Health & Disability Green Paper

The DWP published on 20th July a new Green Paper: Shaping Future Support: The Health and Disability Green Paper.

This Green Paper explores how the benefits system can better meet the needs of disabled people and those with health conditions. It was informed by extensive engagement with disabled people, people with health conditions, and their representatives, to hear about people’s experiences of DWP services and priorities for future change.

The consultation includes changes which could:

  • Enable independent living and testing the role of advocacy so people who need extra help to navigate the benefits system get the right level of support and information first time.
  • Review how assessments are carried out including exploring the potential for longer-term use of telephone and video assessments and looking at how reassessments work including testing a new Severe Disability Group (SDG) for people with severe and life-long conditions that will not improve. This could see those who meet the criteria experiencing a more simplified application process, without the need for an assessment to receive financial support.
  • Improve support for disabled people to help them start, stay and succeed in work through the Work and Health Programme, Access to Work and on personalising employment support, recognising […]
23 July, 2021|

Get vaccinated at Fratton Park this weekend

Anyone aged 18 years and over can get their COVID-19 vaccination at Portsmouth Football Club’s stadium, Fratton Park, this Sunday.

The clinic is being run by Solent NHS Trust, in partnership with Portsmouth FC and Portsmouth City Council, and is open from 12-6pm on Sunday 25 July. No appointments are necessary.

Individuals will be able to get their first or second dose (if it’s been eight weeks since their first dose) of the AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccine. Second doses of the Moderna vaccine are being offered at St James’s Hospital.

Additional walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinics (no appointment necessary) are at these locations in Portsmouth for the rest of the month:

  • St James’ Hospital, Portsmouth –  8am to 7.30pm. Walk-in for first dose vaccinations and second dose vaccinations for AstraZeneca and Moderna, if it has been at least eight weeks since the first dose

Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th July

  • Laly’s Pharmacy, Guildhall Walk, Portsmouth, PO1 2RY. 9am – 1pm and 2pm – 6pm. Anyone aged 18 and over, offering first dose vaccinations and second dose AstraZeneca and Pfizer, if it has been at least eight weeks since first dose.
  • Goldchem Pharmacy, 147a Albert Road, Southsea, Portsmouth PO4 0JW. Open 9.00am – 12.30pm. Anyone aged 18 and over, offering first […]
23 July, 2021|

Patient experience survey: accessing emergency department at QA Hospital

Share your NHS111 First experience

Healthwatch Portsmouth has created this survey to gather widescale feedback on patient experience of NHS111 First on arrival QA Hospital and the public’s awareness of the new access route to the emergency department . As a Portsmouth resident please tell us your first-hand experience of attending QA Hospital’s emergency department from September 2020. You can find the survey here.

NHS111 First background

NHS111 First is a nation-wide initiative from the NHS, its aim being to ensure that people who require NHS care urgently, but who do not have a life-threatening condition, are directed to the most appropriate service for their need once they have been triaged and assessed.

Despite the implementation of NHS111 First in last summer, Healthwatch Portsmouth is aware of pressures on QA Hospital with people arriving who do not have an appointment from NHS111 First.

Healthwatch Portsmouth have created a survey to gather widescale feedback on patient experience of NHS111 First at QA Hospital and the public’s awareness of the new access route to the emergency department. We are searching for Portsmouth residents to tell us their experience since September 2020. The survey can be accessed here.

If you would like to give us […]

20 July, 2021|

New plans to increase protection and strengthen security for GP data collection programme

The NHS’s plans to better use data held by GPs to support planning services and research has sparked a lot of discussion in recent weeks. 

Throughout the pandemic, we have seen first-hand how the data held by the NHS can be an incredibly powerful tool. It has played an essential role in helping to quickly identify those who would need to shield and delivering the largest vaccination programme in the country’s history.

But what about in more normal times? How should the NHS use our data to support the planning and design of services or research ground-breaking new treatments?

What’s the latest with NHS data? 

The latest programme, announced by NHS Digital in mid-May, will see data gathered by GP surgeries brought into a central database to make it easier for the NHS and its partners to use it for purposes that go beyond people’s immediate care needs.

In a letter to all GP’s today [19 July] Minister for Primary Care and Health Promotion, Jo Churchill set out a new process for commencing data collection, moving away from a previously fixed date of 1 September. Data collection will now only begin when the following criteria have been met:

  • The ability for patients […]
20 July, 2021|

Step four changes and guidance – Covid 19

As we enter step four of the Government roadmap, big changes have been made in England.

What has now changed in England?

Social distancing

  • No limits on how many people can meet
  • 1m-plus guidance removed (except in some places like hospitals and passport control when entering)
  • Face coverings no longer required by law, although the Government still “expects and recommends” them in crowded and enclosed spaces
  • Some shops and transport operators will still require masks

Events and gatherings

  • Nightclubs can reopen
  • Pubs and restaurants no longer table-service only
  • No limits on guests at weddings and funerals
  • No limits on people attending concerts, theatres or sports events
  • No restrictions on communal worship


  • Guidance recommending against travel to amber list countries removed. (Those returning from France to England, Wales and Scotland must still quarantine for 10 days)
  • Under-18s and fully vaccinated adults no longer have to self-isolate after visiting amber list countries

Other changes

  • Limits on visitors to care homes will be removed.
  • From 16 August, most Covid restrictions in schools – including “bubbles” – will end.
  • From the same date, fully vaccinated adults will not need to self-isolate after contact with a […]
19 July, 2021|

Get tested for coronavirus (COVID-19)

There are different tests you can get to check if you have coronavirus (COVID-19). The test you need depends on why you’re getting tested.

The 2 main tests are:

  • PCR tests – mainly for people with symptoms, they’re sent to a lab to be checked
  • rapid lateral flow tests – only for people who do not have symptoms, they give a quick result using a device similar to a pregnancy test

Both tests are free.

Regular tests if you do not have symptoms

Anyone can now get regular rapid lateral flow tests without having symptoms.

About 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 do not have symptoms but can still infect others. You should do a rapid test twice a week (every 3 to 4 days) to check if you have the virus.

If people test positive and self-isolate, it helps stop the virus spreading.

Even if you’re vaccinated, there’s still a chance you can pass COVID-19 on, so you should keep getting tested regularly.

Other reasons to get tested

Confirming a previous test result

Get a PCR test as soon as possible if:

  • you’ve done a rapid lateral flow test and had a positive result […]
15 July, 2021|