Active at Home

A Guide to Being Active at Home during the Coronavirus Outbreak

Who is this booklet for?

This booklet has been developed to support older people and those who are shielded to be active and healthy at home.

This is part of the Sport England Join the Movement campaign, designed to provide inspiration and trusted information to the public anout how to get active in and around the home during the coronavirus pandemic.

Why is it important to stay active?

Being active is good for our physical and mental wellbeing. This is why we should all try to move regularly, including exercises to help stay strong and steady. This particularly applies to those of us who have health conditions or are older. Due to coronavirus we are all spending more time within our home, so it is important that we find ways to build activity into our day, every day.

Over the next few weeks, you may have health and social care appointments cancelled or delayed. If you are waiting for treatment, being active is one of the best things you can do to look after your health, as part of a healthy lifestyle. Being active at a level that feels comfortable is unlikely to make your health worse; in fact it can help to manage many health conditions.

Most of us are spending much more time within our home. This can be frustrating and upsetting, and it can be harder to be active when you can’t do your normal daily activities. This guide will help you to find ways to build activity into your day. If the exercise suggested doesn’t work for you, feel free to adapt them based on what you can do.

Adult Pulse Oximetry Monitoring COVID-19 Diary

Measuring Your Oxygen Levels

This animation video below will:

  • Inform you about COVID
  • How to measure your oxygen levels (using a pulse oximeter)
  • What the danger signs to look out for are
  • When to seek urgent help

Children Returning to School

Guidance Notes for Parents

Dear Parents

Guidance Note for Parents of Children Returning to School from 1st June 2020. We are aware that some parents might be understandably anxious about the Government’s recent announcement, advising that children of a certain age return to school in the week commencing 1st June 2020. GPs are unfortunately not in a position to provide individual risk assessments or letters to a child, in order to confirm their suitability (or otherwise) to return to school.

Sunderland Local Medical Committee has therefore prepared this guidance note to help parents, on behalf of your practice; as the statutory body that advises and supports all GPs and practice teams across Sunderland.

Should I keep my child at home if they have an underlying health condition or live with someone in a clinically vulnerable group?

  1. Children and young people who are considered extremely clinically vulnerable and shielding should continue to shield and should not be expected to attend (see Appendix 1).
  2. Clinically vulnerable (but not clinically extremely vulnerable) people are those considered to be at a higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus (see Appendix 2). A minority of children will fall into this category and are expected to attend school with strict social distancing measures in place. Parents should follow medical advice if their child is in this category and is unwell. See
  3. Children and young people who live in a household with someone who is extremely clinically vulnerable and shielding should only attend if stringent social distancing can be adhered to and the child or young person is able to understand and follow those instructions (see Appendix 1).
  4. Children and young people who live with someone who is clinically vulnerable (but not extremely clinically vulnerable) as defined in the social distancing guidance and including those who are pregnant, can attend.

I also wanted to reassure you that schools have been instructed as follows:

  • To carry out a risk assessment before opening to more children and young people, and directly address risks associated with coronavirus so that sensible measures can be put in place to minimise those risks for children, young people and staff.
  • To make sure that children and young people do not attend if they or a member of their household has symptoms of coronavirus.
  • To promote regular hand washing for 20 seconds with running water and soap or use of sanitiser and ensuring good respiratory hygiene by promoting the catch it, bin it, kill it approach.
  • To clean more frequently, to get rid of the virus on frequently touched surfaces, such as door handles, handrails, table tops, play equipment and toys.
  • To minimise contact through smaller classes or group sizes and altering the environment as much as possible, such as changing the layout of classrooms.
  • To reduce mixing between groups through timetable changes, such as staggered break times or by introducing staggered drop-off and collection times.

I sincerely hope you will find this guidance note useful, and that it will also help to alleviate some of your concerns.

We ask that parents continue to follow the most up to date national guidance published on this issue, during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Further information is available at:

Yours sincerely
Dr R N Ford
LMC Secretary

Appendix 1

Who is ‘Clinically Extremely Vulnerable’?

Clinically extremely vulnerable people include the following:

  1. Solid organ transplant recipients.
  2. People with specific cancers: • people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy
    • people with lung cancer who are undergoing radical radiotherapy
    • people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
    • people having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
    • people having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
    • people who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
  3. People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe chronic obstructive pulmonary (COPD).
  4. People with rare diseases that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), homozygous sickle cell).
  5. People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection.
  6. Women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired.

Appendix 2

Clinically Vulnerable People

If you have any of the following health conditions, you are clinically vulnerable, meaning you are at higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus. You should take particular care to minimise contact with others outside your household.

Clinically vulnerable people are those who are:

  1. aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions).
  2. under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (that is, anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds):
    • chronic (long-term) mild to moderate respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
    • chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
    • chronic kidney disease
    • chronic liver disease, such as:
      • hepatitis
    • chronic neurological conditions, such as:
      • Parkinson’s disease
      • motor neurone disease
      • multiple sclerosis (MS)
      • or cerebral palsy
    • diabetes
    • a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets
    • being seriously overweight (a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above)
    • pregnant women

Consultation with Clinicians

Photographs and Video Consultations

  • DO send an image through only when you have been asked for your consent
  • DO give an updated mobile telephone number and an updated email address
  • DO be aware that we currently have GP Registrars in the Surgery who may be shadowing other Clinicians
  • DO make the Clinician aware if you have a friend or colleague with you during the Consultation
  • DON’T send pictures unless you have been advised by a GP
  • DON’T send images of adults/children of a sensitive area
  • DON’T attach any pictures to eConsult without prior contact with the Practice

COVID-19 Service Section


Celebrating 15 years of connecting LGBT communities acress the North East…..

Please read the open letter in the blog about COVID-19, we send love and support to all our Members:

Important Announcement from Sunderland Pride; please click the link below:

Sunderland Keeping People Connected

For anyone who is autistic or has a learning disability or both in response to Coronavirus

In Sunderland we are doing our best to support people at this difficult time.

  • We want to help people stay safe, healthy and not feel alone.
  • Our Keeping People Connected Service is free and available now for people with learning disability and / or autism who need support

Our aim is:

To keep people connected during the coronavirus crisis enabling them to stay safe and stay well.

  • Helping people to understand Coronavirus and how this can effect them
  • Helping people to stay connected
  • Helping people to problem solve
  • Supporting people to get help from other services if needed
  • Ensuring people know what to do and who to contact in an emergency

If you know someone who would benefit from one of these calls, please contact the appropriate organisation below to pass on their personal information:

For anyone who is autistic without a learning disability contact Autism in Mind:

Contact Phone Number: 0191 567 2514

Email: [email protected]


For anyone who has a learning disability/autism, contact Sunderland People First:

Contact Phone Number: 07858 226 187

Email: [email protected]


You can download this information below:

COVID-19: Supporting Your Recovery

As you find yourself recovering from COVID-19 you may still be coming to terms with the impact the virus has had on both your body and mind.

These changes should get better over time, some may take longer than others, but there are things you can do to help.

Your COVID Recovery helps you to understand what has happened and what you might expect as part of your recovery.

Information for family, friends and Carers

Supporting your family member, relative or friend following their COVID illness can be challenging. You may be providing emotional and physical help in addition to all your other responsibilities. This can be a very stressful time for you both and we hope the information within the website will give you reassurance and support during their recovery.

Find out more >

Domestic Abuse

Domestic Abuse is Everyone’s Business

Download this document if you are worried about someone who is the victim of Domestic Violence: 

“It’s just because…the mental health problems make things hard.”

If you’re worried, don’t make excuses, act. Domestic Abuse is everyone’s business.

You might think it’s none of your business, or worry you’ll say the wrong thing, but now more than ever, we need to keep each other safe.

If you are worried about someone:

  • Be Safe: remember – social media, phone and emails might be monitored. Don’t confront the abuser.
  • Be Kind: listen, make suggestions, not demands.
  • Be There: be understanding and available.
  • Get Help: contact organisations for support and information
  • Call 101: if you are concerned about a friend or loved one, or that someone’s behaviour is abusive
  • Call 999: if you think there’s an immediate danger

Here are some Useful Contacts:


Are You Ready to DO YOUR BIT this Winter?

People in the North East and Cumbria are known for looking out for one another and pulling together through difficult times.

With winter around the corner and the COVID-19 virus being present in our community – the months ahead could be tough. So it is more important than ever that you #DoYourBit to protect yourself, your NHS and your community.

Please note that parts of the North East are covered by new measures to stop the spread of COVID-19. Please visit your council’s website for more information.

North East and Cumbria Integrated Care System:

Donations Greatly Received

We would like to thank the following organisations / people who have donated PPE to our Practice; it is greatly appreciated.

Park View School

This is our Practice Team wearing the Visors

Park View School, Chester-le-Street supplied Visors to the Practice Team.
Thank you so much from all of us.

Scrubs from Across Tyne

Hazel sporting our Scrubs

These Scrubs were donated from across Tyne.
Thank you so much for these.

Face Masks by Mrs D Caldwell

One of our Staff wearing the donated face masks

These face masks were donated by Mrs D Caldwell.
Thank you, these are greatly appreciated.

Friends at Royal Main Engineering

Face Mask Clips

Friends at Royal Main Engineering donated Face Mask Clips.
These Clips help to hold the mask to our faces.
Again, thank you.

Face Coverings/Masks

The NHS in the North East and North Cumbria is reminding the public to have face coverings available to wear when they attend health care settings. Face coverings should cover the mouth and nose while allowing the wearer to breathe comfortably, and can be as simple as a scarf or bandana that ties behind the head to give a snug fit.

Please watch these two short videos if you are attending an appointment at hospital or your local GP Surgery:

For Children ⇓

General ⇓

Hidden Disabilities

Making the Invisible Visible

Not all disabilities are visible – some are not immediately obvious, such as autism, chronic pain, dementia, anxiety, visual or hearing impairment. Living with a hidden disability can make daily life more demanding for many people, but it can be difficult for others to recognise, acknowledge or understand the challenges you face.

Be Visible when you choose to be seen

Wearing the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower discreetly indicates to people around you including staff, colleagues and health professionals that you have a hidden disability and you may need additional support, help or more time.

How can wearing the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower benefit you?

  • People around you may ask what they can do to assist you
  • You or your carer can use your Hidden Disabilities Sunflower to tell us about the additional help you may need

Do I qualify to wear the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower?

There is no qualifying list of hidden disabilities. If you have a hidden disability and feel that you would benefit from wearing a Hidden Disabilities Sunflower product, please do. The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower does not entitle you to anything other than recognising that you have a hidden disability and that you may need some assistance, help, or a little more time. It is NOT a pass to be fast-tracked nor for any other benefit.

Where can I find a Hidden Disabilities Sunflower product?

We feel that it is important that everyone who has a hidden disability and who would benefit from wearing a lanyard is able to access one. Sunflower Lanyards are available free of charge to customers from the many businesses and organisations who are members of the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyard Scheme®.

As some people may be unable to travel to collect a free Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyard or would prefer to have them delivered, we decided to open this online store in 2019 to provide products directly to the public.

Only the official Hidden Disabilities Sunflower design is universally and quickly recognised. Hidden Disabilities Sunflower products are strictly not for resale by individuals, businesses, or organisations – they are intended to be donated to customers free of charge. They can only be purchased from the Hidden Disabilities Website, from charities who are registered with us or by contacting [email protected]

Where is it recognised?

How can you help to spread the word?

Share information about the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower with local organisations and businesses that you regularly visit. Show them the website and encourage them to recognise the scheme. We have awareness posters and digital signatures on our website which you can download for free and either print at home, email, or add to your social media pages.

Patient FAQs on COVID-19

Healthwatch Sunderland: Patient Questions Answered

In the video below a Sunderland based GP Practice Manager answers some of the questions we have received from patients recently, such as:

  • Are some GP Surgeries closed due to COVID-19?
  • What appointments are available other than telephone appointments?
  • How can I see the Nurse face to face, but not the GP?

Click on the link below: you will be directed to the Healthwatch Sunderland YouTube Channel

Refugee Support

New National Info Line for Asylum Seekers and Refugees

Connecting refugees and people seeking asylum in England with the services they need

Our Infoline service is a short term project to support people during the Covid-19 pandemic until 31.03.2021.

We will help connect and signpost you to information and services who can help and support you.

If you are seeking asylum or have refugee status please call our Freephone number below:

Please leave a message with your name, number and the language you wish to speak in. We will call you back with an interpreter within three days.

England: 0808 196 7272
Wales: 0808 196 7273
Scotland: 0808 196 7274

Review Appointment Due?

If Your Review Appointment is Due

As your review is now due we are looking at the safest way to deliver this service and ensure social distancing is adhered to.

You will need to attend the surgery to have your bloods, blood pressure, weight and height taken. If you have a BP machine at home you can take your own reading and bring this to your appointment with you. Your review appointment will then be via a telephone consultation with the Nurse. This way we are reducing the footfall into the surgery in order to protect you and the staff. For this reason we will only allow one person at a time into the surgery unless you are unable to attend on your own.

If the government has asked you to shield you can still attend the surgery at this is considered to be necessary for your ongoing care.

Our main door will remain locked to help us monitor social distancing, therefore we would ask you to be patient and arrive at your appointment time.

**Please wear a face mask or face covering when you attend the surgery.**

Should you have any COVID symptoms we ask you not to make an appointment until you are well enough, otherwise please contact the surgery as soon as possible to arrange your appointments.

Yours sincerely

Dr Stephenson and Partners

Supporting Sunderland

Restrictions may be changing, but the Covid-19 pandemic means many people are facing changing financial challenges and still spending more time indoors. We have pulled together some useful information on staying safe, staying healthy and supporting each other.

Looking after yourself:

  • Mental Wellbeing – Now more than ever, every mind matters. The COVID-19 pandemic means that life is changing for all of us for a while and it’s important to take care of your mind as well as your body. You can get expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing:
  • Supporting those with mental health needs, learning disabilities and autism during lockdown.
  • Quit for COVID: Today is the Day – or call 0800 169 9913 for local support. Visit to find out more about smoking and COVID-19.
  • How does your weekly drinking add up? Don’t let drink creep up on you: call the National Alcohol Helpline on  0300 123 1110 or visit for tips to help you cut back.
  • Seeing your GP: During lockdown, all GP practices in Sunderland have been able to continue to see patients through online and telephone consultations.

Click below to download the leaflet with a wealth of information:

Thinking of Taking a Holiday


If you are taking a holiday away from home in England this year, it’s wise to take some extra precautions:

  • Don’t travel if you are ill, or have any symptoms of COVID-19 (eg. cough, high temperature, loss of smell or taste)
  • Reduce the number of times you need to go shopping for essentials where you are staying
  • Take a first aid kit – it might take longer for emergency care to reach you if the NHS is stretched
  • If you take medicines prescribed by your doctor, make sure you have enough with you to last for your holiday
  • Pack any simple over-the-counter medicines that you might need (eg. paracetamol, ibuprofen and anti-histamines, including children’s versions if needed)
  • Keep handy a small bottle of liquid soap diluted with water that you can use to wipe surfaces down
  • Travel as a ‘bubble’, ideally only with members of your own household, or those in your agreed ‘social bubble’
  • Make sure you are contactable while you are away in case the NHS Test and Trace service needs to contact you
  • Have a plan for self-isolation if you, or anybody in your ‘bubble’ develops symptoms or are told to do so by the official NHS Test and Trace service. Remember, this is likely to need 14 days of self-isolation
  • Be aware that many beaches don’t have lifeguards at the moment due to COVID-19 – don’t swim if there’s no lifeguard
  • Remember to wash your hands regularly, avoid touching your face
  • Wear a face covering whenever you are mixing with others outside your ‘bubble’, particularly when you are indoors.