Cornwall Drug Alert Briefing 2nd July 2020

July 2nd, 2020 by

Pills and tablets being sold as prescribed drugs – RISK OF HARM, RISK TO LIFE

There have been multiple cases of overdose across Cornwall in the last fortnight where a range of tablets of differing colours, pretending to be prescribed drugs have been involved. These drugs have been illicitly produced and sold.

The drugs are being made to look like Benzodiazepines -Valium, Lorazepam, Rohypnol (Flunitrazepam) and Alprazolam (Xanax), coming as coloured tablets, or as Pregabalin (so far). They often come in blister packs or labelled plastic pharmacy pots, which look like they are pharmaceutically prepared, but they are not.

Testing of seized tablets shows that some do not contain any of the drugs they proport to be at all, instead containing dangerous chemicals for non-medical use. With others, the content of each tablet differs very widely, despite the tablet markings indicating a set dose.

If you, or anyone near you, take any of these drugs and overdose, an ambulance and hospitalisation will be required ASAP.

Naloxone will not reverse an overdose of these drugs but may assist if they have been taken in combination with opioid drugs.

  • Drowsiness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Shallow breathing
  • Impaired motor function
  • Dizziness
  • Impaired balance
  • Muscle weakness
  • Fainting
  • Coma

Benzodiazepine drugs in overdose can show a range of symptoms but may include;

  • Drowsiness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Shallow breathing
  • Impaired motor function
  • Dizziness
  • Impaired balance
  • Muscle weakness
  • Fainting
  • Coma

Harm Reduction Advice

➢ Buying drugs from a unknown source is a risk

➢ Try small dosing/testing unknown substances/supplies

➢ Avoid using alone

➢ Report any unusual symptoms & seek medical assistance

➢ Call 999 if urgent medical assistance is required or you think an overdose is occurring

If you witness someone experiencing these symptoms or are experiencing them yourself in suspected overdose:

  1. Call 999 for an ambulance
  2. Give immediate first aid basic life support (recovery position and monitor the airway, breathing & pulse).
  3. Do not assume that a person who is still functioning normally will not worsen later.

Further help and support can be found from

Tel: 0333 200 0325

 For further advice or to discuss this briefing further you can get in touch with The Cornwall Drug and Alcohol Action Team at DAAT@cornwall.gov.uk

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LGBT+ People: Share How Coronavirus Has Affected You

June 12th, 2020 by

Intercom Trust and Manchester LGBT Foundation are working in partnership with this important survey.

 

Survey

 

This survey is being carried out to help us identify how LGBT+ communities in the South West are being affected by the current coronavirus crisis and will help to shape the support that is being provided. Information you choose to share with us may be used in policy documents which will be publicised. However you will not be identified by anything we include. All questions are optional. This survey should only take 10 minutes.

Please note this survey is for South West residents only. If you’re from any other area in the UK, please follow this link https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/covid19impactLGBT. If you have already answered LGBT Foundation’s survey on the impact of coronavirus please do not answer either survey.

If you have any questions regarding this survey or would like to provide any further feedback please email office@intercomtrust.org.uk

Support:

Please note that survey responses won’t be analysed or looked at until after the closure of the survey, and that if anyone needs urgent support to please call our helpline for immediate help as we recognise some of the questions are sensitive and may flag up immediate issues.

For advice and support call the Intercom Trust helpline 0800 612 3010 or you can email helpline@intercomtrust.org.uk and one of our team will get back to you shortly.

For more information on how Intercom Trust can help you during this time, please visit: https://www.intercomtrust.org.uk/item/214-we-are-here-for-you

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Test and Trace guidance

June 12th, 2020 by

Unfortunately, criminals will exploit every opportunity they can to defraud innocent people of their money, or steal their personal details. This could include impersonating public sector officials and taking advantage of the NHS Test and Trace system.

This service is extremely important in the fight against coronavirus and it’s vital the public get on board with it. However, we understand the concerns people have about the opportunity for criminals to commit scams.

Please see the below guidance for more information on the NHS Test and Trace service and what to expect if the service contacts you:

Contact tracers will only call you from the number 0300 013 5000. Anyone who does not wish to talk over the phone can request the NHS Test and Trace service to send an email or text instead, inviting them to log into the web-based service.

All text or emails sent by NHS Test and Trace will ask people to sign into the contact tracing website and will provide you with a unique reference number. We would advise people to type the web address https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk directly into their browser, followed by the unique reference number given to you, rather than clicking on any link provided in the message.

The NHS Test and Trace service will never:

  • ask you to dial a premium rate number to speak to them (for example, those starting 09 or 087)
  • ask you to make any form of payment or purchase a product or any kind
  • ask for any details about your bank account
  • ask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts
  • ask you for any passwords or PINs, or ask you to set up any passwords or PINs over the phone
  • ask you to download any software to your PC or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet to anyone else
  • ask you to access any website that does not belong to the government or NHS

If you think you have been a victim of fraud, please report it to Action Fraud at https://www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.

For further information about Test and Trace please see: NHS Test and Trace: How it works

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Free drinksmeter app can help residents manage concerns around increased home drinking during lockdown stress

June 11th, 2020 by

For those concerned that they might be drinking more alcohol than usual or are finding it a struggle to keep the amount they drink under control during Covid lockdown, Safer Cornwall would urge residents to download the free drinksmeter app to their phones.

The easy to use app is available through the Safer Cornwall website or via the drinksmeter.com website. It is designed to help those who feel they may be at risk of damaging their health through excess drinking to manage and monitor their home drinking habits.

Drinksmeter has already been downloaded by hundreds of residents in Cornwall and is highlighted in Safer Cornwall’s ‘Lockdown Home Drinking’ campaign.

This has been launched following a national YouGov poll which revealed that 20 per cent of the 4,000 adults taking part reported they’d been drinking more alcohol than normal since the country went into Covid-19 lockdown. Added to this, there has also been a reported spike in the sale of wine, spirits and beer.

The drinksmeter app can be downloaded for free to a phone or accessed online via the drinksmeter.com website. It helps keep track of how much you are drinking in relation to the recommended amount, which is no more than 14 units a week. This equates to seven double shots of spirits, five average size glasses of wine or six pints of average strength beer/lager/cider.

It also lets you set your own goals and can even work out how much money you could save if you reduce the amount you’re drinking.  It also gives the details of local contacts if you need to speak to someone for advice or support.

Sally Hawken, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for children, wellbeing and public health said: “It is often so difficult at times like these to cope and manage levels of stress and anxiety.  It is so easy to just pour another drink in the hope it will make us feel better. ‘Lockdown Home Drinking’ aims to alert us all to the many serious health issues that can result from drinking more alcohol than we might do normally.

“Too much is bad for the body in so many ways and can also put an added strain on our health services during this unprecedented crisis.

“The drinksmeter app certainly puts into perspective how alcohol you are drinking, and then helps you to personally manage it before it gets out of hand.

“This is why I would urge anyone who might be concerned that they are consuming more than usual during the pandemic, to make full use of this really helpful and potentially life-saving resource.”

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It does happen here and children need YOU to ‘Speak Out’

June 11th, 2020 by

A new campaign is being launched in Cornwall to help people recognise the signs of child sex abuse.

The ‘Speak Out’ campaign was created by Our Safeguarding Children partnership (OSCP), which includes Cornwall Council, Devon and Cornwall Police, the Council of the Isles of Scilly and the NHS.

The campaign aims to take the responsibility of reporting sexual abuse away from children and young people, because they may not be able to say something for a variety of reasons, and instead ask adults to spot and understand the potential signs of CSA and speak out when they think something’s wrong. Our goal is to protect children and help them begin their recovery.

Cabinet Member for Children and Well Being, Councillor Sally Hawken, said: “Child sexual abuse in the family environment is a very complex area of safeguarding and, as a society, it’s something that we can find incredibly hard to talk about.

“Within families and communities, there remains a disbelief and denial about sexual abuse, which means it is less likely to be identified and discussed.  In addition to this, children are very unlikely to tell someone that they’re being abused – particularly when the perpetrator is known to them.

The campaign focusses around a number of key messages. They are:

  • Child sexual abuse in the family environment is a hidden crime.
  • Most children and young people who are sexually abused are abused by someone they know.
  • Knowing the signs and reporting cases of child sexual abuse is everyone’s responsibility.
  • You don’t have to be certain it’s happening – If you’re concerned a child is being abused or their safety is at risk, speak to someone.
  • The OSCP and MARU are there to help protect all vulnerable children and young people at risk of abuse.

Sally added: “When a child or young person is sexually abused, they may not understand that what’s happening is abuse, or that it’s wrong. Therefore, parents, professionals and the public must understand the signs and symptoms of child sexual abuse and know how to respond.”

This campaign is particularly important at a time when social distancing rules mean that more children than ever will be staying at home, sometimes in unsafe environments. With this comes the risk that the signs of sexual abuse may go even further unnoticed and so it is vital that we start to raise awareness of the signs of CSA and clarify how people can report their concerns.

Independent Chair of the Safeguarding Partnership, John Clements, added: “All of us have a responsibility to know the signs and to speak out against child sexual abuse.  You don’t have to be completely sure; anything you tell us could help us to protect a child or young person at risk from sexual abuse.

“Together, we can help to stop child sexual abuse from happening and give children and young people in Cornwall a voice.

If you suspect something is not right, please contact the Multi Agency Referral Unit (MARU) on: 0300 123 1116 or speak to the police. If you are located on the Isles of Scilly, please telephone the Children’s Social Care Team on 01720 424483.

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Trading Standards warning – Latest Covid19 telephone scam reaches Cornwall

June 11th, 2020 by

Telephone scammers pretending to be from Cornwall Council are targeting vulnerable residents and asking for their financial details, the Trading Standards team has warned.

As more Covid19-related scams are uncovered across the UK, one Cornwall resident narrowly avoided becoming a victim after she received an unannounced call on 2 June.

The unexpected call was from a withheld number and the caller introduced themselves by saying they “were from Cornwall Council” or were “working with Cornwall Council”.

They claimed that they were phoning to check how the household was coping with the Covid-19 situation and went on to ask financial status questions, general health questions and questions such as “are you retired?”

But when the caller asked for the ages of everyone living at that address, asked if they had a mortgage and asked for the resident’s name, the intended victim grew suspicious and ended the call.

Cllr Rob Nolan, Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for Public Protection, said he was relieved that in this case the homeowner was wary enough to end the call.

“This incident again illustrates the shocking tactics that will be employed by scammers and fraudsters trying to persuade us to make payments or to hand over our financial information. Taking advantage of the Covid-19 outbreak is simply appalling behaviour,” he said.

Scammers will often pretend to be calling from any one of a number of official organisations – Cornwall Council, HMRC, NHS, telecoms and utilities companies, etc., but Trading Standards’ advice is as clear as it is when dealing with doorstep cold-callers:

NEVER deal with anyone who calls you out of the blue.

NEVER give your financial details, nor make any payment, to anyone who calls you unexpectedly.

And in these unusual times, if you have any concern that the call may not be genuine, you should insist they send you an initial letter with their full contact details so you can satisfy yourself that they really are who they say they are.

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Healthwatch survey

June 2nd, 2020 by

The Healthwatch Survey has been launched.

The Healthwatch survey aims to investigate the impact of Covid-19 on people across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. This includes how changes in health and social care services have affected people, as well as the impact of Covid-19 on mental wellbeing. It also looks into what information and services people are accessing and what else could be done to support people.

Take the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/cornwallcoronavirussurvey

 

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Life hacks for a healthy mind and body

June 1st, 2020 by

The need to follow the latest guidance on ‘staying alert and safe (social distancing)’ means that we are all living and working in unusual ways. Many of us are operating without certainty and, often, without access to our usual support networks – whether that’s through work or at home through friends and family.

This can create feelings of stress and anxiety; during what is already an unpredictable time. You may experience feelings of fear, irritability, insecurity or being unsettled. You may also feel like you have a lack of control, experience trouble sleeping or eating, and are excessively checking for symptoms. Social distancing and/or shielding may also make you feel bored, frustrated or lonely, which can heighten these feelings further.

Looking after your mental health and wellbeing

While we may all react differently, being worried at this time and needing a bit of extra help with your mental wellbeing is completely normal. Our Five Ways to Wellbeing are designed to offer you a host of tips and advice on nourishing and protecting you mental health, with specialised information on:

• Connecting with others
• Being active
• Continuing to learn
• Supporting others
• Taking notice of your environment

It is also important to take the time to relax, eat well, stay hydrated and maintain healthy and active lifestyles that include good quality regular sleeping patterns. Further information can be found on the Every Mind Matters web pages.

Cornwall Council (www.cornwall.gov.uk/mentalhealth) and Start Now for young people (www.startnowcornwall.org.uk) have a lot of information to help you look after your mental wellbeing. In addition, you can find out more information from the Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group mental wellbeing pages for children and adults.

New psychological wellbeing guidance

The Cornwall Council web pages also provide a lot of information to help children young people, adults. This includes new psychological wellbeing guidance for those aged over 16 years, including older adults and key workers.

Coronavirus and Psychological Wellbeing guide

Need to speak to someone?

To talk to someone about your mental wellbeing you can call the 24/7 NHS mental health telephone support, advice and triage help line – 0800 038 5300. Support is available to anyone, regardless of age, all day every day. If you or someone you know feels they need to access urgent mental health support, they will listen to you and asses how best to help.

Your GP or NHS Direct 111 is also available if you need support with your mental wellbeing.

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Tempo Time Credits starts new phase with Together for Families.

May 15th, 2020 by

Tempo have been working with Cornwall Council since 2017 to develop Cornwall Time Credits. The next phase of work with see Tempo engage vulnerable families and young people supported by funding from the Together for Families (TfF).

The initial period of this contract will support the COVID response whilst also building relationships with agencies supporting the Together for Families Programme in St Austell, Newquay, Bodmin and Saltash.

COVID response includes:

  • A new internet platform, tempocommunities.com. This website supports communities by enabling people to help others as well as finding ways to stay connected during the challenges of COVID-19.  Link
  • Cornwall online network forum – bringing together groups and organisations from across Cornwall to share learning and challenges and discussing ways to support people during this difficult time.
  • Tempo are hosting national Forums to share learning across the national Time Credits network. You can find out more about the national forums and book a space here.
  • Tempo are offering a range of e-learning modules to support community groups, organisations and professionals across Cornwall, the modules include the following courses: Conflict Resolution, Data Protection, Emergency Planning, Facilitation Skills, Getting Started with Social Media, Healthy Lifestyles, Introduction to Health and Safety, Manual Handling, Meeting Skills, Mental Health Awareness, Personal Resilience, Personal Safety, Remote Working, Remote Working for Managers, Safeguarding Adults, Safeguarding Children. You can sign up to a course here.

If you would like to attend any of the Cornwall Network Forums and or have any questions or ideas about how the Time Credits team can support work with families and young people, during or after COVID, please contact Celia Davis celiadavis@wearetempo.org / 07578 181277 (Celia leads on Saltash and Bodmin) or Helen Smith helensmith@wearetempo.org / 07578147282 Kelly Taylor kellytaylor@wearetempo.org/07588142085  (Helen and Kelly job share and lead on St Austell and Newquay)

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Safer Cornwall reminds communities to support each other during pandemic

May 5th, 2020 by

Safer Cornwall is calling on residents to support each other during the pandemic and avoid confrontations over social distancing.

The partnership, made up of Cornwall CouncilDevon and Cornwall Police and other agencies, has received reports of verbal abuse, abuse on social media, and criminal damage to personal property as a result of people being mistaken for breaking social distancing rules.

Devon and Cornwall Police and Cornwall Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour Team have warned that they will not tolerate behaviour causing harassment, alarm or distress and will take action against those responsible.

Safer Cornwall strongly discourages anyone from approaching another person to confront them about social distancing, or if they have concerns that a business is open that should not be.

Instead, the partnership is reminding residents to treat one another with respect at this difficult time and to report their concerns to the correct agencies so they can carry out the appropriate investigations.

Anyone concerned about social gathering should contact the Police by calling 101 or email 101@dc.police.uk and call 999 in an emergency.

If a business is suspected of flouting closure orders reports should be made to Cornwall Council on 0300 123 1118 or by emailing covid19@cornwall.gov.uk.

Rob Nolan, Cornwall’s Cabinet Member for environment and public protection, said: “It is with sadness that we have received reports of families being targeted online and face-to-face about not following social distancing guidelines, when the perception may be wrong.

“We have seen second homeowners and businesses put themselves forward to offer accommodation for key workers and local families, who need this vital accommodation, to maintain the work commitments that allow them to keep their families safe.

“Please do not assume that anyone in a motorhome, holiday home or driving is breaking the social distancing guidelines. Continue to be compassionate and understand that where applicable that Cornwall Council and Devon and Cornwall Police will undertake the enforcement needed.”

Simon Mould, Cornwall Council’s Head of Communities, said: “We continue to see amazing support across all of our communities where those most vulnerable are being supported by voluntary groups and individuals giving what they can to help those most in need. We ask that residents show compassion and understanding during this difficult time.”

A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said: “We have seen over the Easter holidays that communities are following the social gathering restrictions and only in limited cases have we had to respond and enforce against large groups gathering.

“We are however seeing an increase in neighbour nuisance and reports of non-compliance. If you are experiencing any form of hate crime or harassment please report this to us so that we can take action to support you.”

If you are being targeted and experiencing any form of alarm, harassment or distress please report this to the police by calling 101 or email 101@dc.police.uk and call 999 in an emergency.


For more information on support during the pandemic see our Covid-19 and community safety page

 

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Safer Cornwall are a working partnership involving: