Coronavirus Information

As the coronavirus situation is changing constantly in the UK, we are directing you to the main sources of the latest information and advice.

Our team is working from home as of 23 March but we are still here for you and replying to all emails and calls – please bear with us if it takes us a little longer to get back to you.

The main symptoms of coronavirus are: a cough, a high temperature and loss of sense of taste and/or smell. If you have any of these symptoms you should stay at home and self isolate.

Northumberland Communities Together

Northumberland Communities Together has been launched in response to the coronavirus pandemic. It will make sure people are safe and well throughout this crisis and provide coordination to support individual volunteers, voluntary groups and communities across our county.

Northumberland Communities Together

NHS Volunteer Responders Service

NHS Volunteer Responders is a new group that will carry out simple, non-medical tasks to support people in England who are self-isolating because of specific health conditions. They will be used by healthcare professionals to make sure people who are highly vulnerable to coronavirus are able to stay safe and well at home.

NHS Volunteer Responders are not intended to replace local groups helping their vulnerable neighbours but is an additional service provided by the NHS.

Volunteers have been recruited for four key roles:

Community Response Volunteer: This role involves collecting shopping, medication or other essential supplies for someone who is self-isolating/vulnerable, and delivering these supplies to their home.

Patient Transport Volunteer: This role supports the NHS by providing transport to patients who are medically fit for discharge, as well as taking patients to their essential appointments.

NHS Transport Volunteer: This role involves transporting equipment, supplies and/or medication between NHS services and sites, it may also involve assisting pharmacies with medication delivery.

Check in and Chat Volunteer: This role provides short-term telephone support to individuals who are at risk of loneliness as a consequence of self-isolation

There is an online referral form for people needing help, or you can call 0808 196 3646.

More details at the website

Changes to primary care services – GPs, dentists, pharmacies and opticians

GP practices in Northumberland and nationwide have made changes to the way they operate, with more telephone consultations and different ways of communicating. Please call your surgery to find out the best way to access support from the practice.

Most pharmacies across Northumberland have made changes to their opening times, so we recommend you check with yours before making a visit. Opticians and dentists have postponed all routine appointments. If you need urgent care from these services please call them for help and instructions. You can find your local GP practice, pharmacist, dentist or optician at the NHS Service Finder.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust Helplines

Patient Helpline: Friends and family can stay in touch with their loved ones in Northumbria Healthcare hospitals by calling 0191 293 4306, or emailing patient.experience@nhct.nhs.uk, Monday to Friday, 9.00am-5.00pm,

Maternity Helpine: Answers to questions about pregnancy, care and visiting. Call 07823 907484, Monday to Friday 9.00am-4.00pm.

Find out more

Tell us your Covid-19 story

If there is anything you’d like to tell us about your experience, or that of a friend or family member, during the Covid-19 crisis, we’d like to hear from you.

At this time, more than ever, we are all grateful for our health and social care services and how they have adapted and continued to provide care at this very difficult time. Some services have changed the way they communicate and work. We’d really like to hear your story of using any service, including pharmacies, hospitals, GP services, care homes, urgent dental or optician services, mental health services, patient transport, ambulance and urgent care services.

As services could be delivered in a different way for some time, we’d like to know what you have found works well or less well.

NHS 111 – check if you have symptoms

You will be asked a few questions and told what to do next. To protect others, do not go to a GP, pharmacy or hospital.

NHS 111 symptom checker

Government Guidance

Latest guidance during the coronavirus pandemic

Read government advice on staying at home with Covid-19 symptoms, including easy-read and other languages.

Staying at home with symptoms

Guidance contains information on wearing a face covering and making a simple cloth face covering using a t-shirt or cotton fabric.

How to make and wear a face mask

Local Support and Services

Northumberland Communities Together from NCC

Citizens Advice Northumberland

Northumberland Domestic Abuse Services

Northumberland CVA – what’s on offer in your area

Ponteland Community Group – help and support for people in and around Ponteland

Changes to council services in Northumberland

Volunteer for Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Silver Talk telephone befriending service

Age UK Northumberland

Choices4Growth: A community based mental health organisation working in the Berwick area. Email help@choices4growth.co.uk or call 07715 473667.

Escape Family Support: For families of individuals with drug or alcohol addiction needing support. Helpline: 07702 833 944

Keeping People Connected: A new specialist phone support service for people with learning difficulties and/or autism in Northumberland during the Covid-19 outbreak. Call 0300 303 2789 or email keepconnected@wearepeoplefirst.co.uk.

Onecall: If you are worried about the immediate welfare (health or well-being) of a child or adult contact Onecall – 01670 536400 – 24 hour service, every day.

If you need medical help the NHS is there for you

Contact your GP by phone, online or app, or if you need urgent medical help use the NHS 111 online service. If you cannot get help online call 111. If it’s a serious or life-threatening emergency, call 999.

If you are told to go to hospital it is important that you go. You should continue to attend your appointments, unless you have been told not to.

Prescriptions: you can order your repeat prescriptions on the NHS App and through your GP surgery or pharmacy’s online service, where available.

Coronavirus and Mental Health

Taking care of your mind as well as your body is really important while staying at home because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

You may feel bored, frustrated or lonely. You may also be low, worried or anxious, or concerned about your finances, your health or those close to you.

Local and national organisations are offering advice and support on how to cope at this time.

Every Mind Matters

Young Minds

Healthwatch England Information

Talking Matters Northumberland

North East and Cumbria Suicide Prevention Network

NHS Wellbeing and Mental Health booklet 

Mental Health Foundation

Anxiety UK – helpline open longer until 10pm weekdays and 8pm weekends: 03444 775774.

Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne & Wear NHS Trust self-help guides

North East and Cumbria Suicide Prevention Network

Children and the coronavirus

The Children’s Commissioner for England has produced this guide to answer childrens’ questions about coronavirus, tell them how to stay safe and protect other people and help them make the best of their time at home.

Children’s Guide to the Coronavirus

What to do if your child is unwell

Northumberland Early Help can offer support and advice to local families on a range of issues including education, benefits, behaviour and domestic abuse. Call 01670 620 461 to speak to someone in confidence.

Chat Health from Northumbria Healthcare NHSFoundation Trust is a way for 11-19 year olds to text their school nurse in confidence, for advice and support. The service deals with all kinds of issues including, mental health, bullying, self-harm, alcohol and drugs, relationships, healthy eating and smoking and is available even whilst schools are closed. If you live in Northumberland text 07507 332 258.

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