Updates about our services during Covid-19

Page last updated: 5 November 2020

This page gives an overview of changes to our services due to the Covid-19 outbreak. 

What is coronavirus?

You can find out more about Covid-19 and the symptoms to look out for on the NHS websiteThe NHS website has advice about what to do if you have symptoms of Covid-19. This advice includes how to avoid spreading the virus to other people, and how and when to ask for help if you are unwell. 

Changes to the way we provide services

We are working hard to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and to protect families and our staff. Due to this situation, some of the ways our services work have changed. You can contact us by calling the number on your appointment letter or contacting our Surrey-wide 0-19 Advice Line.

Your safety

Domestic Abuse Helpline: 01483 776 822
9am-9pm 7 days a week. 

During pregnancy and family life, domestic violence can be more frequent. In times of stress, such as now, it can be even more common. Please reach out if you need to talk.

You can also visit the Healthy Surrey website and chat online: www.yoursanctuary.org.uk/chat

​Child health drop-ins, breastfeeding support groups and other group activities

Child health drop-ins, breastfeeding support groups and other group activities are not currently taking place.

If  you have any queries concerning your child’s progress or would like to talk to a health professional, please contact our Advice Line for support, information and advice on parenting and infant feeding. 

Health Visiting

Our Health Visiting team continues to support families and new babies.

  • New Birth Visit (10-14 days) after the birth of your baby you will receive a telephone call to book a home visit with your Health Visitor where we can discuss how you and your baby are, share information you may need and plan together how we can support you and your family. Your health visitor will book your 6-8 week appointment.
  • One yearParents may receive a virtual or telephone appointment to discuss your child’s progress or returned completed 'Ages and Stages Questionnaire'.
  • 27 months development review: Parents may receive a telephone call to book a virtual or telephone appointment and will email/post you an Ages and Stages Questionnaire to complete ready for your child’s appointment.

Please call our Advice Line if you would like to discuss your child’s health and progress at any age or visit the 'For Families' section on our website for information and resources to read and/or download.

Safer sleep information

The Lullaby Trust have put together the latest advice on Covid-19 for if you are pregnant or have a young child. More information on the Lullaby Trust can be found on their website

The Institute of Health Visiting also has advice on coping with a crying baby. Visit their website to find out more. 

Home safety

Top tips, fact sheets and activities to help keep children safe during isolation and beyond.

Infant feeding (including breastfeeding) and Covid-19

Should I continue to breastfeed my baby?

UnicefThere is a wealth of evidence that breastfeeding reduces the risk of babies developing infectious diseases. To facilitate breastfeeding, mothers and babies should be enabled to stay together as much as possible, to have skin-to-skin contact, to feed their baby responsively and to have access to ongoing support when this is needed. 

What do the experts say?

Public Health England (PHE) guidanceIf you are breastfeeding while infected, there is currently no clinical evidence to suggest that the virus can be transmitted through breastmilk. Infection can be spread to the baby in the same way as to anyone in close contact with you. The benefits of breastfeeding outweigh any potential risks of transmission of the virus through breastmilk or by being in close contact with your child, however, this will be an individual decision and can be discussed with your midwife, health visitor or GP by telephone.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists make the following recommendations

If you wish to breastfeed, take precautions to limit the potential spread of Covid-19 to the baby by:

  • washing your hands before touching the baby, breast pump or bottles
  • avoiding coughing or sneezing on the baby while feeding at the breast
  • cleaning any breast pump as recommended by the manufacturer after each use
  • considering asking someone who is well to feed your expressed breastmilk to the baby.

Can I get back to exclusive breastfeeding?

If you breastfeeding and using infant formula, consider replacing formula feeds with breastfeeds, but talk to a professional first about how to do that safely. If breastfeeding has been stopped, it is possible to re-start breastfeeding (contact the National Breastfeeding Helpline  for assistance or speak to your health visitor or contact our Advice Line.

If you are feeding with formula or expressed milkfollow sterilisation guidelines carefully before each use. You should not share bottles or a breast pump with someone else.

I am concerned about supplies of Formula milk – what should I do?

The UK government has advised that people should plan ahead on what is needed for self-isolation in the specified time frame only and not to stockpile essentials like infant formula.

If you are concerned, or require specific information, all infant formula companies can be contacted via their careline services. To order milk if you are unable to obtain in in the supermarket you can phone your local pharmacy or you can contact the infant formula milk companies and order online.

There have been claims that some infant formula companies are making free provisions to those unable to gain access to infant formula. This is not the approach of any infant formula company in the UK currently.

Tips to help:

  • Speak to your health visitor if you have problems accessing formula, or have any questions. Please contact the 0-19 advice line on 01883 340 922.
  • You can change between brands of first infant milk; they all have to meet the same strict rules on composition.
  •  Only make up as much milk as you need, and ensure you pace the feed.
  • Do not give follow on milk to babies under 6 months old
  • Never water down your baby’s milk to make it last longer as this will not provide sufficient nutrition to your child.

Healthy Start vouchers 

If you are pregnant or have a child under four years old you could get Healthy Start vouchers to help buy some basic foods.

Resources

 

Immunisations

The Surrey Immunisation team following direction from Public Health England is restarting the school-aged immunisation programme that was paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

We will be using the existing e-consent forms that have already been submitted by parents/carers for their children. 

The vaccinations will be delivered in a COVID-19 safe clinic or school setting that adheres to all social distancing and infection prevention and control measures. 

Clinics will take place in a number of locations across Surrey. 

We are prioritising all the schools which have been missed or cancelled due to COVID-19. You will be contacted directly by your School or the Immunisation Team for your child’s appointment. 

The flu vaccination programme in schools is going ahead in the autumn term. It is likely that flu and COVID-19 will both be circulating at the same time which means that it is more important than ever this year to help protect against flu.

For additional information please contact your local Immunisation Team. 

HPV additional information

The guidance from Public Health England is for children to receive the second dose of HPV between six and 24 months after the first dose is administered.

We would like to reassure families that the cancellation of our second visit will not affect the effectiveness of the vaccine, as long as the second dose is administered within the recommended timeframe.

Pre-school immunisations

If your child has missed any of the pre-school vaccinations for any reason, please contact your GP surgery, who can book your child in.

Visit the NHS website for the vaccination schedule for babies and young children.

Further advice

For any further advice and information, please visit our immunisation webpage where you can find contact details for your local immunisation team.

Developmental Paediatric Service

As a service we are continually reviewing the Developmental Paediatric Service and the provision we can offer at this time. In the efforts to reduce the spread of Covid-19 in line with Government, NHS England and organisation specific advice/guidelines, we are making changes to service provision that we offer.

Appointments: 

  • We have prioritised work and identified what is essential face to face work and what can be completed by telephone consultation. High priority work will remain face to face.
  • For all other consultations, these will now be undertaken by telephone. If during this telephone consultation that a face to face contact is identified as being required this will be arranged at this time.
  • If families/carers have an appointment booked with a Developmental Paediatrician this will now be offered via telephone consultation.
  • The appointment will go ahead at the same appointment time as offered, so would appreciate parents being available at this time.
  • All families/carers where this will impact are being contacted by phone and/or by post.

Developmental Paediatric Service Queries:  

  • For families who are known to the service and have any queries about their child/young person’s developmental paediatric needs during this period of time, we request that you email rather than phone on: csh.dpsenquiries@nhs.net quoting your child’s NHS number. This email will be staffed and queries addressed on a daily basis county wide. However, we do need to alert you to the fact that although the nhs.net email is secure, we cannot guarantee this for emails from personal accounts.

Developmental Paediatric Service Prescriptions

  • For families who are known to the service and need to request a repeat prescription, please email: csh.dpsprescriptionrequest@nhs.net quoting your child’s NHS number. This email will be staffed and prescriptions addressed on a daily basis county wide. However, we do need to alert you to the fact that although the nhs.net email is secure, we cannot guarantee this for emails from personal accounts.

Schools and educational provision

School nurses and therapists are supporting children with vulnerable and urgent needs as a priority, other appointments are being  providing via the telephone or video call as an alternative although this does depend on our staffing levels.

On 19 March 2020, the government issued guidance regarding clarity for schools, colleges and local authorities on maintaining educational provision. The guidance states that if you have children who are vulnerable, and parents who are critical to the Covid-19 response, then your children will be prioritised for education provision. You can read the full announcement is here.

Resources for families

Back to school guide for children to tell them some of the changes they might see when they go back to school and tips on how to cope if they’re feeling worried or nervous and helpful resources to stay safe.

Webinar presentations for families in supporting children with understanding anxiety, and some strategies to manage anxiety with the current circumstances of COVID and lockdown in mind.

Resource pack for families for the transition back to school following Covid-19.

How to wash your hands: a child friendly song explaining how to wash your hands.

Therapy Services

Our therapy teams are continuing to support schools and families, we are prioritising children with urgent and complex needs. We are providing appointments via remote telephone or video calls unless it is absolutely essential to visit face to face. Therapy teams will use their reasonable endeavours to ensure that provision continues to be available for families, including those with an EHCP.

To support families to meeting their children’s therapy needs at home we have added to our Online Therapy Resources.

The team have also created a useful resource with information links on self-care, learning and play.

Our Occupational Therapy Helpline for practical occupational therapy advice, strategies and support to schools, parents/carers and other professionals in relation to a child’s/young person’s functional and independence skills remains open Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2pm - 4pm on tel. 07974 230 554.

To support families who use specialist equipment we have produced an Equipment Advice Sheet with contact information. Please be advised routine equipment reviews by CFHS therapy services cannot be guaranteed due to our need to support the COVID 19 outbreak. Please continue to monitor equipment for safety and should issues with equipment be identified use the contact information in the equipment advice sheet.

Resources, advice and information for families during social isolation

  • Our Surrey-wide 0-19 Advice Line for support on all aspects of child health, development and parenting is available on tel. 01883 340 922 – open from 8am to 5pm on weekdays.

  • Our Occupational Therapy Helpline for practical occupational therapy advice, strategies and support to schools, parents/carers and other professionals in relation to a child’s/young person’s functional and independence skills is open Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2pm - 4pm on tel. 07974 230 554.

  • Chat Health: our text service is available to all secondary school children in Surrey on 07507 329 951 - open from 9am to 5pm on weekdays. For anyone aged 11-19 looking for confidential advice on a wide range of issues such as bullying, emotional health and wellbeing, sexual health as well as illnesses. 

  • Safe Space Healtha health and wellbeing website created by school nurses for Surrey students aged 11 to 14.

  • Online guides for parents: free guides to understanding your child

  • Our website also has a wide range of advice, information and resources in the For Families section.

Further support and advice for families including emotional wellbeing