Coronavirus

Last reviewed 1141, 17/09/2020

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

PLEASE use online access when requesting contact with a doctor

  • During these unprecedented times we have been experiencing a high volume of calls about Coronavirus, along with other medical  problems.

  • By far the quickest and easiest way to discuss your case with a doctor - both for you and us-  is online

  • Our work force is significantly reduced and our phone lines are under great strain and must be reserved for those with very urgent problems where online might not be appropriate (eg after 1700) or for people who have no internet access.

  • Are you a parent or carer of a young child and need advice? Click here

 

  • PLEASE get in touch online if you possibly can and leave the phone lines free for those most in need. Thank you

  • Getting in touch for nurse appointments, dispensary or administration/secretarial queries remain the same

Join a COVID-19 Clinical Trial

The risk of complications from COVID -19 is generally greater in people aged 50 years and older with underlying health conditions and in those older than 65 years. Most of the infections are being managed in the community and it is essential we identify treatments that help reduce the progression of disease and, therefore, the need for hospital admission.

 

As a result, the practice has signed up to participate in the PRINCIPLE trial. AS there are no known treatments for COVID-19 which have proven to have been effective, the trial aims to evaluate potential treatments as soon as they are identified. It aims to find treatments that reduce hospital admission and improve symptoms and recovery for people with COVID-19. It is entirely voluntary and you could be eligible to join if:

  • You have had these symptoms for fewer than 15 days:

    • a continuous new or worsening cough

    • a high temperature

  • You are aged 50 to 64 with a pre-existing illness

  • You are aged 65 and above

Test and Trace - The Latest Guidance NEW

Part 1: for someone with symptoms of coronavirus -i.e. you have a high temperature/fever OR have a new, continuous cough, OR have a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)

  • Isolate: as soon as you experience coronavirus symptoms, medical advice is clear: you must self-isolate for at least 10 days. (please note this has recently increased from 7 days) Anyone else in your household must self-isolate for 14 days from when you started having symptoms

  • Test: order a test immediately at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or call 119 if you have no internet access

  • Results: if your test is positive, you must complete the remainder of your 10-day self-isolation. Anyone in your household must also complete self-isolation for 14 days from when you started having symptoms. If your test is negative, you and other household members no longer need to self-isolate

  • Share contacts: if you test positive for coronavirus, the NHS test and trace service will send you a text or email alert or call you with instructions of how to share details of people with whom you have had close, recent contact and places you have visited. It is important that you respond as soon as possible so that we can give appropriate advice to those who need it. You will be told to do this online via a secure website or you will be called by one of our contract tracers.

Part 2: if you are contacted by the NHS test and trace service because you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus

  • Alert: you will be alerted by the NHS test and trace service if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus. The alert will usually come by text, email or phone call. You should then log on to the NHS test and trace website, which is normally the easiest way for you and the service to communicate with each other – but, if not, a trained call handler will talk you through what you must do. Under-18s will get a phone call and a parent or guardian will be asked to give permission for the call to continue

  • Isolate: you will be told to begin self-isolation for 14 days from your last contact with the person who has tested positive. It’s really important to do this even if you don’t feel unwell because, if you have been infected, you could become infectious to others at any point up to 14 days. Your household doesn’t need to self-isolate with you, if you do not have symptoms, but they must take extra care to follow the guidance on social distancing and handwashing and avoid contact with you at home

  • Test if needed: if you develop symptoms of coronavirus, other members of your household must self-isolate immediately at home for 14 days and you must book a test at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or call 119 if you have no internet access. If your test is positive, you must continue to stay at home for at least 10 days and we will get in touch to ask about your contacts since they must self-isolate. If your test is negative, you must still complete your 14-day self-isolation period because the virus may not be detectable yet - this is crucial to avoid unknowingly spreading the virus.

Other considerations:

  • If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days.

  • If you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible.

  • The Chief Medical Officer has said that individuals with a “long-term condition” need to be particularly vigilant - it can be hard to know what defines this - as a guide, he suggested that a “long-term condition” is present if you are eligible for an annual flu jab

Social Distancing

  • Social distancing measures are steps you can take to reduce the social interaction between people. This will help reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).

They are:

  • Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough

  • Work from home, where possible. Your employer should support you to do this. Please refer to employer guidance for more information

  • Gatherings of more than two people (unless they are from your own household) are not permitted at present

  • Please do not meet with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media

  • Use online services to contact your GP (or phone if you have no internet) or other essential services

  • Everyone should be trying to follow these measures as much as is pragmatic.

  • We strongly advise you to follow the above measures as much as you can and to significantly limit your face-to-face interaction with friends and family if possible, particularly if you:

  • are over 70

  • have an underlying health condition

  • are pregnant

  • This advice is likely to be in place for some weeks - please see here for more info

Shielding - protecting the most vulnerable NEW

Shielding is a measure to protect people who are clinically extremely vulnerable by minimising all interaction between those who are extremely vulnerable and others. We are strongly advising people with serious underlying health conditions (listed below) which put them at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) to rigorously follow shielding measures in order to keep themselves safe.

Latest Shielding update HERE   NEW

  • If you're at high risk (clinically extremely vulnerable) from coronavirus (COVID-19), you were advised to take extra steps to protect yourself until 1 August 2020. This was called shielding.

  • In England, the risk of getting coronavirus is now low enough that you’re no longer advised to shield.

  • But there are still things you can do to protect yourself and others. You can also still get some support.

What do we mean by extremely vulnerable?

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

  7. People who have had their spleen removed.

  8. People on renal dialysis.

The NHS in England is directly contacting people with these conditions to provide further advice.

We understand this is an anxious time and people considered extremely vulnerable will understandably have questions and concerns. Plans are being readied to make sure you can rely on a wide range of help and support.

 

For more information, please click here and to register as someone who is extremely vulnerable, please click here

NB: We have no influence over who, and who is not entitled to support as an extremely vulnerable person

Latest News from Dispensary

  • New opening times - Now closing at 1830  

  • ​​Our Dispensary has recently had changed to a new computer system so that almost all prescriptions are sent electronically. 

 

  • In the initial few months it may take longer for your prescription to be dispensed while we enter each patient onto the new system and work through the new process. The new system will have longer term benefits for both staff and patients and we ask for your understanding at this time. 

  • We can deliver medications to those most  in need

  • We must request that patients only request medications they really need - we are experiencing a serious shortage of inhalers (steroid and salbutamol) as well as paracetamol - Please consider the situations of those most in need

  • We ask that payment is either contactless or, beforehand, via BACS 

 

Miscellaneous: Other Coronavirus News & Advice

 

ELECTIVE PROCEDURES AT LOCAL HOSPITALS

 

  • Measures are being put in place across Surrey by local hospital Trusts to increase the number of routine operations and treatment for patients, whilst maintaining social distancing measures and keeping the necessary capacity and capability to treat future coronavirus patients. Teams at your local hospital are working hard to make necessary adjustments to the way they work, and the hospital environment, as part of the ongoing restoration of services and recovery.

 

  • In order to protect both hospital staff and patients who have been receiving treatment during the pandemic, patients will be required to isolate themselves for 14 days and be clear of any symptoms before being admitted. Testing will also be offered to those waiting to be admitted to provide further certainty for patients and staff that they are COVID-free.

 

  • As well as the requirements for those needing operations, as many outpatient appointments as possible will be conducted remotely, and those who do need a face to face consultation will be asked not to attend if they have COVID symptoms. 

 

Your local hospital will have specific arrangements in place - for the most up to date information, please visit their website:

·         Royal Surrey - www.royalsurrey.nhs.uk/coronavirus-hub

·         Epsom Hospital – www.epsom-sthelier.nhs.uk/covid-19  

·         St Peter’s Hospital – www.ashfordstpeters.nhs.uk/coronavirus

·         East Surrey Hospital - www.surreyandsussex.nhs.uk/coronavirus-what-you-need-to-know/

FACE COVERINGS - NO REQUIREMENT FOR LETTER OF EXEMPTION

  • There has been some understandable confusion as the government extends its advice on the number of venues where face coverings should be worn.

  • There are some circumstances where people may be exempt from wearing face coverings  - more information on this can be found here.

  • We wanted to reassure patients that we have been advised that there is No requirement for patients who feel that they are exempt to obtain a letter from their doctor.

ABSENCE FROM WORK/EDUCATION

  • We understand the worry many patients are experiencing around absence from work/education due to Coronavirus - either because you or someone close to you may have symptoms and/or be at risk.

  • It has been made clear to us that you will NOT REQUIRE a formal "FIT NOTE" for absences due to COVID-19.

  • If you need to self-isolate because you, or someone in your household has COVID-19 symptoms, you can obtain a certificate from NHS 111 (click on the link to access this). If you don't have an email, this certificate can be sent to a trusted family member or friend, or directly to your employer. 

 

Support in your local area - HELP IS HERE!

  • Do you need help within your local area? Food deliveries? Prescription pickups from the surgery  - either routine or at short notice? Perhaps you have some other non-medical concerns that you'd like to talk through with someone?

  • Sometimes friends and family can help but if not or you don't know  quite where to turn, please see below to find a point of contact in your local area below.

  • Many of the areas, are arranging pickups of routine prescriptions as well as prescriptions at short notice - please enquire with a local neighbour, within dispensary, or with your local rep. 

 

 

 

  • Perhaps you feel you can lend a hand? If so, or you have any other enquiries not covered above, please get in touch with the Shere Area Coronavirus Support Group at shereparishcv19actiongroup@gmail.com

  • In addition, if you happen to live in Albury you will find further resources here 

"COMMUNITY CALLS" IN ABINGER AND COLDHARBOUR

  • A support and befriending service for everyone  - as the Coronavirus looks likely to join us for a while, contact from volunteers in our community may become useful for you or someone you know. Please click here for more information.

  • Other, similar groups are being formed as this goes to press, so please watch this space!

LOCAL FROM SHAMLEY GREEN DONATES MASKS FOR SHERE

  • As many of you know the demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) greatly outstrips supply

  • Fortunately, we have received a very kind donation from Robert Jenkins of Shamley Green who provided us with over 20 heavy duty masks for the protection of patients and staff alike

  • Please contact NHS 111 Online, or if you do not have internet access, please call NHS 111 for advice if:

    • You feel that you cannot cope with your symptoms at home​

    • Your condition gets worse

    • Your symptoms do not get better after 7 days

  

Join a COVID-19 Clinical Trial 

Track and Trace, Social Distancing & Shielding

Latest News from Dispensary and opening times

NEW Face coverings, Fit notes. etc and Social support  help with prescription pickups

General Advice on Coronavirus

Click here for the most up-to-date information and advice

Advice when Self-Isolating

Click here for the most up-to-date information and advice

Click here to see what you can do to protect you and your community

Advice if you run a small business

Click here is you want to know more about how Coronavirus might affect your business and what you can do

Shere Surgery & Dispensary 2020