Coronavirus COVID-19

Coronavirus- Information for patients

Data Provision Notice for Covid-19 at-risk patient data collection: GPES Covid 19

SUSPECTED CORONAVIRUS

If you have a high temperature, new persistent cough, or loss of taste or smell you MUST self-isolate and arrange for testing.

If you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus illness (COVID-19), however mild, you must begin to isolate and arrange for testing by going to https://www.gov.uk/apply-coronavirus-test.

If you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and arrange for testing. If any one of the results come back as positive the rest of the household must isolate and not leave the house for 10 days even if their result was negative. The 10-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 10 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 10 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 10 day isolation period. 

If you have coronavirus symptoms:

See the source image Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital

See the source image You do not need to contact 111 to tell them 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 119. For a medical emergency dial 999.

CLICK HERE for Guidance on Self Isolation and Social Distancing for COVID 19

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

If you require a sick note you can obtain this from https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note.

Face masks

It was announced that from July 24th 2020 everyone is required to wear a face covering when entering a shop or business.

This is in addition to wearing one on Public Transport which has been mandatory for some time now.

Please note, it is NOT the responsibility or the role of the Surgery to issue anyone with an exemption letter or certificate.

Social distancing advice for everyone to follow

See the source image Avoid contact with anyone with suspected Coronavirus

See the source image Avoid all large gatherings

See the source image Work from home where possible

See the source image You may exercise 

See the source image You can meet with 5 other people or one other household outside

Social shielding

SOCIAL SHIELDING IS CURRENTLY PAUSED.

Social shielding is a measure to protect those who are at very high risk of severe illness from Coronavirus due to an underlying health condition. It is intended for use in situations where the extremely vulnerable person is living in their own home, with or without additional support.

If you're identified as extremely vulnerable you will receive a letter telling you what you should do.

What is meant by an 'extremely vulnerable person'?

People falling into this extremely vulnerable group include:

  1. Solid organ transplant recipients.

  2. People with specific cancers:
    • people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radical radiotherapy for lung cancer
    • people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
    • people having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
    • people having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
    • people who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
  3. People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD.

  4. People with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell).

  5. People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection.

  6. Women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired.

Your GP may identify you as being extremely vulnerable even if you do not fall into one of the categories listed above.

What you should do

If you are identified as being extremely vulnerable you should stay at home and avoid all face to face contact. Visits from people who provide essential support to you such as healthcare, personal support with your daily needs or social care should continue, but carers and care workers must stay away if they have any of the symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). 

For more information go to: 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

If you need support from a volunteer

A volunteer can help support you with the following:

  • Check in and chat support – short-term telephone support to individuals who are at risk of loneliness as a consequence of self-isolation (note, this is not mental health advice)
  • Community support – collection of shopping, medication or other essential supplies for someone who is self-isolating, and delivering these supplies to their home
  • Patient Transport – transport to take patients home who are medically fit for discharge.

If you fall into one of the following categories and feel you need support with any of the above then you can request a volunteer:

  • People aged 70 years and older with underlying health conditions
  • If you are in the ‘extremely vulnerable’ to COVID 19 group and have been sent a letter asking you to shield from the virus
  • People who are pregnant 
  • If you are newly socially vulnerable as a result of COVID 19
  • People who are registered disabled
  • Others with high-risk conditions could include:
    • People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
    • People with serious heart conditions
    • People who are immunocompromised including because of cancer treatment
    • People of any age with severe obesity e.g. body mass index (BMI) over 40
    • Certain underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as those with diabetes, dementia, renal failure, or liver disease might also be at risk

You can contact NHS Volunteer Responders on 0808 196 3646 (8am to 8pm).

For more information go to: https://volunteering.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk/nhs-volunteer-responders-portal/isolating?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIut214fv-6AIVDbDtCh3X-A4zEAAYASAAEgJ2yfD_BwE

Kent Together Helpline

A 24-hour helpline has been set up to support vulnerable people in Kent who need urgent help, supplies or medication.

You can contact the Kent Together helpline at: www.kent.gov.uk/KentTogether or by phoning 03000 41 92 92.  

Testing for Coronavirus

Anyone over the age of 5 can be tested. 

For information go to: https://www.gov.uk/apply-coronavirus-test

If you have difficultly booking a test online you can call 119.

Health at Home

Find useful information on how to access NHS services online. The follow link will provide you with information on how to contact us, order repeat prescriptions, manage your wellbeing and existing conditions – without having to leave home.

https://www.nhs.uk/health-at-home/ 

How to get your prescription

You can request you prescription in the following ways:

We are still processing prescription requests within 48 working hours, but you will also need allow time for the pharmacy to process your prescription.

We are encouraging as many patients as possible to nominate a pharmacy so your prescription can be sent directly to a pharmacy without the need for you to come into the surgery to collect it. If you are not signed up for the electronic prescription service you can either contact us on 01634 337620 or email orchardfamilypractice@nhs.net to nominate a pharmacy.

If you are unable to get to the pharmacy to collect your prescription you can either:

  • Ask someone to collect your prescription for you (this is the best option, if possible)
  • Contact your pharmacy to ask them if they can either help you find a volunteer, or deliver it to you.

Appointments

All of our GP appointments will now be telephone calls. If you already have an appointment booked with the GP we will be in touch to inform you this will now be a telephone call. The GP will assess you over the phone and if they wish to see you they will arrange an appointment for you.

Please view this video for more information: https://www.emisnow.com/sys_attachment.do?sys_id=f2af9fdcdb68d050a643d278f49619ae

Where possible, nurse's appointments will also be converted to telephone calls. We will currently continue to offer appointments for children's immunisations.

Mental well-being

We understand this is a worrying time and you may find it difficult staying at home.

You can find support from Every Mind Matters (https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/) and the NHS mental health and wellbeing advice website (https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/).

mental health CV

CHANGES TO THE BLOOD TEST CLINICS

With effect from Monday 30th March 2020 the Phlebotomy clinic will no longer provide a walk in blood test service. All blood tests will need to be booked by telephoning 01634 471098 to arrange your appointment.

Please see below the opening dates and times:

blood tests- covid

Kent and Medway Sexual Health Service

During this time all new attendances to the Sexual Health Service will operate on an appointment only basis. Walk in clinics are postponed until further notice.

If you would like to discuss you attendance with a member of their team, call 0300 123 1678.

Patients will be triaged by phone and if appropriate a face to face appointment will be organised at either The Gate Clinic in Canterbury, or 4 Clover Street in Chatham.

Hypertension on ACE-Inhibitors and Angiotensin Receptor Blockers

Based on initial reports from China, and subsequent evidence that arterial hypertension may be associated with increased risk of mortality in in hospitalised COVID-19 infected subjects, hypotheses have been put forward to suggest a potential adverse effect of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE-i) or Angiotensin Receptor Blockers (ARBs). It has been suggested that these commonly used drugs may increase both the risk of infection and the severity of COVID-19.

It has been suggested, especially on social media sites, that these commonly used drugs may increase both the risk of infection and the severity of SARS-CoV2.

Because of the amplification, patients taking these drugs for their high blood pressure have become increasingly concerned, and, in some cases, have stopped taking their ACE-I or ARB medications.

This speculation about the safety of ACE-I or ARB treatment in relation to COVID-19 does NOT have a sound scientific basis or evidence to support it.

Guidance for different patient groups

Alcohol Addiction: Coronavirus advice for alcoholism

Autism: https://www.sussexpartnership.nhs.uk/sites/default/files/documents/2020-03-26_supporting_an_autistic_person_through_covid_2.pdf

Cancer: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancer-in-general/coronavirus-and-cancer

Cardiovascular: https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/heart-matters-magazine/news/coronavirus-and-your-health

Cystic Fibrosis: https://www.cysticfibrosis.org.uk/news/uk-cf-medical-associations-statement-on-coronavirus

Diabetes: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/about_us/news/coronavirus

Haematology: https://www.sicklecellsociety.org/coronavirus-and-scd/

HIV: https://www.bhiva.org/coronavirus-and-HIV-responses-to-common-questions-from-BHIVA

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn's Disease/Ulcerative Colitis): https://www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk/news/coronavirus-covid-19-advice 

Inherited Metabolic Diseases: Inherited Metabolic Diseases and Coronavirus 

Intellectual Disability: https://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/docs/default-source/members/faculties/intellectual-disability/covid-19-facultypsychid.pdf?sfvrsn=86f6a7da_2

Learning Disabilities (Children): https://www.sunshine-support.org/covid-19-downloads

Neurology: https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.theabn.org/resource/collection/6750BAE6-4CBC-4DDB-A684-116E03BFE634/ABN_Neurology_COVID-19_Guidance_22.3.20.pdf

Orthopaedics: https://www.boa.ac.uk/resources/coronavirus-boa-faqs-for-patients.html

Paediatrics: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people 

https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/helping-children-cope-with-stress-print.pdf

Pregnancy: https://www.rcog.org.uk/en/guidelines-research-services/guidelines/coronavirus-pregnancy/

Renal/Kidney: https://www.kidneycareuk.org/news-and-campaigns/coronavirus-advice/

Respiratory (not pneumonia): https://www.blf.org.uk/support-for-you/coronavirus

https://www.europeanlung.org/en/QA-covid-19

Other Useful Resources

For parenting tips during the outbreak go to: https://www.unicef.org/coronavirus/covid-19-parenting-tips

Looking after your wellbeing: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/

How to stop the spread: https://stopthespread.info/

COVID symptom tracker app: https://covid.joinzoe.com/

Kent and Medway CCG: https://www.kentandmedwayccg.nhs.uk/your-health/coronavirus

Kent Together Helpline: A 24-hour helpline has been set up to support vulnerable people in Kent who need urgent help, supplies or medication. You can contact the Kent Together helpline at: www.kent.gov.uk/KentTogether or by phoning 03000 41 92 92.  

Safeguarding Resources

National Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247 https://www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk/

NSPCC helpline: 0808 800 5000 If you're worried about a child, even if you're unsure, contact NSPCC professional counsellors for help, advice and support.

Childline 0800 1111: Offers free, confidential advice and support for any child 18 years or under, whatever the worry.

MIND: Mental Health Support with specific advice on ‘Coronavirus and your wellbeing’. www.mind.org.uk

YoungMinds: Supporting children and young people and their parents/carers with their mental health and wellbeing. Specific advice on managing self-isolation and anxiety about coronavirus. https://youngminds.org.uk

ICON: Babies cry: You can cope. http://iconcope.org/

IRISi interventions: www.irisi.org/iris/find-your-local-iris-site/  



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