Thousands of Cambridgeshire people who needed to self isolate given advice and reassurance
Over 90 percent of people self isolating with COVID symptoms in Cambridgeshire who registered with local authorities have been contacted by a special advice service.
Working with Public Health and NHS Test and Trace Cambridgeshire, the self-isolation service has managed to contact approximately 5000 residents individually, to reassure them and offer advice regarding self-isolation concerns.
This service is part of a commitment made by the councils across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to support everyone who needs help to self-isolate as part of efforts to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
Initially calls were made to people who had tested positive. However, due to the success in reaching those who need to self-isolate, the scheme has now been extended to include residents who have been in close contact and need to isolate as well.
The callers ask whether the residents require help and assistance. This phone conversation ascertains concerns, which usually fall into one of three areas: financial, medical or emotional.
Panos Kokkaris works as an Isolation Support Advisor. His role is to contact residents during their isolation period who have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been in contact with people who have tested positive.
Panos has previously worked in a call centre and was made redundant due to the pandemic. When he saw this role advertised, he knew it was for him - he was attracted to helping people and being able to provide support in times of crisis.
Speaking about his position Panos said: “There are many aspects of the role I really enjoy. One of those is that every phone call is unique. Everyone has something to different to say and has different needs.
“During these calls, we are able to identify these needs and we cover such a wide variety of enquiries, from answering self-isolation questions to providing useful information and contact details to accessing support.
“It’s so rewarding and satisfying to know that I am helping other people during these difficult times.”
If residents need additional help, they will be directed to the community hubs, who support vulnerable people in our communities. Here support is available for a number of issues from financial advice, through to mental health and practical help such as shopping.
Cllr Wayne Fitzgerald, Cabinet Member for Public Health at Peterborough City Council said: “This service plays a key role in supporting those that need to self-isolate, providing them with information, advice and help. The quicker we can reach people who’ve tested positive and get them to isolate, the quicker we can break the chain of infection.”
Cllr Peter Hudson Chairman of the Health Committee at Cambridgeshire County Council said: “Where people require support around isolating, this service can advise on a range of issues, including help with shopping, advice on how to apply for help with loss of income, medical issues or more personal emotional aspects such as loneliness.
“The pandemic is impacting everyone’s lives and Cambridgeshire County Council is working with partners to ensure that the most vulnerable in our communities are supported. You are not alone.”