The NHS and Public Health England (PHE) are extremely 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.
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:
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay indoors and avoid close contact with other people. Call 111 if you need to speak to someone.
If you live with other people, they should stay at home for at least 14 days, to avoid spreading the infection outside the home. After 14 days, anyone you live with who does not have symptoms can return to their normal routine.
But, if anyone in your home gets symptoms, they should stay at home for 7 days from the day their symptoms start. Even if it means they're at home for longer than 14 days. The most up-to-date public guidance is always online at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus
Test and Trace
Government launches NHS Test and Trace service
New guidance means those who have been in close contact with someone who tests positive must isolate for 14 days, even if they have no symptoms. Full details can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-launches-nhs-test-and-trace-service We are expecting further details relating to the roll out of this locally.
Local Test and Trace
Not to be used in isolation
Repeat prescriptions and ordering medication during COVID-19
To order medication or any repeat prescriptions please telephone the surgery on 01706 811100 or use the patient access service - speak with a staff member for details.
Some things to bear in mind when ordering
- Please don’t order your prescriptions early or ask for extra; we have been asked by NHS England to keep to standard amounts and actually reduce quantities to 28 days/one inhaler in some cases to ensure that medicines are available for all who need them.
- The local pharmacies are inundated with work and have reduced their opening times to cope with the workload; they are still working, but behind closed doors for patient safety.
- Please do not ask us for rescue packs for asthma. There has been a lot of speculation on social media and our phone lines are congested with requests for them.
- Please only contact the surgery by phone or by using the patient access system. Do not come to the surgery in person.
Rescue Packs during COVID-19
We have been made aware of some inaccurate information circulating regarding special ‘rescue packs’ for patients with pre-existing respiratory conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We are not currently changing our usual advice about emergency supplies of antibiotics and steroids. The main reason for this is that we understand neither would help in the early stages of a COVID-19 infection and people might delay seeking advice if they became increasingly short of breath
Please do not contact your GP practice for a rescue pack. You should continue to manage your condition in the usual way and if you feel you have symptoms of COVID-19, go to <https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19> before doing anything else.
We are getting increased demand for inhalers from people who have not had inhalers for several years. This is not recommended and inhalers should only be restarted if your symptoms have returned. Please only request inhalers if you are currently using them and please visit AsthmaUk.org or British Lung Foundation UK for further information. We would also like to reassure you that the large majority of people, even with underlying risk factors, will have a mild to moderate illness and recover well. Information on covid-19 can be found online at <https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19> .
CORONAVIRUS - INFORMATION IF YOU HAVE ASTHMA OR COPD
You should continue your treatment as normal and ensure you are taking your inhalers regularly as prescribed. If you haven’t been using your current prescribed inhalers you should restart them. You do not need to increase the use of your inhalers as a precaution or take an extra blue inhaler just in case.
Instead follow the self-management advice and any action or management plans previously given by your nurse or doctor.
Unless this is already part of your management plan you do not need to be prescribed a rescue pack to take now as a precaution or keep at home just in case.
If you already have a rescue pack as part of your ongoing management you should only take this as previously advised by your nurse or doctor i.e. if you have worsening symptoms of your asthma or COPD. Due to the current Coronavirus situation though we advise you to contact your GP Practice prior to starting any rescue pack for review.
Further information on managing your asthma can be found at www.asthma.org.uk
Further information on managing your COPD can be found at www.BLF.org.uk