Business as usual for First Community services during second national lockdown

Published on Wednesday 4 November 2020

As we prepare to enter a second national lockdown, First Community is reminding the public all services remain open and will continue to operate as usual.

All scheduled appointments, whether face to face or virtual, will go ahead as planned during the new lockdown period.

Patients and visitors to Caterham Dene Minor Injuries Unit are reminded they must wear a face covering and to sanitise their hands on arrival and whilst at the site.  

All visits to the ward at Caterham Dene Hospital are temporarily suspended, except for end of life care visits, which must be pre-arranged.  Please keep checking our website for up to date information on this.

Our care home service is continuing to proactively offer clinical support to any homes that require it. Over 100 additional infection prevention training sessions have already been delivered to care homes in east Surrey ahead of the new restrictions coming into force. 

We also are continuing to deliver our post-COVID rehabilitation service (for patients with so called ‘long covid’) and are adapting to suit the needs of our patients. More information on this can be read here.  Please speak to your GP if you think you are suffering Long Covid and require a referral.

As we transition through the autumn, First Community has worked hard to ensure we are ready to face any additional challenges winter might bring.

Within our children’s services we have worked continuously to successfully reduce waiting times for a number of our children’s therapies. New procedures are in place and we are continually reviewing our waiting lists to ensure we are moving in the right direction. The feedback from parents and carers on their experiences has been very encouraging.  We have also reduced the backlog in other services where lockdown one had an impact e.g. audiology, podiatry and orthotics.

Plans and preparations were put in place for the delivery of the childhood flu vaccine which commenced in schools at the beginning of October and our community nursing team are working hard to support the delivery of flu vaccinations to housebound members of the over-65s population. In addition 72% of our staff have so far also received their annual flu vaccination to keep both themselves and their patients safe.

We continue to work closely with our partners to ensure we can offer first rate health care to the people of east Surrey and West Sussex as we enter the winter period. A range of useful resources are also available on our website here to help you stay fit and healthy this winter.