The Forum’s first coronavirus success!


We have just read that Bristol City Councilb has responded to our calls for more support to those on Direct Payments.  In particular they have set up a dedicated response for Direct Payment users, to ensure they have enough support and can access Protective Personal Equipment (packs are being made available).

Bristol City Council tells us they have also raised this nationally for advice – something else we asked them to do.


It is good to know that the Council is responding positively when we lay out what our coronavirus-related needs are. 


Let us hope they continue to do so after the government suspends the Care Act!

COVID-19 Caronavirus – Prevent it from spreading!

Corona virus – Let’s stop it taking hold here!
The World Health Organisation is asking that everyone who possibly can does the following:
👏 Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly.
👥 Keep a safe distance from anybody coughing or sneezing (at least 1 metre / 3 feet).
🤦‍♀️ Minimise touching your face.
🗣 Sneeze and cough into your elbow or tissue.
🏠📞 If you have symptoms, stay at home and call for medical care early.

The World Health Organisation is asking that everyone who possibly can does the following:

👏 Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly.

👥 Keep a safe distance from anybody coughing or sneezing (at least 1 metre / 3 feet).

🤦‍♀️ Minimise touching your face.

🗣 Sneeze and cough into your elbow or tissue.

🏠📞 If you have symptoms, stay at home and call for medical care early.

Planning Permission Changes Will Make Life Much Worse For Disabled People

Picture of pavement covered with signs and tables

In the Business and Planning Bill that will be discussed in the House of Lords next week, the rules for street furniture on pavements (‘A’boards, other signs, chairs, tables etc) are being relaxed, to encourage eating outside.

This Bill, if passed, will mean that councils will only need to publicise any proposed changes to the patch of pavement a business wishes to spread out onto, and give five working days for objections. So, if you are self-isolating or shielding, or unable to use the internet, you will only hear about the proposal through sheer luck. And, with only 5 days notice for people to object to the proposal, the changes will almost certainly have happened before you even know about it.

Disabled people with various mobility and vision impairments will experience substantial difficulties navigating their local area and social distancing. For many this will mean they can no longer use the pavements safely, if this change in the rules happens. Vision impaired people (VIPs) will be at particularly high risk of injury from tripping over any street furniture and It will also make social distancing almost impossible for those with mobility or vision impairments.

Contact you MP today and ask them to vote against this proposal. You can find the contact details for your local MP at: https://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-an-mp-or-lord/contact-your-mp/ .

Don’t Blame Care Homes, Boris

The Prime Minister has caused outrage by claiming that care homes didn’t follow the correct procedures.

This is not the first time a government has refused to take responsibility for its actions: it is a habit that has got even worse over the past 12yrs.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tried to reduce the amount of criticism about his comment without any apology or admission that the responsibility is 100% that of government. Why do we say this? Because:

– the government told the NHS to move everyone who didn’t absolutely have to be in hospital into a care home while they recovered from whatever had led to the going into hospital in the first place;

– it was the government that failed to start a programme of testing from the very start of the pandemic;

– it was the government that failed to provide PPE supplies to care homes, despite the known difficulties individual people and individual businesses were having in getting hold of these supplies, until after many people in care homes had died.

We must not let government get away with refusing to accept responsibility by shifting blame to others. So email or tweet your local MP, and the Prime Minister, demanding that government accepts responsibility and, at the very least, apologies tfor causing the deaths of so many Disabled and older people.

You can find contact details for your MP and government at: https://members.parliament.uk/FindYourMP and email the Prime Minister at: boris.johnson.mp@parliament.uk.

Don’t delay – Do it today!

Disabled People Listening Event Friday 10th July 2pm-4pm

Come along and join Laura,our Forum Manager, at this event.

The Disabled People Listening Event scheduled in for Friday 10th July, 14:00-16:00 has now gone live and can be accessed via the link below:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/listening-event-for-disabled-people-your-views-on-healthcare-during-covid-tickets-111291150828

What are your experiences of accessing and using healthcare services during lockdown and the coronavirus outbreak?

Coronavirus has meant that there have been many changes to healthcare services, such as using more technology and telephone appointments, and prioritising certain services. We would like to learn more about how these changes have affected Disabled people, what has worked well and where we could improve.

Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group is holding a listening event on Zoom for Disabled people, for those living with physical impairment visual or deaf/hearing impairment and those living with learning difficulties, to find out your views on how healthcare has changed.

Please note the event will be limited to 60 participants, therefore only 60 tickets will be available. However, if we do reach capacity, the next 10 people who register interest can go on to a waiting list and will be contacted if a space opens up. *Please note that if you are planning to join the event as a facilitator or speaker you do not need to register via Eventbrite.

Bristol Sight Loss Council visual impairment (VI) forum and survey: share your Covid-19 experiences


Notice from Bristol Sight Loss Council

Bristol VI forum and survey: share your Covid-19 experiences

Are you blind or partially sighted and live in Bristol?

Join the Bristol Sight Loss Council visual impairment (VI) forum, on Tuesday 21st July, to share your experiences of lockdown as a visually impaired person.

Whether you are anxious about social distancing when travelling, or have faced challenges ordering your online food shop, we want to hear your concerns and your suggestions.  We are working closely with Bristol Council and local health settings, to ensure local providers understand the challenges the pandemic has raised for blind and partially sighted Bristolians.  We are dedicated to making positive change and giving blind people in the area a voice.  We want to hear your views to help us shape our future work.

The Bristol Sight Loss Council, funded by Thomas Pocklington Trust and led by blind and partially sighted volunteers, advocates the needs, and campaigns on behalf of, blind and partially sighted people in the area.

Book your place

The VI forum is taking place via Zoom on Tuesday 21st July from 19:30-21:00.  To book your place email alun.davies@pocklington-trust.org.uk  or register here:

https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_OouImEyaRT6lblVyDPAktQ

Places are limited, we will get back to you to confirm your place as soon as possible.

The deadline for bookings is Friday 17th July.

Covid-19 survey

Alongside the forum, we are also running a short survey to capture your experiences of the pandemic.  Your feedback will be vital in helping us campaign on the Covid-19 issues that matter to you in Bristol.  The survey is open until 31st July.

Take the survey here: https://forms.gle/Nsoa46EtFFPz7n9YA

If you are not online, you can ring this telephone number 020 89961937 and someone will ring you back and help you complete it over the telephone.

UK officials ‘put lives at risk’ over out-of-date PPE for care homes

She said: 

“We had members contact us about the dates on the boxes they received and we sought clarifications on their behalf. We were told that they had been tested and were safe for use.

“We are appalled that due care and attention was not given to the risk of using these masks,” she added. 

“The masks have been used in services where there were already outbreaks and the consequence don’t bear thinking about.”

The masks were sent to every care home in the country at the peak of the pandemic. At the time, stock was being diverted to the NHS and care providers were unable to access supplies of masks from their normal supply chains.

When the NCA raised a query that these masks were from a government stockpile and out of date by as much as seven years, they said the official response was that the masks had all been rechecked and were in working order.

 “In reality, we now learn, they were faulty and have only just been recalled – when most will already have been used months ago,” said Ahmed.

In a recall notice issued by the Department of Health and Social Care on 26 June, care homes were told they must immediately stop using the Cardinal Health IIR masks and destroy them because of “a risk to staff” if the masks degrade. 

Ahmed said: “We face continued challenges as a sector because Covid-19 is still within communities. Insurers are taking Covid cover out of their policies on renewal whilst raising the costs to cover the businesses. Clearly, government will have to take full responsibility and liability for any backlash caused by their actions.”

Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, said the incident had put staff and residents at risk, as well as putting homes at risk of serious financial consequences. “This clearly shows that some of the advice given by government throughout the pandemic turns out not to have been the right advice.

“I don’t know how the government got it so wrong but we need to know who told care homes the equipment was safe, who gave them their advice and how that advice was so wrong,” he added.

Both Ahmed and Green said the incident showed that the “protective ring” the government said had been thrown up around care homes was anything but protective.

“Once again we note that care providers were at the back of the queue,” said Ahmed.

Green added, “I have never believed in this protective ring because I’ve never seen a single example of it. This incident is yet more evidence that it never existed.”

Sky News reported that the same masks were issued to GP surgeries and have also now been withdrawn, leading to concerns that thousands of medical and care staff may have been affected.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “The safety of frontline staff has been a priority throughout this unprecedented pandemic.

“After being made aware of a defect with some Cardinal Health Type IIR surgical masks, we urgently issued advice last week to health and care providers to check if their stock included these masks and to dispose of them. The issue is now resolved”.

BAME-led mental health and wellbeing support or resources.

CASS Leaflet – Emotional Wellbeing for BAME People  http://www.cassbristol.org/download/emotional-wellbeing-for-bame-people/
 
Nilaari’s phone support sessions – https://www.nilaari.co.uk/  0117 962 5742   

Bristol Hate Crime & Discrimination Service – https://www.bhcds.org.uk/report
 
Spark & Co – BAME MH resources – https://sparkandco.co.uk/resources/mental-health-and-wellbeing/
 
Further reading/understanding: 
Black  African and Asian Therapists Network
 – resources including videos suitable for young children – https://www.baatn.org.uk/well-being/

More of Bristol’s Public Toilets Re-open

From Monday 6 July, toilets at St George Park, St Andrews Park and Brandon Hill Park will reopen, joining public toilets at Ashton Court, Blaise Estate and Oldbury Court that are already open. These toilets will be cleaned regularly throughout the day to ensure they are safe for staff and residents.

This is great news for Disabled people, older people, many women, and parents of young children, as some have not felt able to go to a park because of the lack of toilets. Too often it is a lack of knowledge, or consideration, and a failure to fully value inclusion (like closing toilets) that leads to creating disadvantage.

Two new temporary toilet blocks have also been placed in Queen Square and by the Amphitheatre. These toilets are now open between 10am-10pm, and are cleaned throughout the day . The toilets are closed overnight.

Let’s hope more are opened soon.