Our COVID-19 response

The NHS is facing the greatest global health threat in its history. A huge collective effort is underway with the NHS mobilising to change the way that hospitals and GP practices run, freeing up tens of thousands of beds, bringing in more staff and ventilators, getting protective equipment to where it is needed and ramping up testing. 

In March 2020, NHS South East London CCG established a Covid-19 control centre to provide control and command, co-ordination and decision-making across the integrated care system (ICS) covering:

  • System management of COVID-19 – overall coordination, system oversight and management, along with convening system calls/approaches and ensuring agreed approaches across the ICS where required
  • Information cascade and issue escalation – supports the efficient dissemination of information and escalation of issues that require regional attention
  • Single point of contacts and co-ordination capacity – for the region, along with south east London-wide co-ordination and oversight of Covid-19 returns and workstreams, and logging of key discussions and actions.
  • CCG response – supporting the CCG’s direct response, including the co-ordination of workstream leads, subject matter experts and utilisation of CCG staff to contribute to system working

Several workstreams and subject matter expert groups have been set up that work across south east London.  Example of the workstreams include: primary and community care; acute care; demand and capacity; discharge; estates; and PPE and supplies. In addition, there are a number of areas which have identified subject matter expertise (SME) support such as mental health and learning disabilities services, information technology and care homes.

Whilst the workstreams have been established across south east London, supported and co-ordinated by the CCG working with system partners to ensure a collaborative approach, each of the organisations involved retains its own governance and decision-making arrangements.

Answers to common questions being asked frequently by people locally in south east London.

It is vital that people follow the expert guidance and wash their hands, stay alert and use the NHS responsibly so that services are there for those who really need it.

Use the NHS 111 online symptom checker to find out what you should do.

There is a huge amount of information available about Covid-19. The national guidelines on the pages below are updated regularly and will always contain the most accurate information relating to Covid-19.

In South East London, we are taking action to make sure the NHS is able to care for patients who are admitted to hospital because of coronavirus, and also to ensure patients with other urgent health problems get the treatment they need. All health and care organisations are legally required to share and process data. This will ensure health and care professionals have access to vital information to make quicker, safer decisions about your care.  Changes to opt out during the Covid-19 pandemic mean that even if you previously opted out of sharing your health and care record, it will now be visible to London organisations providing you with care.  Our Privacy Policy explains more about what this means.

Public Health England has provided guidance for health professionals, which is being updated regularly – Public Health England (PHE) guidance for health professionals.

Testing for COVID-19 is available to both frontline healthcare workers and their families as well as other essential workers who cannot work from home.

The government has expanded the scope and capacity for testing of key workers. More frontline workers are now eligible for testing and can book for either drive through or home testing.  The capacity of both of these services is expanding rapidly, which means that staff who are self-isolating will be able to get a test promptly so that they can take appropriate steps or return to work where possible.

All health and care staff, including those working part time and contractors, are eligible for testing if they:

  • Are self-isolating due to COVID-19 symptoms
  • Do not have symptoms, but members of their household do – in this case the household member can get tested too

The test work best in the first three days of someone developing symptoms, so it’s important that people book a test as soon as they think they may have the virus.