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Important information about the coronavirus (COVID-19)

The NHS in Lewisham 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. 

The Chief Medical Officer has announced that the country is moving into the 'Delay' stage of the response to coronavirus from Friday, 13 March 2020.

The new advice issued by the Chief Medical Officer is as follows:

Stay at home for 7 days if you have either:

•           a high temperature

•           a new continuous cough

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.

Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:

•           you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home

•           your condition gets worse

•           your symptoms do not get better after 7 days

Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

Stay At Home advice can be found here:

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

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.

More information can be found on the NHS website here

Primary care updated info

Telephone message

Please do not book a GP appointment or attend your GP Practice if you have symptoms associated with coronavirus including a new continuous cough and a high temperature. You are advised to stay at home for 7 days.

If your symptoms are serious, or get worse, NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need further medical help and advise you what to do. 

Only call 111 direct if you cannot go online, or are advised to do so by the online service.

For the latest Covid-19 advice please visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.

Online booking

If you have symptoms associated with coronavirus including a new continuous cough and a high temperature, you are advised to stay at home for 7 days. Do not book a GP appointment or attend your GP Practice.

If your symptoms are serious, or get worse, NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need further medical help and advise you what to do. 

Only call 111 direct if you cannot go online, or are advised to do so by the online service. 

For the latest Covid-19 advice please visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.

SMS

For the latest Covid-19 advice please visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.

Coronavirus advice: if you have a new continuous cough and/or a high temperature, please stay at home for 7 days. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. If your symptoms are serious, or get worse, visit the NHS111 online service.

Testing in Delay stage

The Chief Medical officer outlined the new approach for Testing for coronavirus in the Delay stage at yesterday's announcement.

Dr Chris Whitty said:

"It is no longer needed for us to identify every case, and we will move to a situation where those in self-isolation don't need testing and testing capacity is shifted to those in hospitals showing symptoms.  Finally, we will have no more geographical limits to testing – it will be based on symptoms and severity. It will be irrespective of travel history."

Visitors Guidance

We thought it would be helpful to share the current PHE advice as set out in the Covid-19 Infection Prevention and Control guidance.

PHE's advice regarding visitors for hospital wards which have had a confirmed case of COVID-19 is below. Visitor guidelines for all other wards should follow the hospital's usual policy.
  

COVID-19: infection prevention and control guidance – Visitors of confirmed cases

Visitors of confirmed cases should be restricted to essential visitors only, such as parents or carers of a paediatric patient or an affected patient's main carer. Visiting should also be restricted to those assessed as able to wear PPE (see risk assessment below). Visitors should be permitted only after completion of a local risk assessment which includes safeguarding criteria as well as the infection risks.

Visitors should be advised not to go to any other departments or locations within the hospital or healthcare facility after visiting.

The risk assessment must assess the risk of onward infection from the visitor to healthcare staff, or from the patient to the visitors. The risk assessment should include whether it would be feasible for the visitor to learn the correct usage of PPE (donning and doffing under supervision) and should determine whether a visitor, even if asymptomatic, may themselves be a potential infection risk when entering or exiting the unit. It must be clear, documented and reviewed. If correct use of PPE cannot be established then the visitor must not proceed in visiting.

The hospital should be mindful of its responsibilities to persons who are not employees, under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.