The NHS and Public Health England (PHE) are well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal.
To reduce your chances of catching COVID-19 and reduce pressure on the practice at this busy time, appointments will be carried out over the phone or via online/video consultations unless there is a clinical need for you to come into the practice. This will help minimise risk while continuing to ensure people get the care and advice they need. Your patience and understanding at this difficult time is appreciated.
The latest information on Coronavirus including ‘stay at home advice’ can be found at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus .
Up to date guidance can also be found at www.gov.uk
NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need medical help and advise you what to do.
Use this service if:
- You think you might have coronavirus;
- If you have a fever of 37.8 degrees or higher or a new continuous cough.
- You’ve been in close contact with someone with coronavirus. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Use online NHS111 advice and call 111 only if you can not cope with your symptoms at home, your symptoms are getting worse or your symptoms are not improving after 7 days; 111 will then arrange appropriate care.
- Like the common cold, coronavirus infection usually occurs through close contact with a person with novel coronavirus via cough and sneezes or hand contact. A person can also catch the virus by touching contaminated surfaces if they do not wash their hands. Testing of suspected coronavirus cases is carried out in line with strict guidelines. This means that suspected cases are kept in isolation, away from public areas of GP surgeries, pharmacies and hospitals and returned home also in isolation. Any equipment that come into contact with suspected cases are thoroughly cleaned as appropriate. Specific guidance has also been shared with NHS staff to help safeguard them and others. Patients can be reassured that their safety is a top priority and are encouraged to attend all appointments as usual. Everyone is being reminded to follow Public Health England advice to:
- Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.