Agencies are working together to tackle Covid-19

Published on Apr 02, 2020

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact all of our lives, thousands of ‘key workers’ across the Humber region are working tirelessly around the clock to keep their communities fed, in touch and ultimately safe.

Lorry drivers, post office workers, bus drivers and, of course, NHS staff are rightly being praised and appreciated by the whole country for their unwavering efforts in the face of a deadly, unpredictable virus.

At a more local level, Humberside Police are still patrolling our streets and responding to 999 and 101 calls. Humberside Fire and Rescue Service and regional ambulance services continue to provide around the clock fire and paramedic cover on both sides of the Humber.

Local Authorities are becoming the hubs for social care and are providing support and advice around such varied things as business support and mental health, whilst healthcare providers are helping the most vulnerable with their changing medical needs.

These organisations are not only working in their own areas in terms of role and geography, but they come together every day to plan the next phase of the battle against Covid-19.

The Humber Local Resilience Forum (Humber LRF) brings together all of these responding agencies and other relevant organisations to plan for and respond to large incidents and emergencies such as flooding, a significant industrial fire or in this case, a health pandemic.

The Forum meets regularly and are involved in many live or table-top exercises to plan for exceptional circumstances. Between meetings all the agencies staff work together coordinated by the Humber Emergency Planning team that the local agencies fund.

Chief Fire Officer Chris Blacksell, Chair of the Humber LRF, said: “The number of confirmed cases is now over 1,000 in this region (Yorkshire and Humber). Thankfully the number of deaths is still relatively low compared to other areas of the country and across Europe. Sadly, we must accept that this figure will rise significantly in the coming weeks and months, but we are doing everything we can to slow the spread of the virus in our region by working together.

“The messages put out by central government and locally by the police and local authorities to self isolate and avoid large gatherings in public are being heard and adhered to by the public. I want to thank the vast majority of people who are staying at home and practising good social distancing.

“To those who continue to flout the advice, I would say that the threat from this virus is very real and if we can stop it spreading so quickly, we can take pressure off our NHS and save many lives. Please follow the guidelines issued nationally and locally.

“As a Local Resilience Forum, we are in the best place to share data and support each other so that we can help those who most need it through this unprecedented situation. We are running our response to this emergency, which we formally declared as a Major Incident locally some time ago, through a daily Strategic Coordination Group which includes other partners such as Port Health Authorities and private sector partners like KCOM. Various sub groups also ‘meet’ virtually each day, coordinating all areas of multi agency response and implementation of our existing plans for managing a pandemic.

“We plan for every eventuality, even the worse ones. Multiple injuries or mass fatalities is never something you expect or obviously want to ever deal with, but all of our partner agencies plan for this. Like other areas of the country, we are looking closely at the number of hospital beds likely to be required and even the capacity of local mortuaries. We always hoped that the day would never arrive to even have to consider such measures as mortuary increases, but we are sure that the public would prefer us to be prepared for such an eventuality and to be able to treat their lost loved ones with dignity regardless of how this situation develops.

“All agencies have implemented strict procedures to minimise contamination risk to our staff so that we can continue to provide the best possible service to the public. On behalf of those staff, and those other key workers in the private sector such as shop workers, delivery drivers and many more, I would like to thank the public for their co-operation and appeal for everyone to continue to demonstrate patience and support for those who are providing vital services

“Only by working closely together in these unprecedented times will we be able to save as many lives as we possibly can.”

Free online mental health support service launched to help children and young people in North Lincolnshire

Published on Apr 01, 2020

A free online mental health and emotional wellbeing support service has been launched to help children and young people living in North Lincolnshire, Hull and East Yorkshire.

People aged between 11 and 25 in these areas can now register to use Kooth, a free, anonymous online counselling and emotional wellbeing service which can be accessed using a computer, smartphone or tablet device.

Children and young people can access Kooth, which is accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, to receive one-on-one online sessions with qualified counsellors, receive and provide peer-to-peer support through moderated online forums, and read and contribute articles.

Kooth can also be used to keep an online journal and track your wellbeing via an interactive goal tracker. There are no waiting lists or thresholds for use, so people can use the service as soon as they register.

Kooth – created by XenZone, the UK’s largest provider of online mental health services – has been commissioned for use in North Lincolnshire, Hull and East Yorkshire by the Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership.

The Partnership is made up of NHS organisations, local councils, health and care providers and voluntary and community organisations, which are working together to improve health and care across Humber, Coast and Vale – an area which includes the cities of Hull and York and large rural areas across East Yorkshire, North Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire.

Michele Moran, Chair of the Humber, Coast and Vale Mental Health Partnership Board, said: “We are really pleased to announce that Kooth is now available to people aged between 11 and 25 in Hull, East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire. This early intervention and prevention service allows children and young people struggling with their mental health to receive prompt help and support when they need it.

“At a time of heightened stress and anxiety due to the ongoing coronavirus situation, it’s really important that we take steps to manage our mental health and emotional wellbeing, and also look out for others. We encourage parents, carers and teachers to promote Kooth to the children and young people in their lives and support them to access this safe online service.”

Dr Amy Oehring, NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group’s GP Lead for Children, said: “The launch of Kooth in these areas is welcome news as it will provide timely help and support to those children and young people who need it; and will hopefully reduce some of the anxiety they might feel when attending face-to-face appointments, while helping them to build their mental resilience and self-confidence too.

“If you think a child or young person is struggling with their mental health, but feel you need further help, you can always contact your GP to talk about what additional support and guidance is available.”

Dr Lynne Green, XenZone’s Chief Clinical Officer, said: “We urge the young people of Hull, East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire to make the most out of Kooth. The articles and forums are a great way for young people to take a preventative approach to their wellbeing and learn from others who may be in similar positions, while our trained counsellors are there for them when they need it.”

Visit kooth.com for more information.

Coronavirus information – please stay at home

Published on Mar 19, 2020

Advice on the global coronavirus outbreak is constantly being updated. You can find the latest local and national information and advice from Public Health by clicking here. 

North Lincolnshire CCG Chairman Dr Faisel Baig has issued the following statement:

“Dear North Lincolnshire Residents,

Many of you will be aware of our Government’s recent guidance on social distancing and the need to limit all non-essential contact if we are to tackle Coronavirus Covid-19 effectively. This guidance is especially relevant if you are over 70 and/or have a long-term medical condition, are immuno-suppressed or are pregnant: Please click here

If you think you have symptoms of Coronavirus Covid-19, you and your household/close contacts will need to self-isolate and it may be that you need to seek some medical advice through NHS 111 online.  Please use the links below to guide you:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19

If you already have a GP practice appointment or feel that you need one, you are asked not to attend your GP practice in person unless advised to do so by a member of staff at the practice.  You should phone your practice or contact them online in the first instance.  You will find that your GP or nurse will most likely phone you back to establish more information about your medical needs and will then agree the best course of action with you whilst considering the national guidance.

It may be that your GP or nurse is able to treat you through a phone or a video consultation or that it is deemed safe to call you into the practice. In some circumstances you may be redirected to another service, for example NHS 111.

Medications only need to be ordered in the quantities that you usually request and prescriptions can be sent directly from practices to your chosen pharmacy.

Our GP practice teams and all our NHS staff are working harder than ever during this challenging environment so please bear with us and be rest assured that we will do our absolute best to ensure that your needs are met.

Best wishes.”

Dr Faisel Baig

Stay at home to stop coronavirus spreading

Everyone must stay at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

This includes people of all ages – even if you do not have any symptoms or other health conditions.

You can only leave your home:

  • to shop for basic essentials – only when you really need to
  • to do one form of exercise a day – such as a run, walk or cycle, alone or with other people you live with
  • for any medical need – for example, to visit a pharmacy or deliver essential supplies to a vulnerable person
  • to travel to and from work – but only where this is absolutely necessary

What to do if you have coronavirus symptoms

Continue to stay at home if you have either:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)

To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home.

Use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do.

Information: Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

What to do if you need medical help for another reason

If you need medical help not related to coronavirus, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

  • For health information and advice, use the NHS website or check your GP surgery website.
  • For urgent medical help, use the NHS 111 online service. Only call 111 if you’re unable to get help online.
  • For life-threatening emergencies, call 999 for an ambulance.

Read more advice about getting medical help at home.

Advice for people at high risk

If you’re at high risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus, there are extra things you should do to avoid catching it.

These include:

  • not leaving your home – you should not go out to do shopping, visit friends or family, or attend any gatherings
  • avoiding close contact with other people in your home as much as possible

Read the full advice on protecting yourself if you’re at high risk from coronavirus on GOV.UK.

Who is at high risk?

You may be at high risk from coronavirus if you:

  • have had an organ transplant
  • are having certain types of cancer treatment
  • have blood or bone marrow cancer, such as leukaemia
  • have a severe lung condition, such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma
  • have a condition that makes you much more likely to get infections
  • are taking medicine that weakens your immune system
  • are pregnant and have a serious heart condition

Information: If you’re at high risk, you will be contacted by the NHS by Sunday 29 March 2020. Do not contact your GP or healthcare team at this stage – wait to be contacted.

Other things you can do to stop the infection spreading

Do

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • stay 2 metres (3 steps) away from other people, if you need to go outside

Don’t

  • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

How coronavirus is spread

Because it’s a new illness, we do not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person.

Similar viruses are spread in cough droplets.

It’s very unlikely it can be spread through things like packages or food.

Pregnancy advice

If you’re pregnant and worried about coronavirus, you can get advice about coronavirus and pregnancy from the Royal College of Obstretricians and Gynaecologists.

Treatment for coronavirus

There is currently no specific treatment for coronavirus.

Antibiotics do not help, as they do not work against viruses.

Treatment aims to relieve the symptoms while your body fights the illness.

You’ll need to stay in isolation, away from other people, until you have recovered.

Get an isolation note to give to your employer

If you live with someone who has symptoms of coronavirus, you can get an isolation note to send to your employer as proof you need to stay off work.

You do not need to get a note from a GP.

Information: If you have symptoms of coronavirus and need to stay at home, use the 111 coronavirus service to get an isolation note.

 

Specific guidance has also been shared with NHS staff to help safeguard them and others. Patients can be reassured that their safety is a top priority and are encouraged to attend all appointments as usual.

For further details please click here.

 

 

Yorkshire Ambulance Service takes over patient transport service

Published on Mar 04, 2020

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust provides NHS-funded transport for eligible people who are unable to travel by other means due to their medical condition, and who need to attend hospital outpatient clinics and community-based care, are being discharged from hospital or need regular treatment such as chemotherapy or renal dialysis.

For more information, visit Yorkshire Ambulance Service’s website by clicking here.

To make new booking, amend an existing booking, or cancel a booking, contact Yorkshire Ambulance Service on 0300 330 2000 between 08:00 and 18:00.

Please only book a journey that is necessary, if you are able to travel with a friend or family member, or can make use of public transport, please do so.

You may be eligible for Patient Transport Service (PTS) if you have a medical condition which could stop you getting to your appointment by any other means.

NHS-funded transport may be provided:

  • to and from hospital outpatient clinics
  • to and from community-based care
  • for admission to, or discharge from, hospital wards
  • for regular lifesaving treatments such as renal dialysis or chemotherapy.

When you request transport, you will be asked a series of questions that will be used to establish whether you meet the eligibility criteria set by the Department of Health and Social Care (available here)

The questions will also help to assess the level of support that you will need to get you to your destination safely and comfortably.

These questions will be asked every time you book transport. This is to ensure that there is an up-to-date understanding of your circumstances, including your condition and your mobility.

If you are not eligible for NHS-funded transport provided by Yorkshire Ambulance Service, there are alternative transport options available to ensure that you can attend your hospital appointments. Ask call handler for advice or visit Yorkshire Ambulance Service’s website by clicking here.

Journeys may be booked directly by patients or by someone involved in the patient’s care, such as carer, relative or healthcare representative – contact Yorkshire Ambulance Service on 0300 330 2000 between 08:00 and 18:00.

New app aims to help the Humber stay happy and healthy

Published on Mar 02, 2020

 

NHS partners across the Humber are breaking new ground with an innovation designed to help people lead healthier lives from their smartphone and tablet.

With more than 325,000 health apps on the market, there is now a solution to help residents of the Humber region find the best and safest ones, in the shape of an easy-to-use library on the web: humberhealthapps.co.uk.

For the first time, residents across the Humber can access a raft of reviewed apps to improve their health and well-being from a single source – safe in the knowledge that they have been tried and tested, and that their personal data is secure.

Each app is subjected to seven stages of rigorous testing to investigate how safe and user-friendly it is, and to assess any potential risks it may hold, before getting a clear and transparent review score that is shown on the apps library.  With upwards of 200 new health and care apps hitting the market every day, the library is updated constantly to keep pace with the latest clinical guidance.

The site also has the added dimension of assisting GPs and other health professionals across the Humber region recommend trusted apps to their patients.

Dr Avi Pillai, of North Lincolnshire CCG and pictured above, said, “Humber health apps allows the clinician to make an informed choice on which app to advice their patients to use in real time during a patient consultation. The Humber health apps platform is easy to navigate. What is most reassuring is the vigorous vetting process that these apps are put through before being allowed on the Humber health apps platform. An Added bonus is how reactive the Orcha team is to feedback from clinicians about the apps.”

The initiative has been developed by NHS partners across the Humber in collaboration with experts from ORCHA – the Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Applications. The partnership aims to make it easier for the Humber community to find the best and safest apps for hundreds of different needs, such as better mental health, stopping smoking, improving fitness, overcoming breathing difficulties, and managing diabetes.

John Mitchell, Associate Director of IT at the CCG said, “Every day across the Humber, people from all walks of life, young and old, use mobile apps to improve their health and well-being.

“With more than five million downloads globally every day; they are increasingly becoming an important part of our everyday life.

“Yet for us, apps aren’t just about giving information – they are also about engaging patients in their own healthcare.

“Our patients already use apps to check their symptoms, track their worries, monitor their medications, and review all manner of concerns. Now this site allows us to help them find those apps that will let them do so in a safe way.”

Liz Ashall-Payne, ORCHA’s Chief Executive, said: “The market is awash with mobile health apps – there are twice as many as just four years ago.

“But until now it has been difficult for people to navigate app stores to compare different apps, and ensure they are good and safe.

“It has been a fantastic experience working with clinicians and digital health innovators from across NHS partners in Humber as we’ve brought this initiative to life.”

Sign up for FREE suicide prevention training workshops in Scunthorpe

Published on Feb 26, 2020

People are being encouraged to sign up for free suicide prevention training workshops in Scunthorpe next month, as part of the #TalkSuicide campaign from local NHS and council organisations.

The Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership is hosting two workshops in Scunthorpe on Wednesday, 18th March 2020 at Church Square House, 30-40 High Street, Scunthorpe, DN15 6NL – and members of the public are invited to attend to learn life-saving skills.

These one-hour workshops, which will run between 9.30am-10.30am and 11am-12pm, are free to attend but it is essential to register beforehand. You can register at: bit.ly/talksuicidescunthorpe.

There were 6,507 registered suicides in the UK in 2018 – which amounts to one death by suicide every 80 minutes. Yorkshire and Humber had some of the highest rates of suicide in England in 2018.

The suicide prevention workshops will be group training sessions, including interactive video-based training from the Zero Suicide Alliance and discussion with people who work in suicide prevention within our local community. Free refreshments will be available.

Completing the training at the workshop will help you to:

  • Identify the signs of when someone might be suffering from suicidal thoughts.
  • Feel comfortable speaking out about suicide in a supportive manner.
  • Signpost anyone suffering from suicidal thoughts to the correct services and support.

The workshops are part of the Partnership’s #TalkSuicide campaign, which aims to reduce the stigma around talking about suicide by raising awareness about suicide in our communities and encouraging our people to complete suicide prevention training.

Jo Kent, Suicide Prevention Lead for the Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership, said: “Every death by suicide is a tragedy and in Humber, Coast and Vale we are working collaboratively with the NHS, councils, voluntary organisations and other groups to prevent suicides from happening in our communities.

“The suicide prevention training is integral to this work as those who complete the training can make a real difference in their communities, simply by being better placed to identify those people who might be suffering from suicidal thoughts, knowing what to say to them in these circumstances, and signposting them to the most appropriate services.

“We want to train as many people as possible in our communities so if you can spare an hour on the morning of Wednesday, 18thth March please register for one of the free suicide prevention training workshops taking place in Scunthorpe – the skills you learn could help to save someone’s life in the future.”

Can’t attend either of the Scunthorpe workshops? Workshops are also being held in Grimsby, Hull, Beverley, York and Scarborough during March. Visit talksuicide.co.uk to find out when these workshops are taking place.

You can also complete the training on the talksuicide.co.uk website, where you can also find out more about the #TalkSuicide campaign.

North Lincolnshire lung patients first in UK to benefit from NHS intelligent virtual rehab service

Published on Jan 30, 2020

Lung patients in North Lincolnshire are set to be the first in the UK to benefit from a pioneering virtual reality (VR) pulmonary rehabilitation programme – offered for the first time on the NHS.

NHS North Lincolnshire CCG successfully submitted a bid to NHS England to fund the programme for people in North Lincolnshire living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) in late 2019.

From February 4, 2020, GP practices in North Lincolnshire will be able to offer COPD patients a kit consisting of a virtual reality headset, wearable sensor and mobile data hotspot so that they can partake in pulmonary rehab exercises, led by a digital instructor, from the comfort of their own home.

The immersive app places the wearer in a sun-kissed beachside training routine environment. Historically, pulmonary rehabilitation classes have typically been delivered in hospital outpatient departments by a physiotherapist.

This additional service, delivered across the three Primary Care Networks in North Lincolnshire, will provide an additional 501 pulmonary rehabilitation places a year.

Patients who choose this option can benefit from faster access to rehabilitation and are able to start treatment within one week of their referral.

Concept Health Technologies, a company specialising in medical virtual reality and artificial intelligence, developed the solution led by Dr Farhan Amin in 2017. This is the first time the initiative has been rolled-out at scale.

Evaluation from the pilot scheme showed that patient retention rates improved by up to 80 per cent – boosting patients’ independence and reducing the need for hospital visits.

Dr Satpal Shekhawat, Medical Director at NHS North Lincolnshire CCG said: “I am confident that this will significantly improve quality of life for our COPD patients.

“Many parts of North Lincolnshire are rural and some are not well-served by public transport, so this programme will really help those who might otherwise struggle to attend a rehabilitation appointment in person.

“This is an additional service which will add significant capacity to deliver pulmonary rehabilitation for North Lincolnshire residents. We anticipate this will reduce waiting times and ultimately reduce the number of hospital admissions for people living with COPD.

“I am proud that we are truly bringing healthcare to our patients’ doorsteps.”

For further information, please contact Communications Manager, Amy Campbell, at: amy.campbell18@nhs.net or call 01652 251 047.

Taking Time to Talk about mental health

Published on

A team which provides care for people in North Lincolnshire with mental health needs is supporting Time to Talk Day on February 6 to promote the benefits of talking.

Staff at Great Oaks, Ashby High Street in Scunthorpe, is using the national awareness day to hold an event at the unit for patients, their friends and family to chat and share their thoughts about mental health.

Great Oaks consists of two inpatient wards called Laurel and Mulberry and is run by Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH).

Theresa Hepworth, RDaSH Reablement Support Worker, said: “We are using Time to Talk Day to encourage everyone at the unit to take time out to chat and mingle socially over a cuppa and cake. There will be lots of fun activities designed to get everyone talking and there will be plenty of top tips to start conversations.”

The event is being held between 2 and 4pm in the main dining room at Great Oaks and is for family, friends and carers of those receiving care at the unit.

One in four people will experience a mental health problem in any given year. Time to Talk Day provides the opportunity to generate conversations about mental health to bust myths and break down the barriers that people experiencing a mental health problem can face.

Late night haven for mental health support in Scunthorpe

Published on Jan 07, 2020

A new initiative to provide late night support and safety for people with mental health problems is set to launch in Scunthorpe.

The Haven, which launches on 9th January 2020, is designed to help reduce the risk of mental health crisis by providing a safe space for people who urgently need to talk to someone.

The service will be provided by the Scunthorpe arm of mental health charity, Mind, at their premises at Printer’s Yard on Fenton Street, Scunthorpe and is commissioned by NHS North Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group.

The Haven will offer mental health support to people aged 16 and over in North Lincolnshire in the evenings and at weekends, Thursday to Sunday, when they may need help most. As well as offering support, professionals are also able to refer and direct onwards to further services if required.

Trained mental health support workers will offer self-help guidance and tools to support people to manage thoughts of self-harm, low mood and anxiety. They will support people to reduce any immediate crisis and to safety plan; drawing on strengths, resilience, and coping mechanisms to manage their mental health and wellbeing.

There will also be a communal area with a TV, board games, adult colouring and refreshments so service users can relax and ‘just be’.

Anyone who needs support is welcome to drop in but referrals can also be made by a GP practice, mental health team, social care, police or ambulance service.

The Haven provides a safe environment to support people in the community, reducing pressure on the emergency services. People who attend will also be offered a follow-up call the next day to see how they are doing.

Alex Seale, Chief Operating Officer at NHS North Lincolnshire CCG, said: “Rather than replace existing mental health services, the new service will complement them. I am pleased that we are able to deliver this much-needed service for our population.”

Claire Chapman, Chief Executive at Scunthorpe and District Mind said: “People experiencing thoughts of self-harm, low mood and anxiety need to be seen promptly by an appropriate mental health professional.

“We offer a safe haven for anyone in mental health distress. Support workers can quickly help the individual to manage troubling thoughts and keep themselves safe.

“I would encourage anyone experiencing these troubling symptoms to come and speak to us at The Haven. Our team of support workers can help support people to help prevent situations reaching crisis point.”

The Haven opening times (9 January 2020 –  9 July 2020)
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For further information please visit the dedicated page on the NHS North Lincolnshire CCG website or contact NHS North Lincolnshire CCG Communications Manager Amy Campbell on 01652 251047 or email amy.campbell18@nhs.net.

Mental health tips for the Christmas period

Published on Dec 18, 2019

A North Lincolnshire based health trust which provides a range of services across the borough to people experiencing difficulties with their mental health has issued the following advice for residents who may be experiencing more than just the winter blues over the Christmas period.

Graeme Fagan, North Lincolnshire Director for mental health services for Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH), said: “For some people the festive season brings increased levels of anxiety and stress, and for others it may intensify feelings of loneliness, sadness and isolation.

“It’s important for people to know there is always someone to talk to and to seek help when it’s needed.  In the first instance North Lincolnshire residents should try and speak to their GP or ring the out of hours on call GP.

“In an emergency situation, where you, or someone you know has concerns about their immediate mental health, you should ring our Crisis Team on North Lincolnshire 01724 382015.”

The Trust also has specialist mental health staff, working in the Emergency Department at Scunthorpe Hospital, who support the hospital staff and offer advice and assistance when people, both adults and children, are admitted.

Patients are assessed and offered a range of different support, depending upon their individual needs. This can include one-to-one support and counselling, group support and access to the Trust’s Talking Therapies service via the website http://iapt.rdash.nhs.uk

Another alternative is calling The Samaritans free on 116 123. There is also the Rethink helpline available 24 hours a day on telephone 08088 010442.  However, if anyone has actually harmed themselves they should attend Emergency Department immediately.

Cllr Ralph Ogg, cabinet member for Adults and Health at North Lincolnshire Council, said: “Support is available for people to improve their mental health and wellbeing all year round. However, Christmas time can be a difficult time for some people, especially those living on their own. We are encouraging people to talk about how they are feeling and get help from their GP or contact a helpline.

“Evidence suggests there are five steps you can take to improve your mental health and wellbeing. Trying these things could help people feel more positive and able to get the most out of life. Further details can be found at www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/improve-mental-wellbeing/.”

There are a number of national helplines that also offer support, a list of useful links can be found in the ‘Support and advice’ section via the following link: http://www.rdash.nhs.uk