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COVID-19 updates to health and wellbeing services

Date created: 6/29/2020

​Due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak some of our local services have changed the way they are delivered and accessed, to prioritise the safety of staff and members of the public. Find out more by reading on.

Please note that this information is being kept under continuous review and is updated often.

The NHS is asking you to help it to help you – if you need them, GP surgeries and A&E departments are still open and should be accessed.

In the event of an emergency, call 999. 

When your child is ill or injured, it can be difficult to decide what help they need. Barts Health NHS Trust and East London Health & Care Partnership have put together a helpful guide to help you decide which NHS service to use.

The helpline is operating as usual and is open to all City residents who are in a mental health crisis. It can also be used to refer or self-refer anyone who needs urgent mental health support – call 020 8432 8020

The team is still offering urgent/ emergency visits via the line. To find out more, visit the East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT).

Offers virtual counselling and psychotherapy sessions to residents and workers in and around the Square Mile, whatever their financial circumstances, improving access to treatments that are not available through the NHS.

Counselling and psychotherapy is available to individuals, couples and groups who are experiencing any range of emotional or psychological difficulties. The fee is based on individuals' income and particular financial circumstances.

The online services are available to workers with usual workplaces located in the postcodes EC1-EC5.

Find out more and book an online appointment by visiting the City Wellbeing Centre website​​​.​​

City Advice is a free, impartial and confidential service available to anyone who lives, works or studies in the City of London, or who lives on a City of London Corporation Estate.

Its expert advisors can be contacted about a wide range of topics, such as housing, family, employment, debt, or any other concerns at all. This may also include assistance on how to apply for Government benefits to help with rent, council tax and other costs.

They can also see if you can get extra help from the City Corporation’s Emergency Support Scheme or access to other support.

If you or someone you know is having money worries, if you are struggling to buy essentials, like food, contact City Advice.

You can call City Advice Monday to Friday, 10am-5pm on 020 7392 2919 or you can email City Advice.

Speak with an advisor today to find out what help and support is available for you.

New referrals are still available for City residents, through self-referral via a form on their website. Service users will be contacted by phone in the first instance and the initial assessment will take place over the phone, and proceeded on a case-by-case basis. 

If you are an existing service user you will be contacted by phone for support. All groups are cancelled and there is currently limited face-to-face contacts, judged on a case-by-case basis, particularly where required for clinical reasons.

Prescriptions from the Hackney Recovery Service are being delivered to pharmacies directly, to minimise any unnecessary attendance and face-to-face contact.

Please Note: WDP’s City of London Service will be merged with Hackney Recovery Service and be provided by Turning Point from 1 October 2020. Please contact Turning Point after 30 September for any enquiries.

All face-to-face clinics (including those offered in Boots pharmacies) are cancelled. Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) is available at Boots Bishopsgate, Boots Cheapside, and Boots Cannon Street branches. Other branches are now opening; please seek opening times directly from the pharmacy.

Anyone wishing to self-refer to the service should contact 0300 303 2715 (and select Option 1). Alternatively, self-referrals can be made by completing the form on their website.

Existing service users are being contacted by phone for support and NRT is being posted to existing service users.

Additional information and support to give up smoking can be found on WDP Square Mile Health’s website.

Please Note: WDP’s City of London Stop Smoking Service will cease operation on 30 September.

Classes have been postponed for the time being. Updated information will be made available on this page.

Talk Changes is fully operational and is providing both assessment and treatment via telephone and video conferencing. Anyone registered with a City or Hackney GP can refer themselves via the website or via emailing Talk Changes.

The service is not currently taking telephone calls.

Mind in the City, Hackney and Waltham Forest continues to provide a range of services to adult residents (aged 18+) of these three areas, who experience difficulties with their mental health. More information on each can be found on the services page of the MIND website. Referrals can also be made via the Mind website.

Currently the following services are open to new referrals:

  • Wellbeing Network (waiting list)
  • Universal Credit Advice Service
  • IAPT therapy service (waiting list)
  • IRIE Mind (for people of African or Caribbean heritage)
  • Rainbow Mind (for LGBTQ+ people)

Referrals can be made by individuals themselves or on their behalf by either a professional or family member or friend. The best way to make a referral is to use the online form. If you don't have access to the internet, please call 0208 985 4239

Due to high demand, CELBS is not currently accepting new referrals.

The City and Hackney Bereavement Service is fully operational.

St Joseph’s Hospice provides bereavement support and counselling for:

  • bereaved family and friends, including children, of people who have been cared for by St Joseph’s, whether in the hospice, at home, or by other hospices.
  • adults (18+) who live in City and Hackney or are registered with a City and Hackney GP, who have experienced a bereavement that was not connected to St Joseph’s or who are anticipating the death of a close friend or relative from an advanced, terminal illness.

St Joseph's Hospice is also offering support to children, young people and families who have lost a family member, care giver or other significant person due to COVID-19. This support is free and available to children and young people up to the age of 18 who either live in the City, or who are registered with a City of London or Hackney GP.

If you, or a child or young person you are aware of, could benefit from a chance to talk to someone about a death due to COVID-19, please contact the First Contact Team, who will take some initial information about who is being referred and the death that has occurred.

Face-to-face sessions at the Hospice have now resumed. However, telephone and video contacts remain available options for those who do not wish to attend the Hospice in person. Access to interpreters is available, if needed.

To self-refer or to find out more, contact the service via telephone: 0300 303 0400 or by email the City and Hackney Bereavement Service. Visit the City and Hackney Bereavement Service website.

Professionals are able to refer to all three elements of CAMHS on behalf of young people, parents and families, during working hours (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday) and using a referral form. Self-referrals from young people and families are not being accepted.

Consultations are being offered virtually, moving towards face-to-face work where needed and where it is safe to do so.

There is also a crisis line open 24/7 for young people, families and professionals, where a mental health professional will be available to speak about your concerns. Call 020 8432 8020

  • First Steps Community CAMHS: 0207 014 7135
  • CAMHS Disability: 0207 014 7071
  • Specialist CAMHS: 0203 222 5600
  • Off Centre (16-25): 020 8986 4016
  • Children & Family Services Clinical Service: 0208 356 5000 (Out-of-hours: 0208 356 5000)

The City Connections Service continues to provide community support assessments for residents aged 18+ and young carers. Through these it aims to understand the client needs and to link them to the appropriate services.

The City Connections Carers' Service continues via a combination of focused one-to-one support and online group activities.

The Community Connectors service - where volunteers link up with clients who have a community support plan in order to help them access it - are not currently available, as this service involves physical interaction.

Referrals are being accepted through the usual channels – via the City Connections websitevia email or telephone: 020 3957 9844

Vitamins are available for pregnant women, new mothers up to their child’s first birthday and children aged under four years old, living or registered with a GP in City/Hackney at two City locations:

  • Chauhan S Chemist on Goswell Road (Golden Lane Estate, EC1M 7AA) - 020 7253 9691

Updates due to Covid-19: Vitamins are in stock and can be collected during regular pharmacy hours

  • The City of London Child and Family Centre (St James Passage, Dukes Place, EC3A 5DE)

Updates due to Covid-19: if you previously accessed vitamins from The City of London Child and Family Centre, please contact Georgina via text at 079 1204 1669 or email Georgina to arrange for vitamins.

For further information, visit the Henry website, email the Henry service, or call 075 1910 9876.

Come Correct

If you are aged 24 or under, you can access free condoms through the confidential Come Correct service. While many of the pick-up points are currently closed, visit the Come Correct website to find out which locations are still open and operating.

​The Free Condom Project

If you are aged 25 or over and live in the City, you can access free condoms from a range of locations across the City and Hackney. Visit the The Free Condom Project website to find out more, and to find your nearest outlet.

Due to COVID-19 the walk-in clinic at 80 Leadenhall Street is currently closed.

Services are being provided at Clifden Centre at Homerton Hospital after a telephone consultation first. Call 020 7683 4103 and then a clinician will call back, conduct a phone consultation and then advise on the next steps.

All of this is subject to change as the situation evolves – the NHS Homerton website will be updated with the latest information. 

There is no referral process – the service is accessed via SHL’s website.

The online triage service is now also open to those experiencing mild symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection​, as well as those who do not have any symptoms.

The service tests for STIs as an alternative to attending a clinic and can also provide some treatment remotely. City residents must be aged over 16 to access the service.

If, after registering, you need to speak so someone, the information on how to do that is provided within the Sexual Health London website.

Body & Soul

Body & Soul supports children, teenagers and families living with, or closely affected by, HIV, who live in the City of London.

It provides an array of support, including: peer support groups and information workshops for children, teenagers and adults; one-to-one counselling with mental health professionals; information and advocacy on issues, such as health and treatment, welfare, human rights and immigration; and much more.

They are currently accepting new referrals which can be done by completing their online referral form. Once complete, a member of staff will get in touch to arrange a time to register the person either being referred or referring themselves.

To find out more about Body & Soul’s services and how to become a member, please call 020 7923 6880 or email Body & Soul.

Positive East

Positive East works with City residents living with or affected by HIV. They work to provide support and advice on HIV, as well as health and wellbeing, benefit advice, housing issues and more. They also offer free and confidential counselling and psychotherapy sessions.

They are currently accepting new referrals. Referrals can be made through your hospital clinic or by calling 020 7791 2855. Proof of HIV status will be requested. To find out more about HIV testing and for more information please call 020 7791 2855 or email Positive East.

The following process has been implemented in London to ensure patients with an urgent dental problem can access care during the pandemic period. All routine dental treatment is postponed until further notice:

If you are registered with a dentist:

  • All NHS dental practices are expected to be providing urgent telephone advice and triage. Anyone with a regular dentist should, as a first step, call their practice. Do not visit the practice. Your dentist will assess your condition, give advice, and if needed, issue prescriptions for painkillers or antibiotics which can then be collected from, or delivered by a local pharmacy.
  • If, following triage by your dentist, you are assessed as requiring an urgent face-to face treatment, you will be directed to ring 111 where you will be triaged by the Dental Triage service (see below).

If you are not registered with a dentist, or you cannot get in touch with your dentist:

  • Call NHS 111 directly, where you will be referred to the Dental Triage Service.
  • Following assessment by the Dental Triage Service, if you need an onward referral, this will be made to one of the Urgent Dental Care Hubs (UDCH)
  • Following remote assessment by the UDCH, if felt clinically appropriate, you will be directed to attend for a face-to-face consultation.

Please do not visit A&E departments with dental problems.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms, it’s important to inform the services of this when you speak to them.

Find the nearest open pharmacy to you by visiting the NHS website​ and searching by postcode.

COVID-19 means that we should stay at home as much as possible, but it’s still easy to get NHS help using a smartphone, tablet or computer.

If you need an NHS service, try to do it online first. This helps everyone to follow social distancing.

There is help available for you to:

  • ​Order repeat prescriptions
  • Contact your GP, access GP online services, or arrange a GP or hospital appointment from home
  • Find out about urgent dental treatment
  • Manage long-term physical or mental health conditions
  • Manage your mental and physical wellbeing and take control of your health from home

Find out more by visiting the NHS Health at Home website. Unless you have been asked not to, you should continue to attend in-person appointments for ongoing treatment.

For urgent medical advice, the NHS 111 website​ will tell you when and where to get help, and can arrange for you to be contacted by a nurse if needed. Only call 111 if you are unable to get help online. In an emergency, call 999.

If you have a serious or life-threatening emergency or you feel very unwell, you should still go to hospital.​