer-led projects for the health, sexual health, and well-being of gay and bisexual men. Click/tap on the logo.


TOGETHERALL - SUPPORTING MENTAL HEALTH

The mental health of most people has taken a hit at some point during the pandemic. The increased stresses of life during lockdown, especially for those shielding has really taken a toll on us all. If you are struggling, please remember you are not alone and 24/7 help is available wherever you live.

Togetherall provide resources on your phone to help tackle whatever issues are happening for you. There are online communities and forums, trained professionals, self-guided courses and much, much more. You can interact as much or as little as you like on the site. Visit their website for more by clicking/tapping on the logo.


NHS FITNESS STUDIO  

We are trying to encourage people to start or increase exercise levels over the next few months as it has so many tangible benefits.

 

Exercise helps to: reduce stress levels, improve mood, regulate weight, build and tone muscles, reduce the chances of developing type-2 diabetes, reduce blood pressure, increase lung health and build strength to name just a few benefits.

 

The NHS has developed a 'Fitness Studio' where people can access guided exercises for strength training, bellydancing, aerobics and La Bomba. There are some gentle beginner level videos with 10-minute exercises to ease into movement and other videos offering full body workouts for 45 minutes. With exercise every little helps. It doesn't matter where you start, it just matters that you start.

 

Visit the NHS Fitness Studio website by clicking/tapping on the image above.


COVID-19 UPDATE 

As you will all be aware on 5th November the UK went back into a 4-week national lockdown to stem the transmission of Covid-19. The same advice applies as it did during the last lockdown. 

For further information, click/tap the NHS logo for advice. The Courtyard clinic remains open and will continue to see people during this time. Whilst many of you will simply have telephone appointments during this time, it is still important to attend clinic for your blood tests and any scheduled face to face appointments. Our pharmacy is also operating daily for medication collection.


UK’s largest independent organisation that specialise in therapy services for people who identify as Black, African, South Asian and Caribbean. Their primary focus and area of expertise is to support people from these heritages. However, they are open to other People of Colour who are affected by prejudice due to the colour of their skin and global white power. <click/tap on the their logo to visit their website>


Living Well is providing a FREE mental health and wellbeing service for any Londoners from the HIV, LGBT+ or BAME communities who are over 18 and are struggling with the impact of the COVID restrictions, e.g. suffering from anxiety, loneliness or isolation.


Living Well’s CONNECT WELL provides a range of free online and telephone support, including: one-to-one life coaching, counselling and hypnotherapy; and online group sessions such as wellbeing workshops, qigong and art therapy. 

To be eligible for any of CONNECT WELL’s free support services, you must be 18 years or over, resident in London and be part of the LGBT+, HIV or BAME community. 

To find out more, register or refer someone to CONNECT WELL all you need do is click on following link and complete the relevant form and someone from the team will get in touch: connectwellnow.com

 


POSITIVE MIND FROM METRO

METRO Centre will be starting a new cycle of our well-known Positive Mind workshops online via Zoom from next week. The workshops will take place every Wednesday from 4th November to 2nd December, from 5 to 7pm. Anyone living with HIV in London can attend.  

 

Positive Mind are workshops informed by different therapeutic approaches, which aim to improve client's emotional wellbeing. The sessions would guide people living with HIV through different activities that would exercise their mind, creating a positive flow of thoughts that could help them see things from a different perspective.

 


LGBTQ+ CHATS

Age UK Wandsworth recognises the effect that isolation and inactivity can have on people especially during this lockdown period. They have launched a new initiative called LBGTQ+ targeted at older LGBTQ people living in the borough to develop and maintain social contact with access support from a trained volunteer.

 

We are offering a new service for older LGBTQ+ residents who are feeling isolated and inactive.

Our specially trained LGBTQ+ volunteers can call at a convenient time to have a friendly chat and talk you through some gentle exercises to promote mobility. All exercises have been designed by a professional trainer and are desigjned to be fun and accessible, not telephone bootcamp!

Once COVID restrictions are lifted, the volunteer will be able to introduce you to other activities in the area, such as our new LGBTQ+ coffee morning.

If you think you might benefit from an Active Chat, please contact Rebecca on rebecca.l@ageukwandsworth.org.uk or 020 8877 8940.


Ribbon Walk

On Saturday 28th November we are doing a sponsored walk to raise funds for THT. Our new ward manager Jack Potter from our inpatient ward (McEntee) has proposed a 'Ribbon walk'  a 100km challenge to raise funds for THT. The walk will start in Brighton and finish (the next day!) in Richmond. They are looking for people to walk with them (socially distanced of course) or to provide support along the journey or at journey's end. Contact: jack.potter@stgeorges.nhs.uk for more information. If you can't be there on the day, a donation however small will help the team reach their fundraising goal.

 


Black History Month - Stories, Work and Opinions

Fast-Track Cities London and One Voice Network are marking Black History Month 2020 by documenting the stories, work and opinions of Black people living with HIV in London and the people and organisations supporting them. Click/tap on image.

 

 


COVID-19 anti-body testing at The Courtyard Clinic

We are all still adjusting to the realities of life during the pandemic. Here at the Courtyard Clinic we are now offering COVID-19 anti-body testing to help assess if you have previously been infected with COVID-19 or not. On your next visit to get your routine bloods done, you will be offered an anti-body test. This is a simple test and we will take one small extra bottle of blood. Results will be ready in just a few days. We are not able to offer a walk-in service for this test, so you will need to have an appointment with the nurse in order to have this test taken. Please contact 020 8725 3140 for more details or ask at reception during your next visit. 


Black History Month Webinar


Fast-Track Cities London and One Voice Network are partnering this Black History Month to document the stories and work of Black people living with HIV in London and the people and organisations supporting them.
 
We would like to invite you to an online discussion next Wednesday 28 October at 5pm-6pm, hosted by One Voice Network and Fast-Track Cities London.

Please join us online and get involved in the conversation by registering here: https://bit.ly/2H8JOwb.
 
The topic will be a discussion on what London can do together to get to zero HIV for Black people.

We will be looking at:

  • How can we improve HIV services for Black people in London?
  • How can faith leaders support the Black community to get to zero HIV?
  • How can we encourage better engagement with HIV prevention services?
  • How do we work together to improve social justice and care for migrants with HIV?

 
The panel who will help guide the discussion includes:
 
Deryck Browne, Chair of One Voice Network and CEO of African Health Policy Network, a national charity working with and for UK African descent communities on HIV, health and well-being issues. 
 
Professor Jane Anderson, Co-Chair Fast-Track Cities London, Consultant Physician and Director of the Centre for the Study of Sexual Health and HIV Homerton University Hospital, involved in the treatment and care of people with HIV since the beginning of the epidemic, with a focus on the needs of ethnic minority and migrant populations.
 
Reverend Jide Macaulay, Vice-Chair of One Voice Network and the founding Pastor and CEO of House Of Rainbow, an openly gay British-Nigerian born in London, a Christian minister since 1998, an author, poet and HIV positive activist.
 
Dr Vanessa Apea, a Consultant Physician in Genito-urinary and HIV medicine and the Clinical Lead for Sexual Health at Barts Health NHS Trust. Vanessa is also an Honorary Senior Lecturer at Queen Mary University of London and a former Fulbright scholar. 
 
If you have any questions please email the Fast-Track Cities London team at hlp.londonftci@nhs.net.

Get in touch, keep up to date... 

If you have any questions about Fast-Track Cities London email us at hlp.londonftci@nhs.net

Keep up to date with us on Twitter @LondonFTCI, on Facebook at Fast-Track Cities London and on Instagram @fasttrackcitiesldn



ATTENDING THE CLINIC

From 15th June 2020 we are opening some of our clinics but with changes to how they are run. To avoid unnecessary clinic visits and to meet social distancing requirements, we will be limiting the number of face to face appointments. We will be offering telephone appointments for patients who are stable on treatment.

We are reinstating our walk in service for blood tests. Please attend for blood tests two weeks before your booked appointment. The nurses will do a quick assessment, take your bloods and discuss with you whether your appointment will be face to face or over the phone.

We understand that people may be anxious about coming to hospital at this time. However, we have strict infection control procedures in place, have arranged the clinic space to ensure social distancing and will make sure that you are in the clinic for the least amount of time possible. In line with government guidelines you will need to wear a face covering when attending the clinic. Please do not wear gloves. Hand gel is readily available in the clinic for your use.

 

We will be opening for walk in bloods at the following times.

Monday: 08:45 – 16:00

Tuesday:  08:45 – 16:00

Wednesday: 08:45 – 13:00

Thursday:  09:00 – 18:00

Friday: 08:45 – 15:00

 

Please note that pharmacy will not necessarily be open at these times so please call before coming to collect medication.

 


FACE COVERING / MASK

For information on how to make and wear a face covering, please click/tap the image.


DO YOU HAVE ENOUGH MEDICATION?

Please contact the clinic for advice if you have less than 4 weeks of your treatment left. Call 020 8725 3140 between 10am and 4pm, Monday to Thursday.

 

There is no shortage of HIV medication. We have measures in place to ensure that medication is available for all of our patients. If you are registered with home delivery or the Boots collection service already, we will arrange this for you. Otherwise you may need to collect your medication from the clinic or ask someone else to collect it for you. We cannot give you more medication than you need as this may impact on supply.


I'M HIV+... DO I NEED TO SHIELD?

The Department of Health and Social Care has written to everyone who has had the flu vaccine advising them to shield. There is no evidence to suggest that people with well controlled HIV should shield. The British HIV Association and the Terence Higgins Trust guidance is that only people with a CD4 count less than 50 or those who have had a recent opportunistic illness need to shield.

 

BHIVAMore information is on their website or simply click/tap on the logo here.

 


COVID19 and HIV

There is no evidence that people with a good CD4 count and an undetectable viral load on treatment are at higher risk of Covid19 or associated severe symptoms. Please follow general government advice:

  • Stay at home
  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home)
  • Stay 2 metres away from other people
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home

More information about Coronavirus and social distancing can be found here: 

GOV.UK - Guidance on social distancing for everyone in the UK 

GOV.UK - Coronavirus

 

The same advice should be strictly followed by people with a CD4 count less than 200, a detectable viral load or who are not on HIV treatment. If you are not on treatment, please contact the clinic to discuss your options.

 

People with a CD4 count of less than 50 or who have had an opportunistic illness in the last 6 months should follow the shielding advice for the clinically vulnerable: 

Government Guidance on shielding and protecting clinically extremely vulnerable persons from Covid 19

 

For more detailed information about Covid19 and HIV click/tap this link:

 

 


DO YOU NEED HELP WITH HOUSING OR BENEFITS?

Samuel Serunjogi is our resident Benefits and Housing adviser from Metro and he is available to support you during this time with any practical issues that you may need support with. Worried about your housing? Need help to apply for the benefits you might be entitled to? Job situation changed? Sam is your man and can be contacted by phone on: 07947 554843 or by email at: samuel.serunjogi@nhs.net.


COMMUNITY GROUPS AND PEER SUPPORT

The following community organisations are providing online support or telephone counselling and advice on other issues arising from the lockdown. Tap/click on the logos below.


CAN I GET HELP WITH MY MENTAL HEALTH?

If you are concerned about your emotional well-being please call 020 8725 3140 and ask to speak to one of the Health Advisers. If you are already linked in with a Community Mental Health Team please contact them direct.

 

The mental health charity, Mind, have prepared a list of useful resources, as well as practical advice, for people who may be struggling during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

And it covers:

  • Practical advice for staying at home
  • Taking care of your mental health and wellbeing
  • Support for work, benefits and housing
  • Checklist for staying at home

 

mind.org.ukIt can be found on their website or simply click/tap on the logo here.


Psychology Tools have put together this guide to help you to manage your worry and anxiety in these uncertain times.

Click/tap on the image to view the guide.


NEED HELP WITH YOUR DRUG/ALCOHOL USE?

Information about drug and alcohol services in Wandsworth can be found here:

For Information about taking drugs and harm reduction please click/tap below:


TALKING TO CHILDREN ABOUT CORONAVIRUS

Are you struggling to explain to the children in your family just what the coronavirus pandemic is all about? There's an illustrative free information book that could be a solution and may help children to understand. Click or tap on the book cover to look inside.


ACCESSING FOOD

For people who are self-shielding there are some new services now available from some supermarkets to ensure that you can have access to food.

 

Tesco has contacted 230,000 vulnerable customers to offer priority delivery slots. 

If you have an NHS letter you can create an account online or call 0800 9177359. 

There are a total of 964,000 delivery slots available each week. Tesco will not say how many of these are reserved for vulnerable shoppers.

 

Sainsbury's has contacted around 700,000 customers to offer priority slots. If you are not one of them and have an NHS letter, call 0800 636262. It's aiming to have 600,000 delivery slots a week, with thousands for those at risk. Customers can also add up to £250 on to an online Volunteer Shopping Card sainsburysgiftcard.co.uk which can be emailed to someone shopping on their behalf.

 

Waitrose is delivering up to 100,000 orders a week, with 25 per cent of slots for vulnerable customers. Its new service, Waitrose Rapid, will deliver up to 25 items within two hours. Some 40 per cent of these slots will be for priority customers.

 

Asda has emailed 70,000 vulnerable customers to offer them first access to delivery slots. 

Shoppers can choose to have a repeat delivery of the same items.

 

Morrisons telephone service for vulnerable and elderly customers offers next-day delivery of 47 essential items, including milk, butter and eggs. Bills can be paid on the doorstep with a debit or credit card. Call 0345 6116111 and choose option five. No proof of eligibility is required.

 

Aldi has launched a new service for vulnerable customers. Food parcels of 22 essentials, such as tinned soups and dried pasta, can be ordered online aldi.co.uk/food-parcels for £24.99, including delivery. However, this service is limited to one per week.

 

Iceland says it has contacted 79,000 vulnerable customers on the Government's list to offer delivery slots. New customers can register online to access these iceland.co.uk.


ACCESSING BANKING

For those who are self-shielding the post office and various banks are offering doorstep cash delivery and other types of assistance to help people access their money.

 

The Post Office has launched a cash delivery service to help vulnerable customers, with the help of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Thousands of vulnerable people in England who are shielding at home and receive benefits such as pensions will be able to have cash payments delivered directly to them. The Post Office has repurposed part of its foreign exchange cash delivery business to enable the overnight delivery of cash and meet the demand for the initiative. The DWP has estimated nearly 30,000 people in the UK are ‘vulnerable customers’. Some banks are also offering cash delivery services, which we have detailed below.

 

Below are the dedicated numbers for each bank offering additional services to their customers during the pandemic. 

 

RBS 0800 0514177

Dedicated support line for customers over 70 or those in isolation, and a separate service for NHS workers.

 

NatWest 0800 0514176

Dedicated support line for customers over 70 or those in isolation, and a separate service for NHS workers.

 

Ulster NI 0800 0924238

Dedicated support line for customers over 70 or those in isolation, and a separate service for NHS workers.

 

Santander 0800 9123123

Santander has redeployed a number of staff to support its contact centre team and will continue to do so to meet consumer demand.

 

Barclays 03457 345345

Barclays are directing resource to support phones lines. In-branch teams are also supporting this activity.

 

HSBC 03457 404404

Vulnerable customers who contact the bank may be referred to a specialist support team.

 

TSB 03459 758758

TSB are using some in-branch staff to help on phones and moving resource around to help the frontline.

 

Metro Bank 0345 0808500

Customer support trained staff are being asked to offer support on helplines. The bank is looking at opportunities to train up existing colleagues. It's also recruiting to increase the number of helpline staff. Its helpline is available Monday to Friday from 8am to 9 am for vulnerabble customers and over 70s only.

 

Lloyds Bank 0345 0725555

Lloyds have introduced a new service for over-70s, vulnerable and NHS workers. They aim to offer support to those who need it most.

 

Halifax 0345 7203040

Halifax have a new service for over 70s, vulnerable and NHS workers. They aim to offer support to those who need it most.

 

Bank of Scotland 0345 7213141

Bank of Scotland are providing a new service for over-70s, vulnerable and NHS workers to offer support to those who need it most.

 

Co-operative Bank 03457 212212

Reviewing branch and telephone opening hours to ensure it can serve customers who need to use banking services.

 

Nationwide 0800 302011

Nationwide are deploying additional resource to help with the increased demand, while hundreds of staff have volunteered to support customers. They are in the process of setting up a dedicated coronavirus helpline.

 

Monzo 0800 0234567

Continuing to offer support via the telephone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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