Healthwatch Reading - November Newsletter

1 November 2021

Healthwatch Reading, produce regular helpful and interesting information on local health issues.

The latest November Newsletter includes: Covid booster information,  the new Government plan on GP access  and also a request to those who have had hospital care in the past 18 months or are still waiting to be seen, to complete their survey.

Council Covid-19 Update

29 October 2021

Council News Update - 28 October

Covid 19 Symptom Study

10 July 2021

The ZOE COVID Symptom Study has issued a very useful report on youtube about the release of restrictions.

This comes from a not-for-profit initiative launched March 2020 to support vital COVID-19 research. The app was launched by health science company ZOE with scientific analysis provided by King’s College London. With over 4 million people logging information across the world, the study is the world’s largest ongoing study of COVID-19 and is led by ZOE Co-Founder, Tim Spector who provides a helpful weekly video, of their latest research and their view of the current situation, which you can register for.

If you haven't come across this study before, do take a look and consider using the app. Though, most restrictions will soon be lifted here, their work will continue to be important.

Covid Vaccination news from our local surgeries

27 January 2021

Balmore Park Surgery have posted this news about the Caversham vaccination programme on Facebook, which also applies to Emmer Green Surgery.

Our COVID vaccine clinics are running very smoothly in partnership with Emmer Green Surgery. More than 3,400 Pfizer vaccines have now been given across the two surgeries. We have had lots of positive feedback on the organization and attentiveness of staff, so thank you for these comments.

We are not receiving a delivery of the Pfizer vaccine this current week, and are waiting to hear when we will next receive a delivery. We have however, received a delivery of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Therefore, we will be running small AstraZeneca clinics this coming Saturday at both Emmer Green and Balmore Park Surgeries. It is possible to host our individual surgery clinics this time because this vaccine has a less complex storage requirement. Please do not telephone the surgery as we will invite people to attend either by text or telephone. We will be inviting patients who have yet to receive their vaccine in categories 1,2, 3 and 4, so if you are in one of these categories and have not been contacted yet, you will receive a text or call this week for your appointment.

We have also started vaccinating our housebound patients. We are trying to telephone patients or their carers the day before a visit takes place so that they get some warning, but some are proving difficult to reach. A visit will however still be attempted. It should take a few week for us to visit all housebound patients. Those who are currently isolating or in hospital, will be contacted again when they are well enough to receive the vaccine.

Residents of our Learning Disability homes and their staff will also be vaccinated this week.

Please remember that we do not yet know if people who have had the vaccine can still pass on the virus to others, so please maintain all precautions even when you have had the vaccine.

We would be very grateful if you could pass on this information to your friends, family and neighbours who do not have access to the internet or use social media.

CADRA's Response - What We are Doing

We developed this page to provide sources of help and advice at the start of the lockdown, when  things were changing frequently. Now, as many restrictions have been lifted, we are removing and editing sections that no longer seem relevant.  We will continue to post new information and help on our Facebook page, for which you don't need a Facebook account for. 

Our local Reading Voluntary Action  organisation also has a wide range of useful information for individuals and groups, and nationally we like the information provided by the Eden Communities Project.

Why Not Join CADRA Today

Local Dashboard and Guides to Health & Care Services

Public Health Berkshire, covering Reading and neighbouring Local Authorities, have set up a  Dashboard of useful Covid-19 information.

Healthwatch Reading have provided this helpful Local Guide to Health & Care Services during the pandemic.

How You Can help

For those who are able these groups may be of interest

Other ways to help


If you would like to make a donation, then you might consider these organisations:




Council Services

The Council's response and details of how their services are affected can be found at:

  • The Central Library is open, but by appointment only:
  • Recycling Centres (re3) are  open, but all visits must be booked online. Book Online
  • The green bin collections have resumed. Any renewal payments that have been received before 26th April 2020 will mean that the new subscription period will begin on 27th April 2020.  The subscription period will no longer run from 1 April to 31 March each year. The subscription period will run for 12 months from the date payment is made.
  • Council  Committee meetings are currently being held online and the public are able to observe them, in line with the recent government regulations.

  • The Council's main News Page with links and searches to all their latest news items.


Home Education Links

Here's what various celebrities and others are offering you and your kids for free daily to help with their education while schools are closed: Home Education

The British Psychological Society

Having Fun

Gruffalo illustrator, Axel Scheffler has produced a book about Covid-19 Coronavirus just for children - available as a FREE download a​t:

Donations requested in lieu of payment, to ​

Reading Chronicle


Much has changed since the lockdown was eased, but the Which Magazine have maintained a table of Supermarket Opening Times, these includes times specifically allocated for vulnerable people or for key workers.

At the start we developed a list of the many local suppliers who offered a range of goods and some also delivered. Whilst they may no longer provide the same services, here was the last list we published, which may be useful: Local Food Deliveries and Collections

Ways of Keeping in Touch Online

RVA have put together information about how to keep in touch:

The Facebook community group Champions To End Loneliness - North Reading  posts and comments help bring people together.

Dealing with Anxiety

This is a stressful time for many of us, so we hope these websites will be helpful.

Help for Vulnerable People with No Support

If you know or are a vulnerable person who has no support, then the One Reading Community Hub action line can connect people in need of help with: volunteers, organisations and services that can support them during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Please only contact the hub for urgent welfare needs, when no family member or trusted friend can help. Their telephone no. 0808 189 4325 is open 9am-5pm, five days a week.

Keeping Mind and Body Active

Keeping Fit

Sport in Mind is a Reading based independent multi-award winning mental health charity, whose mission is "To improve the lives of people experiencing mental health problems through sport and physical activity".

General advice from Sports England How to stay active while at home.Reading Sport + Leisure have listed useful links which offer exercise ideas for all ages and abilities.

The Arts Community is working hard to bring culture and entertainment into your home

Learn something new  has a huge range of fascinating and free on-line short courses, from Universities all over the world. Typically, they take 4 or 5 hours a week.

Read about WEA courses on the RVA website. The Workers's Education Association is the UK’s largest voluntary sector provider of adult education in England and Scotland. It's first volunteer-led branch was opened in Reading in 1904.

There are many different videos and online classes available for all levels, which we will list here, as hear we about them.