CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) - LATEST INFORMATION & GUIDELINES

⚠️IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING SHIELDING LETTERS 📄✉️

Dear Patients,

As you may be aware the Government has sent over a million letters to patients advising them that they are in the “very high risk” group and should be shielding for 12 weeks.

These letters were produced using hospital data and not data from GP Practices. As a result the Government announced that GP Practices will be writing to additional patients by the beginning of this week.

Unfortunately, there has been a delay in this process centrally by NHS England / NHS Digital and we are awaiting further guidance from them before we can proceed. For those who haven’t received a letter but feel they may meet the criteria they should be advised to self-declare here: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable.

Once the additional patients have been identified, letters will be sent out. If you are worried you are high risk and you are unable to social distance, for example due to being unable to work from home, we can discuss individual cases further. However we would ask that people first read the advice available on the government website, and speak to their employer about their concerns and request a risk assessment. Most employers and employees should be able to manage this without requiring medical advice. This will enable the surgery to focus on providing medical care to those who are unwell, rather than spending time doing administrative work, ahead of the searches being available from NHS England / NHS digital.

We understand and share your frustrations regarding the delay but wish to clarify that it is completely out of our control and we are dependent on NHS England / NHS Digital’s guidance.

We thank you for your continued support and co-operation.

Many thanks,

Hucclecote Surgery.

Guidance from the Government 

(Update from 17/03/2020):

Symptoms

The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of:

  • new continuous cough and/or

  • high temperature (37.8 degrees or higher)

For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.

Main messages

  • if you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus illness (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started. (See ending isolation section below for more information)

  • if you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill

  • it is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community

  • for anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14 day isolation period. (See ending isolation section below for more information

  • if you can, move any vulnerable individuals (such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions) out of your home, to stay with friends or family for the duration of the home isolation period

  • if you cannot move vulnerable people out of your home, stay away from them as much as possible

  • if you have coronavirus symptoms:

    • do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital

    • you do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home

    • testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home

  • plan ahead and ask others for help to ensure that you can successfully stay at home and consider what can be done for vulnerable people in the household

  • ask your employer, friends and family to help you to get the things you need to stay at home

  • wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, each time using soap and water, or use hand sanitiser

  • if you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, or your condition gets worse, or your symptoms do not get better after 7 days, then use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service. If you do not have internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999

Ending self-isolation and household-isolation

If you have been symptomatic, then you may end your self-isolation after 7 days. The 7-day period starts from the day when you first became ill

If living with others, then all household members who remain well may end household-isolation after 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day illness began in the first person to become ill. Fourteen days is the incubation period for coronavirus; people who remain well after 14 days are unlikely to be infectious.

After 7 days, if the first person to become ill feels better and no longer has a high temperature, they can return to their normal routine. If any other family members become unwell during the 14-day household-isolation period, they should follow the same advice - that is, after 7 days of their symptoms starting, if they feel better and no longer have a high temperature, they can also return to their normal routine.

Should a household member develop coronavirus symptoms late in the 14-day household-isolation period (for example, on day 13 or day 14) the isolation period does not need to be extended, but the person with the new symptoms has to stay at home for 7 days. The 14-day household-isolation period will have greatly reduced the overall amount of infection the rest of the household could pass on, and it is not necessary to re-start 14 days of isolation for the whole household. This will have provided a high level of community protection. Further isolation of members of this household will provide very little additional community protection.

At the end of the 14-day period, any family member who has not become unwell can leave household isolation.

If any ill person in the household has not had any signs of improvement and have not already sought medical advice, they should contact NHS 111 online. If your home has no internet access, you should call NHS 111.

The cough may persist for several weeks in some people, despite the coronavirus infection having cleared. A persistent cough alone does not mean someone must continue to self-isolate for more than 7 days.

For further information please refer to the following website:  https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response

What are the differences between Self Isolation, Shielding & Social Distancing?

Changes to the way we are working 

(Update from 18/03/2020):

With effect from tomorrow (19th March 2020) we are operating a closed door policy.  Please DO NOT come into the surgery for any enquiries, instead please call reception on 01452 617295. 

Repeat prescriptions can be requested in the following ways:

  1. Online (if you already have access, please logon at:  https://systmonline.tpp-uk.com/2/Login?Date=20200318153236)

  2. Via the NHS App (to register:  https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/nhs-services/the-nhs-app/)

  3. Telephoning the Prescription Ordering Line on 0300 421 1215

  4. Writing to us and posting in the red post box outside the front door (please remember to give full name, date of birth and address along with the name of the medications required)

  5. Emailing hucclecotesurgery@nhs.net (please remember to give full name, date of birth and address along with the name of the medications required)

 

Please note we will be prescribing two months’ worth of medications.  Please do not order more, as we are unable to prescribe.

For all other enquiries, please contact reception (as normal) on 01452 617295 or email hucclecotesurgery@nhs.net

If you have spoken to a GP/nurse within the last 48 hours and have been instructed to come in to the surgery, please wait in your car until we contact you on your mobile.  If you have no mobile please come in as normal, but please DO NOT come in early.  Please DO NOT bring friends/family with you in to the surgery.

We thank you for your continued co-operation and support during this time.

Changes to the way we are working 

(Update from 12/03/2020):

IMPORTANT UPDATE 1/3 - as of Monday 16th March we are going to switch to full triage for all appointment requests. This means all requests for appointments either urgent or routine will be reviewed by a clinician. We will either respond via reception to your query, call to discuss further or arrange a video consultation.

 

Face to face appointments will still be arranged where needed, but this will be done after discussion with a clinician. Please do NOT attend the surgery in person to request an appointment, ring first (please help family/friends/neighbours to ring rather than call in where possible).

 

For blood tests or INRs for warfarin or other investigations we will still need to ring you ahead of any appointment to check you are safe to attend an appointment.

 

For appointments that are already booked over the next month a clinician will try to ring in advance and discuss whether they can manage the issue over the phone, or if a face to face appointment is still needed we will advise on the next steps.

 

These measures are to minimise the risk to patients and staff. If the surgery is forced to closed for cleaning, or staff become unwell this could have knock on effects for all patients, and we need your help to ensure we can safely help all patients that need us.

 

IMPORTANT UPDATE 2/3 - For any patients with possible symptoms (this includes shortness of breath, cough, fever) of coronavirus (covid-19) please review information available at

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

 

If you do not fulfil the criteria for ringing 111 or they direct you to the surgery please ring to reception. DO NOT attend in person. You will be added to a triage list and a clinician will call you back and discuss the next steps.

 

IMPORTANT UPDATE 3/3 - Please DO NOT attend the surgery unless you have been directed to come by a clinician. For prescription requests please try to use online services or the prescription ordering line on 0300 421 1215.

❌ DO NOT ATTEND THE SURGERY OR HOSPITAL

🏠 Stay at home

💻 Search 'nhs coronavirus' for advice and to access the 111 online coronavirus service https://111.nhs.uk/service/covid-19 or

📞 Call NHS 111 if you do not have access to the internet.