Information Now

18 September 2020


Coronavirus restrictions in Newcastle and the North East
A Very 2020 Race for Life
Eye health awareness week
World Alzheimer’s month

Research & Reports

Findings on social prescribing

Opportunities for Action

Tax and the Pandemic


Heritage resource that support clinical outcomes
Useful information for those affected by dementia

New on InformationNOW this week!

Women’s bike mechanics course
Ageing Intelligence Exhibition

Updated articles & organisations
Glaucoma UK


Coronavirus restrictions in Newcastle and the North East

From Friday 18th September, new measures have been brought in.  In summary:

  • Residents must not socialise with other people outside their own households or support bubble in private homes and gardens
  • Hospitality for food and drink will be restricted to table service only
  • Late night restriction of operating hours will be introduced, with leisure and entertainment venues required to close between 10 pm to 5 am.


Residents are also advised to adhere to the following guidance to further reduce rates of infection:

  • Residents should not socialise with other people outside their own households in all public venues.
  • Residents should only use public transport for essential purposes, such as travelling to school or work
  • Holidays should be taken within your own household or support bubble
  • Residents are advised against attending amateur and semi-professional sporting events as spectators.

Full Government legislation

What can  you do? When you are out, think: hands, face, space

If you have symptoms, self isolate and contact Test and Trace; our facilities are at.

  • The Great Park
  • Walk in Centre, Shields Road, Byker
  • Newcastle General Hospital site

More on how to use NHS Test and Trace

Read more about the integrated Covid hub to support our fight against the virus, opening December.

A Very 2020 Race for Life, 26 September 2020

After a year where vital cancer trials have been delayed, the Race for Life (for Cancer Research UK) is going to be very different in 2020, but they would still like you to take part. Walk, jog or run 5k  on your own or with your household and raise money for life-saving research. Share what you do  #Very2020RaceForLife  Sign up and show your support by fundraising for them. They have a training plan that you can use to prepare.

Please check local regulations on the pandemic lockdown for the North East  before you do your activity on 26 September.

Four in 10 cancers are preventable, but there are concerns that people are not attending their screening appointments.
At the same time, scientists continue to develop tests that help find specific types of cancer before signs or symptoms appear.  Each type of cancer has its own screening tests. Some types of cancer currently do not have an effective screening method. Developing new cancer screening tests is an area of active research.The main goals of cancer screening are to:

  • reduce the number of people who die from the disease, or eliminate deaths from cancer altogether
  • reduce the number of people who develop the disease

Cancer Research UK are the leading charity looking at prevention, treatment and cure.   They look into causes of cancer, strategies for early diagnosis of cancer and they want to translate their research findings into changes and improvements in treatment and cure.  InformationNOW has updated its article on cancer to ensure you are informed about what screening is available, self-examination and being aware of changes in your body.

Eye Health Awareness week, commencing 21 September

It’s eye health awareness week and Glaucoma UK  has come up with five top tips for looking after your eyes while you’re using screens which many of us may be doing owing to coronavirus:

  1. think blink! Remember to blink as much as possible, and rest your eyes frequently
  2. use the 20-20-20 rule. After 20 minutes of screen usage, look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds
  3. use artificial tears as often as you like, especially if your eyes feel dry, scratchy or look red
  4. if screen glare is a problem, use a glare reducing screen or filter, or adjust the brightness and contrast on your screen
  5. avoid bright light sources, such as windows in front of or behind you, to reduce glare

Dry eye disease

Symptoms of dry eye: your eyes feel dry, scratchy and irritated or watery, and feel heavy and tired at the end of the day. Although it’s called dry eye,one of the symptoms you experience might be very watery eyes, as the brain tries to compensate for the dryness by producing more tears.

If you have a persistent problem with dry eye, they suggest that  you get your eyes tested by an optometrist at an opticians  where you can ask for advice about which eye drops are the best ones for your symptoms.You can buy these yourself, e.g. at a supermarket, where they may be cheaper, but it is best to get a clinical view on your symptoms.

Glaucoma and screens

Does having glaucoma affect how people use screens?
Most people with glaucoma will have no problems. If your glaucoma is very advanced, and your central vision is affected, increasing the font size or switching the colour settings on the screen (e.g. white on black) may make things easier to read.
What can people with glaucoma do to make using screens easier?
Glare can be a problem, so try using a glare-reducing screen or filter and position the screen away from bright sunlight or other strong light sources.  Glaucoma eye drops can cause symptoms of dry eye disease , so you may wish to ask your eye doctor/optometrist whether different eye drops might help.

Find more on visual problemsopticians  and local support on InformationNOW

World Alzheimer’s month

September is World Alzheimer’s month and the perfect opportunity to put your best foot forward to walk for loved ones. Join tens of thousands of people up and down the country taking part in their very own Memory Walk on Sunday 20 September (or choose a date that suits you). Whether you walk for 10 minutes, 10 miles or 10,000 steps on your own or with your household, they will be delighted if you would raise money for them.

Please check local regulations on the pandemic lockdown for the North East  before you do your activity on 20 September.

Locally, Alzheimer’s Society Newcastle is  providing a remote service for carers and people living with dementia and taking referrals as normal – you can phone or email them.

Remote Dementia Support for existing and new referrals  support, advice and signposting as well as checking in on general health and wellbeing during Covid-19 lockdown/pandemic. They offer welfare calls for carers and people living with dementia on a weekly/fortnightly/3 weeks/monthly basis. This runs for existing service users and new referrals for remote support are welcome.

Companion calls to help prevent social isolation.

Remote Services for Wellbeing for existing clients and available for new referrals family/carers

  • Virtual Singing for the Brain® using Zoom
  • Ring & Sing Singing for the Brain® using conference call

National information from Alzheimer’s Society

  • Dementia Talking Point is a helpful online community where anyone who is affected by dementia can receive valuable support. It’s free, open day or night, and can be accessed online. Visit Dementia Talking Point now to register and join the community.
  • They are calling on government to better support unpaid carers over the winter months. They have set out a series of recommendations which will lead to better outcomes for people affected by dementia. You can view the full report here.

Contact details:
Tel: 0191 298 3989 or Dementia Connect Support on 0333 150 3456.
Email   Read more on dementia and Dementia Friendly Newcastle and support available locally.

Findings on social prescribing

National Voices has evaluated and reported on the methods and impact of social prescribing since April 2019 for NHS England.  They make a series of recommendations which includes investment in the voluntary, community and social enterprise sectors.  In particular they highlight that without investment in social prescribing there is the danger of exacerbating inequalities.

Find more on social prescribing and how to access it on InformationNOW..

Tax and the pandemic

Income tax, National Insurance and PAYE
Nothing has really changed for employees or pensioners paying their tax by PAYE automatic deduction. Employees who have been furloughed under the Job Retention Scheme have continued to have their pay, tax and National Insurance processed by their employer under PAYE.

Where employees have to work from home, employers can make non-taxable payments of up to £6 per week in recognition of additional expenses incurred.  Employers aren’t required to pay this, and where they don’t an employee can claim a tax allowance to the same amount. Doing so gives a real benefit of just £1.20 per week in terms of tax saved by a basic rate (20%) taxpayer, but that mounts up over time.

Sadly some jobs have been lost already due to the pandemic and more may be lost in the future. Existing regulations are that the first £30,000 of most redundancy payments will be tax free.

Where PAYE tax was deducted from pay prior to leaving, some or all of that may be refundable particularly if the individual does not expect further work-related income in the rest of the tax year.  Tax form P50 enables a refund application to be made before the end of the tax year, if appropriate.  However, it should be remembered that Job Seekers Allowance, if paid, counts as taxable income.

Subscribe to the Active Inclusion Welfare Bulletin to keep up to date.

Need help? Look at our section on money and benefitsredundancy.

Heritage resource that supports clinical outcomes

Tyne and Wear Museums (TWAM) has been working with healthcare professionals to link museum activities to clinical and care outcomes for older people. This new resource has been developed with Northumbria Universiity, Newcastle
The new resource suggests heritage activities and identifies how these activities could specifically support quality of life and health and wellbeing in older people, for example: pain management, speech, cognitive stimulation, mental health, and social interaction.

Uniquely, it features searchable clinical and care outcomes that have been coded to categories such as Physical/Mobility, Social, Cognitive/Knowledge/Learning and Mindful/Emotional

TWAM do have further materials and they’d love to know how you use the resource. Contact Joanne by email.

Useful information for those affected by dementia

Dementia UK has just published five new leaflets to support people receiving a diagnosis of dementia. Written by their team of Admiral Nurses, they cover the following topics: The emotional impact of receiving a diagnosis, how roles and relationships might change, dealing with stigma, staying healthy, dementia and driving. The new leaflets and many others covering a broad range of topics can be downloaded from their website . Type the name of the leaflet in the search box on their website..

Why not fundraise to enable them to recruit and provide specialist nurses during October? see Raise your game on the website.Read more on dementia and Dementia Friendly Newcastle

Ageing Intelligence Exhibition


The “Ageing Intelligence” exhibition celebrates a vision where we all live better for longer.  The National Innovation Centre for Ageing (NICA) is committed to leading this for Newcastle as the UK home of Ageing IntelligenceTM, bringing together data driven insight and human experiences to bring new products, business models and services to market.The opening of the Exhibition is timed to celebrate the UN’s International Day of Older Persons on 1 October and the beginning of The Decade of Healthy Ageing (2020-2030). Ambassadors include:Marco Pozzi Film Director; Jim Edwardson Founding Director of the Institute for Ageing and Health at Newcastle University; Lorella Zanardo Women’s Rights Activist.  For more on the photographer and the ambassadors

Last updated: September 23, 2020

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