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Healthwatch Derbyshire Launches Telephone Helpline

Staff there will be answering any coronavirus-related queries on weekdays.

Patient health and social watchdog care Healthwatch Derbyshire has launched a telephone helpline as part of the wider efforts to ensure Derbyshire residents get the latest Covid-19 information.

NHS organisations and local authorities across the city and county have launched an online hub with the latest updates, advice, information and direct signposting to other useful websites at https://joinedupcarederbyshire.co.uk/public-info-covid-19

However, it is widely recognised that not everyone has easy access to the internet and Healthwatch Derbyshire has therefore set up the telephone hotline manned by its team who are currently working from home.

CEO Helen Henderson-Spoors explained: “There is a wealth of information available online, but this is not always easy to access for some people.

“We have spoken to older people, people that have learning disabilities and people with little/no broadband – all of which have found a telephone helpline useful.

“It is really important to have a telephone helpline from a trusted source to ensure that everyone has access to the information, advice and support they need to stay safe, keep informed and be able to access services during the lockdown.

“We have already had calls from people across the city and county wanting advice and information about a range of health and care issues from people concerned about relatives in care homes to the availability of urgent dental care.

“As well as signposting people to the organisation who can directly help, the team have also been in touch with relevant authorities themselves on the caller’s behalf where necessary to ensure they get the help, advice and information that they need.

“Operating this service is an extension of our usual role to ensure that the voice of patients, service users and the public are heard by health and social care providers and commissioners.

“Our team has wide experience of engaging directly with the public and have wide-ranging knowledge of local services so are well-placed to help ensure that all Derbyshire residents have access to the information, support and advice they need.”

The helpline is available Monday to Friday 10am to 3.30pm on 01773 880786.

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