IRU - Wednesday 15th December 2021

Healthwatch Stockport's Information Round-up publishing every week. Read about the latest news, updates and events in Stockport.

Hello and welcome to this weeks Stockport Information Round-up! 

Remember if you want to receive the link weekly then you can sign up here and you will get an email every week with the link as soon as it is public. 

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Please note this will be the last Information Round-up of the Year, thank you to everyone that has helped the IRU grow over the year. Have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of the Healthwatch Stockport team!

Don't forget to follow us on social media for our communications over the Christmas period. You can find our social media accounts here at TwitterFacebookInstagramLinkedin and YouTube.

The Latest Statement from the Director of Public Health

Message from Alison North (Stockport Council) 10th December 2021

This week the DPH statement focuses on the Plan B guidance which was announced earlier this week by the government.

The new guidance has been the focus of our social media comms this week and we will continue to be sharing the Covid’s still here messaging, asking residents to get a vaccine when called – especially to get two vaccines and the booster, to continue lateral flow tests along with the hands, face, space and ventilation messages.

While we have not yet had a confirmed case of Omicron in Stockport, we are investigating a number of possible cases and Covid cases in general are rising sharply again in the borough, with rates at 462.8 per 100,000 or around 188 per day. See the latest published data online. (the latest figures for Stockport validated on 10.12.21)

You can take a look at the latest statement from Director of Public Health, Jen Connolly, here.

The ‘Stockport Safe and Well this winter’ campaign is continuing so keep sharing these on your own channels and with your employees. There’s also lots of information and top tips on our dedicated webpages

Thank you to you for supporting the One Stockport economic recovery campaign.

It would be great if you can continue to share this on your comms channels and with your staff. The  One Stockport website has toolkits available for you to use too.


Recovery of NHS dental care too slow to help thousands left in pain

Message from Healthwatch England

You may be interested to see Healthwatch England have released an update on dental work – calling on the government for more action

Go to the article here


Christmas updates from Stockport Libraries

Message from Stockport Libraries

Christmas Arrangements

All libraries will be open as normal until 12pm on Friday 24 December 2021. They will then close and re-open on Tuesday 4th January 2022.

No Library books will be due back over the Christmas Holidays. To make sure you have plenty of Library books to enjoy over the holiday you can borrow up to 20 books up to our closure on Friday 24th December.

Over the festive period you can go online and borrow e-books and e-magazines for free - go to our website for more detail

Please note our extended Open Plus hours will not be available over the Christmas period.


Check out our webpages

Over the Christmas holidays our online services are available as usual, so if you would like to, you can download and read a FREE e-book or listen to an e-audiobook. You can also access FREE e-magazines and e-newspapers with your Library card just click the link below:

If your children have homework over the holidays check out the online support Libraries provide. These are a range of websites with reliable information that you can trust.

For younger children missing Storytime why not give Ziptales a try? Ziptales offer over 500+ interactive stories with voiceovers, animations, games, quizzes and more. Best of all its completely FREE and all you need is your Library card.


Enjoy Christmas at your local Stockport library!

It’s beginning to look, and feel, a lot like Christmas... If you’re after some festive fun to keep your little ones entertained this December, look no further than your local Stockport library.

For the littlest elves, we’re running Christmas storytimes in our libraries across the borough. Join us for festive stories and rhymes for you and your little one to enjoy, and get yourself truly in the holiday spirit!

We’re celebrating Christmas at Central Library from 6.30pm on 14th December! Join us for Christmas stories and poems, a festive quiz and take inspiration from our guest poet. All with a mulled apple juice and Christmas snacks provided – what's not to love? Register via Eventbrite or speak to library staff to secure your place.

If movies are more your thing, join us on 15th December at Central Library. We’re hosting a special screening of the Polar Express doors open at 6.30 and film starts at 6.45, with snacks and refreshments provided. Register via Eventbrite or speak to library staff to secure your place.

Please note that all events will be subject to government guidance. Please wear a face covering at all times when attending the events (unless you are exempt), and sit in family or household groups where possible.

We hope to see you soon, and a merry Christmas to all our residents!


Open Plus is coming to Great Moor and Edgeley Libraries

Great Moor Library is closing for a few days on Saturday 9th January 2022 at 2pm and will re-open on Monday 17th January 2022 at 10am. Edgeley Library is closing for a few days on Saturday 22nd January 2022 and will re-open on Monday 7th February 2022 at 10am.

This is to allow for building works to allow installation of Open Plus. Open Plus will allow for longer opening hours for residents who have registered to use the service. For more information, please click the link below:

Visiting the library from Friday 10th December

It will be mandatory to wear a face covering for the duration of your visit unless under 11 or exempt.

If you or any member of your household has or is displaying symptoms of the coronavirus, you must not visit our libraries. For example; high temperature, new unexplained cough or loss of taste or smell.

Our priority is to ensure the health and safety of our staff and residents.


Stockport’s Long COVID Peer support group

Message from Alison Whitelegg (Stockport Council)

Stockport’s Long COVID peer support group is providing a lifeline for people who are still unwell weeks and months after they first caught COVID.

The group offers chat, friendship, advice and above all understanding from other people who know just what it’s like to live with long COVID.

The group meets:

  • every Wednesday on Zoom, 11.30am to 12.30 – it’s a drop in so you can just join in when you feel like it
  • for a drop in coffee morning on the third Monday of every month (excluding bank Holidays), 10.30 to 11.30am at Vernon park café (inside the park) Turncroft Lane, SK1 4AR.  Just come along and say Hi to the group.
  • members can also join the group’s Whatsapp 

For more info about the group and to join the Zoom, please email or phone 07800 618570

Remember you can take the Healthwatch Stockport Long COVID survey here


Updates from Stockport Council

Updates from Sarah Burke (Stockport Council)

Move to Plan B: changes to restrictions 

The government has announced that England will move to Plan B in response to the risks of the Omicron variant. This means:

  • face coverings are required by law in most public indoor settings including shops, community centres and places of worship (staff and customers must continue to wear a face covering in premises that provide close contact services).
  • office workers who can work from home should do so
  • from 6am on Wednesday 15 December, certain venues and events will be required by law to check the COVID status of customers using the NHS COVID Pass or other accepted proof.  

The self-isolation advice for contacts of people with COVID-19 has changed on 14 December to reduce the risk of spread to others:

  • Anyone aged 5 years and over, who has been identified as a contact of someone with COVID-19 and who is not legally required to self-isolate, is now strongly advised to take a rapid lateral flow device (LFD) test every day for 7 days (or until 10 days since their last contact with the person who tested positive for COVID-19 if this is earlier). If any of these LFD tests are positive they should self-isolate in order to protect other people.

They are strongly advised;

  • limit close contact with people outside your household, especially in crowded, enclosed or poorly ventilated spaces
  • work from home if you are able to
  • wear a face covering in crowded, enclosed or poorly ventilated spaces and where you are in close contact with other people
  • limit contact with anyone who is at higher risk of severe illness if infected with COVID- 19
  • follow the guidance on how to stay safe and help prevent the spread
  • Anyone identified as a contact of someone with COVID-19 and legally required to self-isolate (e.g. if they are not fully vaccinated as adults), still needs to self-isolate for 10 days.  They are advised to seek a PCR test, but need to complete 10 days self-isolation even if the PCR test result is negative.

Booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccines are still our best line of defence against COVID-19, even the new Omicron variant. You can now pre-book a booster dose of the vaccine (add link) if it's been 2 months (61 days) since your 2nd dose and you're in one of these groups:

  • aged 18 years old and over
  • aged 16 years old and over with a health condition that puts you at high risk from COVID-19
  • front line health and social care workers.

The appointment dates you'll be offered will be from 3 months (91 days) after your 2nd dose.

The NHS is working on plans to offer:

  • a booster dose to people aged 16 years old and over with a severely weakened immune system
  • a 2nd dose to all children aged 12 to 15 years old who are not already eligible

Please note that these are not yet available to book.

Extra COVID-19 vaccinations clinics will take place in the One Stockport Hub in Mersey Square this week

The additional day for this week is Wednesday 15 December 10am – 3pm. This is in addition to the already promoted dates of Thursday 16 December – Saturday 18 December, 10am-3pm

Anybody eligible aged 18+ can walk in. If you need a booster, please make sure that at least three months have passed since your second dose. Vaccinations will be given on a first come, first served basis. The clinic may end slightly earlier than planned if all vaccines have been administered.

When you’re queueing for your COVID-19 jab, take a minute to find your NHS number. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have it, but your NHS number will speed up the booking-in process.

COVID-19: updated guidance

On 10 December, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) updated guidance for the safe use of places of worship to reflect the new measures announced by the Prime Minister on 8 December to slow down the spread of the new Omicron variant.

DLUHC has also updated the guidance for councils, owners and operators to support the safe use and management of outdoor public places while the risk of COVID-19 transmission remains.

Step into Stockport this Christmas

Thanks for helping to support the One Stockport economic recovery campaign. Coronavirus has impacted every one of us in some way and, across Stockport, many businesses, especially smaller independent businesses, have had a tough eighteen months. You can find out about how to support this campaign on the One Stockport website or watch the ‘It’s Time to Get’ film featuring local celebrity Will Mellor, as well as local businesses from across the borough.

However, as Covid rates are still high in Stockport and in light of the latest government guidance it is really important that we all keep ourselves safe when we are out and about supporting our local businesses and communities. Please stay safe and remember that face coverings must now be worn in shops and shopping centres, on public transport and in some other settings, unless you are exempt.  Read the latest government guidance on how to stay safe and to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Suicide Prevention Fund - DHSC

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has made available £4 million for a grant fund for VCSE organisations to support suicide prevention across 2021 to 2022. A portion of the grant fund will be ring-fenced specifically to help support small community-led and user-led groups and organisations

Applications close at 5pm on 16 January 2022.


Integrating health and care in Stockport – what does it mean for me?

Join our conversation about the changes that are happening in health and social care, what’s it all about? How will it affect me?

The conversation will be led by Healthwatch Stockport, together lets make sure your voice is part of shaping services for the better in Stockport.

Date and time

Wed, January 12, 2022

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM GMT

Book online now


Youth Opportunity

Message from Healthwatch England

We have been contacted by Laura Lea who is the National Lead for Expert by Experience Involvement: Psychological Professions about an opportunity for young people to be involved in influencing the practice of psychological professions. Please share this with your networks. Thank you!

Are you aged 16-25 years old and have you used psychological services in the NHS? Or, are you a young carer of a brother or sister who has used psychological services for young people?

We’re looking for young people from different areas in England to join our new group who will advise psychological professionals. Psychological professionals provide psychological care to young people. This group will be able to influence how psychological services are delivered in the NHS in England.

You can be a volunteer in this role or get an involvement fee. Plus, you’ll get training to support you to be part of the advisory group.

Interested? Please get in touch with Laura Lea National Lead for Expert by Experience: The psychological professions. Contacts:, 07738756992. Please reply by 7th January 2022.


Community breakfast – Norbury Church, Hazel Grove – boxing
Job club – computer classes – Start point
Some fab creative activities from the wonderful ARC (1)
Some fab creative activities from the wonderful ARC (2)
Taster session Morris Dancing – Offerton
Things I can and things I can’t control – good visual

Emergency Numbers and Helplines from Viaduct

As always please find the up to date list of emergency numbers and helplines to support over the Christmas period.

Emergency Numbers and helplines

Career opportunities from Chris Hughes

Message from Chris Hughes (Stockport Homes)

Stockport Libraries are running some workshops for people thinking of/or starting their own business – see attached flyer for details.

I’ve been on a couple of these myself and they are excellent. Please share with anyone you think might be interested.

BAB Stockport Flyer

Secondary /Metastatic (ductal) Breast Cancer Info-graphic

Message from Martyn Nolan (Healthwatch Oldham)

ABCD - Secondary Breast Cancer Info-graphic

Updated Information on new Starting Point Services

Message from Clara Jones (Start Point)

We have updated information about the new Starting Point services.

  • We have a new referral form here – so people can register their interest, or referrers can refer a person to us to find out more.
  • Leaflets for the two services
  • Updated info on the Job club sessions – NEW DATES available
  • HMRC advice also available virtually, via phone or Zoom.

Get online at the right time – free computer workshops for job seekers

Free workshops to teach digital skills for jobs or to help find employment. Topics include presenting yourself online, social media and searching for work, writing for an online world, creating and sending CVs to employers using your device, and more.

People who don’t have a device to use for these workshops may borrow one from the DigiKnow device lending library, depending on circumstances.

Please email James or call 07537 127095 for further information and sign up for these sessions.

Or fill in the referral form.

Sessions will run weekly on:

  • Thursdays: 2-3 pm - Cornerstone (Stockport Homes building) 2 Edward St, Stockport SK1 3NQ. 13th January 2022 – 3rd March 2022.
  • Wednesdays: 11 am-12 noon - Start Point Coffee Shop, Woodley Precinct, SK6 1RJ. 2nd February – 23rd March.

Free, 1-1 information and signposting for HMRC products

For anyone needing help with HMRC forms and online information, including child tax credit, working tax credit, child benefit, National Insurance, tax status and self-assessment. (We can’t help with UC claims, PIP or attendance allowance, but may signpost to another service.)

We offer free, impartial, and confidential advice and help people access these services independently and confidently. Please email Carl or call 07938 543 390 to book a 40-minute session. (You may need to leave a message. Carl works part-time, so will reply on his working days.) They’re available from this week and running until the end of March 2022 on:

  • Wednesdays: 10 am – 1 pm - Start Point Coffee Shop community room, Woodley Precinct, SK6 1RJ
  • Thursdays: 9.30 am – 5 pm Cornerstone (Stockport homes building) 2 Edward St, Stockport SK1 3NQ
  • Fridays: 10 am – 1 pm One Stockport Hub, 16-22 Merseyway, SK1 1RA 
Job Club computer classes
HMRC Starting Point Flyer

Dementia Café  - Every Tuesday - 10am - 12pm and Offerton New Singing For Memory group

Message from Louise Evans (Stockport Homes Group)

I would recommend people phone to just double check availability. The café can reserve parking at rear of building or there is disable parking outside Fred Perry House opposite Cornerstone.

Dementia Social Cornerstone
Offerton New Singing for Memory Group 2022-23

Healthwatch Stockport Surveys

While You Wait - Waiting for Hospital Treatment Survey

Take the 'While You Wait' survey

GP Appointment Feedback - Share Your Views

Go to GP Appointment Feedback

Long COVID - Share Your Views

Take the Long COVID survey

Healthwatch Stockport General Feedback

Share your views now


Stockport Council - Political Map

Have your say on a new political map for Stockport Council

Want to give your views on proposals for new boundaries for council wards in Stockport? There is one month left of the consultation. The Local Government Boundary Commission is reviewing Stockport to make sure councillors will represent about the same number of electors. 16 wards will have their boundaries changed, while 5 will remain the same. Have your say before 10th January.

Information and Signposting

For up to date health and social care information, signposting and guidance call Healthwatch Stockport on

0161 974 0753 10am - 2pm or email  

Or do you have a health or social care experience you want to share – how did your last appointment with your GP or dentist go? Are you happy or frustrated with the service you received – let us know so we can work with local services to influence better commissioners and better outcomes for you and your family. Contact the Healthwatch Stockport office above or submit feedback here at

If you have any information you would like to share on the Stockport Information Round up please send any details to

Share your thoughts

You can help make health and care services better by sharing your experiences and ideas.

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