Following government advice yesterday regarding working from home where possible, Listening Ear has planned how it can continue to meet its contractual and grant obligations whilst providing an effective service, whilst keeping our staff and clients safe.

As a result, all Listening Ear staff will be working from home from the 23rd March 2020 until further notice. From this date, we will provide telephone counselling across all therapeutic services (including VIDA/ CYP & Adult Services), and for Amparo, we will offer a mixture of telephone and SMS support.

During this period, please be aware that we will be unable to accept faxed or posted referral forms as all staff will be working from home. In all cases and until further notice, referrals to Listening Ear should be submitted using our on-line referral form (https://listening-ear.co.uk/refer/). If there is a reason that this cannot be achieved, please contact us by email at referrals@listening-ear.co.uk and we will try to find a solution.

Weekly appointments will continue to be scheduled as usual. We will offer telephone counselling for all clients aged 11+. For younger clients, we will offer telephone support to parents/ carers/ guardians and will work to build their capacity to support children’s mental health at home. All telephone support will be offered once per week in 50 minute appointments and all services will follow our current pathways of support. All group counselling and support groups are being suspended.

As staff are working from home, it is best to contact us by email. Please use enquiries@listening-ear.co.uk or referrals@listening-ear.co.uk.

With thanks for your cooperation and understanding during this period of change.

Stay at Home – Protect the NHS – Save Lives

Rules for Everyone

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

People should only leave the house for 1 of 4 reasons:

  • to shop for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
  • a ny medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
  • to travel to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home
  • to exercise once a day on your own or with members of your household only

If you have to go out for one of these reasons,

  • Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds as soon as you get home

You can read the latest guidance here on the NHS website.

Guidance on what everyone should do is available in English here on the government website, and on this same page there is information in Easy Read and several community languages covering advice for everyone and for people more at risk people.

People More at Risk

Some people are more at risk and should avoid leaving the house even for the 4 reasons above, for several weeks at least. People more at risk should ask friends, family or neighbours to pick up shopping and medicines for them and leave them outside their door. You can also ask for help from volunteers by calling Liverpool City Council on 0151 233 3066 from 8am to 6pm, seven days a week or request help online here.

People more at risk are:-

  • 70 or older
  • pregnant
  • have one of the following health conditions

– lung conditions, such as asthma, COPD, emphysema or bronchitis

– heart disease, such as heart failure

– kidney disease

– liver disease, such as hepatitis

– conditions affecting the brain and nerves, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy

– diabetes

– problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you’ve had your spleen removed

– a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy

– being very overweight

You can read the guidance in English, easy read and community languages for everyone, and for more at risk groups, here on the government website.

Extremely Vulnerable People

Some people (adults and children) are extremely vulnerable on medical grounds and are advised to stay at home for 12 weeks and keep away from others. Extremely vulnerable people should ask friends, family or neighbours to pick up shopping and medicines for them and leave them outside their door. People can also ask for help from volunteers by calling Liverpool City Council on 0151 233 3066 from 8am to 6pm, seven days a week or request help online here.

Extremely vulnerable people are those who :-

  • 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 with a serious heart condition

Patients in these groups will get a letter from the NHS about this advice soon. Changes are being made to how NHS appointments are taking place. Updates are being made to GP, MerseyCare and hospital webpages so do check these or phone before going anywhere for an appointment.

Guidance for extremely vulnerable people is available on the government website in English, Easy Read and various community languages.

People with certain health conditions

Some VCSEs have worked with the NHS to produce specific advice about coronavirus, so far this includes for Asthma, Lung conditions, Arthritis, Heart Disease and Stroke and you can find these at the end of this NHS webpage.

What to do if you have symptoms of coronavirus

The most common symptoms of coronavirus are a new continuous cough and/or a high temperature. Anyone with these should stay at home and avoid all contact with other people.

Guidance about what to do if you have symptoms of coronavirus is available here at the government website in English, Easy Read and several community languages.

Getting Medical Help

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

For health information and advice, please use these internet and phone options:-

  • The NHS website to check symptoms and for health advice
  • Your GP surgery website ( use this link to find it ) and use their online support where possible.
  • For same-day medical help, use the NHS 111 online service. Call 111 if you’re unable to get help online. For BSL use this video interpreter service for NHS111.
  • For life-threatening emergencies, call 999 for an ambulance. If you use BSL or can’t speak on the phone you can register for 999 texts, send the word ‘register’ in an SMS message to 999 and follow instructions.

Anyone with a medical appointment should check the website of where they were going before attending, or phone. Visiting in hospitals is highly restricted now to very certain cases, again please check websites for latest information.