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No 10 Coronavirus Street

Melissa and Caitlin are a mum and daughter who live in the street and have been there years. Melissa is a single parent, she has 2 other daughters who live about 30 miles away and a son who lives in Cardiff.
Caitlin is a typical moody 15 yr old teenager who attends the local comprehensive. She is asthmatic and has eczema.

Melissa has an underactive thyroid and has medication for this. She also has a blood clotting problem which makes her a greater risk if she catches coronavirus but she is not classed as a shielder. She can work from home during the pandemic.

Melissa worries that Caitlin needs a flu jab in the autumn. She is worried now that Caitlin is out of school and seems to be alienated from her friends that her mental health is suffering. She has been corresponding with the school nurse about Caitlin’s increasingly obsessive behaviours.

Three months into the pandemic, Melissa developed an eye problem. She tolerated it for a while but it was gradually worsening but opticians were closed and it didn’t seem to warrant a GP appointment even though she felt this could be sorted by a video-consultation.
 
What the pandemic has meant for them:
  • Melissa has managed to get a bulk dose of her medication that will last her three months. She is wondering about trying to order repeat tablets online from the surgery but the last time she did this, it didn’t work. She can’t remember the password either but thinks that this is not a priority for the GP surgery to have to deal with at this time.
  • Caitlin usually gets seen in the hospital once a year for a surveillance visit on an unusual mole that she developed as a small child. Melissa is not keen to take her to an appointment because of the risk of coronavirus. However, she has heard that there are no dermatologists in the area and therefore it would be silly to decline any appointment offered. Caitlin’s granddad died at a young age from melanoma, so Melissa knows that these checks are perhaps more important for Caitlin. Melissa could manage a video consultation on this but has been told in the past that it is important that the mole is looked at under a special microscope each year.
  • If the appointment does come up Melissa isn’t sure how Caitlin will react to all the PPE that the staff may be wearing. It may make her obsessive behaviours worse.
  • Melissa did a lot of Googling about eye conditions. She is now a bit worried that maybe her eye condition is a sign of something more serious. However she often tells her friends not to listen to ‘Dr Google’ and she should perhaps follow her own advice.
What we did for people in this kind of situation:
  • CHCs across Wales have regularly discussed the flu vaccine situation with Health Boards and Welsh Government, even in the early summer period when winter seemed a long way away and when people were hoping that the coronavirus situation would just perhaps be resolved by then.
  • HDCHC spoke to the Health Board about the flu vaccination process, the planning needed and how this year it is going to be more challenging because of social distancing. We have told WG that the public are also very aware of this year being different and more people want to have their flu jabs as soon as possible and there needs to be communication about this.
  • CHCs across Wales asked WG and Health Boards how it was going to manage to communicate information to children, young people and other groups who might need to understand about staff wearing PPE in hospitals. We advised that parents and carers could help prepare children and vulnerable individuals for hospital visits if they knew what it was going to be like.
  • HDCHC spoke to the Health Board and asked them to consider a ‘walk through’ video, explaining to people what it would be like going into a hospital now that all the coronavirus measures had to be in place.

Read about Number 11 Coronavirus Street >>


Hywel Dda Community Health Council, Suite 5,1st Floor, Ty Myrddin, Carmarthen, SA31 1LP. 
Phone: 01646 697610 Email: hyweldda@waleschc.org.uk

Hywel Dda Community Health Council welcomes correspondence and telephone calls in Welsh,
and that communicating with us  in Welsh will not lead to delay