Coronavirus information

INFORMATION ON CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)

If you think you have Coronavirus, also called COVID-19 and have symptoms, which can include fever, a new continuous cough, and the loss of the sense of taste or smell, DO NOT come into your GP practice or visit any other health facility, including a pharmacy.

Please stay at home and read the NHS 111 web pages for advice and information.

If you think you have come into contact with someone who has Coronavirus, please go to the NHS 111 web page for information on what to do: https://111.nhs.uk/service/covid-19

You should self-isolate for at least 10 days if you have symptoms of coronavirus and you tested positive, had an unclear result or did not have a test, or if you tested positive but have not had symptoms.

If you have symptoms, the 10 days starts from when they started. If you have not had symptoms, the 10 days starts from when you had the test. But if you get symptoms after your test, self-isolate for a further 10 days from when your symptoms start.

Keep self-isolating if you have any of these symptoms after 10 days:

• a high temperature or feeling hot and shivery

• a runny nose or sneezing

• feeling or being sick

• diarrhoea

Only stop self-isolating when these symptoms have gone. If you have diarrhoea or you’re being sick, stay at home until 48 hours after they've stopped.

You should self-isolate for 14 days if you live with (or are in a support bubble with) someone who:

• has symptoms of coronavirus and tested positive, had an unclear result or did not have a test

• tested positive but has not had symptoms

This is because it can take 14 days for symptoms to appear.

The 14 days starts from:

• when the first person in your home or support bubble started having symptoms

• the day they were tested, if they have not had symptoms – but if they get symptoms after they were tested, self-isolate for a further 14 days from when their symptoms start

You can stop self-isolating after 14 days if you do not get any symptoms.

Get a test to check if you have coronavirus if you get symptoms while you're self-isolating. If your test is negative, you should keep self-isolating for the rest of the 14 days.

If your test is positive, you should self-isolate for 10 days from when your symptoms started. This might mean you're self-isolating for longer than 14 days overall.

If you want general information about Coronavirus, please visit this NHS webpage: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Anyone with symptoms can get a test for COVID-19 and those with positive results will be called by the NHS Test And Trace service. This is totally free of charge.

Any patients wanting information about testing should go to the government website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-for-coronavirus/ask-for-a-test-to-check-if-you-have-coronavirus/

To protect patients and staff and to limit the spread of Coronavirus, our practices will ask you a series of questions when you telephone for an appointment.

You may be offered a telephone or video appointment. Video consultations will not be recorded. This is to protect our teams to ensure they can carry on providing you with safe care.

Please be patient while waiting for the phone to be answered – this is due to the large number of calls that come into the surgery.

If you leave your home, stay alert and use social distancing and handwashing to help prevent the spread of the virus.

The Government has issued guidance for people who are at very high risk of severe illness from Coronavirus because of an underlying health condition, called ‘shielding’.

People who are shielding remain vulnerable and should continue to take precautions but can now leave their home if they wish, as long as they are able to maintain strict social distancing.

For more information for people who are shielding, see this web page: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

During this current crisis, our practice and SSP Health takes the protection and safety of our staff and patients very seriously.

May we politely request that to help us protect you, the following points are noted:

• If you have any symptoms, please do not attend the surgery. Please contact us and we will advise you of what to do.

• The surgery may be limiting access to the practice. You may be required to ring the doorbell/use the practice intercom to verify who you are. When the clinician is ready for you, you will be asked to enter the building. Please inform the clinician that you have been triaged and are able to attend the appointment.

• Please only attend the surgery if you are asked to do so.

• Please ensure you keep 2 metres apart and maintain social distancing where possible.

• It is advisable not to bring handbags or additional items to your appointment to minimise contact and possible spread. Please DO bring tissues to allow you to use if required and an appropriate plastic bag to dispose of any tissues used. These items will need to be taken home and disposed of by yourself.

• Please stand away from the reception desk.

• Please wear face protection when attending the surgery. Please bring your own face covering to wear.

• Please wash hands on entering the premises and leaving the premises. Hand sanitiser is available if you are not able to access the handwashing facilities.

• Please attend appointments alone wherever possible unless you require a carer, interpreter, or are attending with children/babies.

• Please be aware of advice from NHS111 regarding reducing the spread of coronavirus.

• If you are due to have an injection, please wear loose clothing or clothing that is easily removable.

Please note, the above list is not exhaustive or definitive. Please do not be offended or upset if you are asked to comply with a request from a member of staff that is not in the above information.

The wearing of a face covering is now mandatory in shops and on public transport, and now also in indoor places of worship, museums and galleries, public areas in hotels and hostels, bingo halls, libraries, cinemas, concert halls, crematoriums, aquariums and indoor zoos.

Some groups of people are exempt from this requirement including children under the age of 11; people with disabilities; those with breathing difficulties; those travelling with someone who relies on lip reading. These groups of people, their parents or guardians can explain the reason, if needed, about why they are not wearing a face covering.

There is no need for our GP surgeries to issue exemption letters for patients who are unable to wear face coverings and the NHS has advised us not to do this.

Here are some useful web links which explains this further:

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/coronavirus/coronavirus-guidance/face-covering-guidance/

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers#exemptions-face-coverings

https://www.arrivabus.co.uk/travel-help-and-accessibility/how-to-obtain-assistance-cards/

https://hiddendisabilitiesstore.com/hidden-disabilities-face-covering.html

https://disabilityhorizons.com/2020/06/face-mask-exemptions-how-to-ensure-you-dont-get-fined/

The Government and the NHS are well prepared to deal with this virus. But you can help, too.

Germs can live on some surfaces for hours. To protect yourself and others always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Bin the tissue and, to kill the germs, wash your hands with soap and water or use a sanitiser gel.