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Latest News

Rescue Packs - updated 24th March 2020

We have been made aware of some inaccurate information circulating (especially on social media) regarding special rescue packs of antibiotics and oral steroids for patients with pre-existing respiratory conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (or even for those who do not have these conditions).
 
We would like to reassure you that patients who suffer with severe respiratory conditions already have these in place (along with the instructions how to use them). Oral steroids are powerful medicines and any decision to use them would need careful evaluation by a prescriber, usually a doctor or respiratory specialist nurse.
 
The current advice is please do not contact your GP practice for a rescue pack unless this is something that has been previously agreed and prescribed by your medical team. 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 aware of increasing requests for inhalers from patients who have not had them for a significant period of time. There is a risk of supply problems if inhalers are issued to people who do not currently need them. GP practices will need to review requests on an individual basis and will only prescribe where there is current clinical need for an inhaler. If your condition changes in future and your GP thinks you need an inhaler it will be prescribed for you at that point.
 
At the moment, inhaler prescriptions are also being limited to one of each type of inhaler in order to make sure that all patients who need one can get one.
 
You should continue to manage your conditions in the usual way and if you feel you have symptoms of COVID-19, go to https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19
or call 111 (online services should be used as a first choice) before doing anything else.

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Latest News on Coronavirus

03/03/2020

If you have been in contact with someone with coronavirus or have returned from an affected area (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-specified-countries-and-areas) identified by the Chief Medical Officer as high risk and you are feeling unwell with a cough, difficulty breathing or fever, stay at home and use the NHS 111 online (https://111.nhs.uk/service/covid-19) 

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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The NHS in England 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 our patients and NHS staff while ensuring services are available to the public as normal.

The risk to the general public is moderate. If you have arrived back to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau within 14 days, follow the specific advice for returning travellers.

Call 111 now if you've been:

  • to Wuhan or Hubei Province in China in the last 14 days (even if you do not have symptoms)
  • to other parts of China, including Macau and Hong Kong, in the last 14 days and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath (even if it's mild)
  • to Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Republic of Korea or Malaysia in the last 14 days and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath (even if its mild)
  • in close contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus

Do not go to a GP surgery, community pharmacy or hospital.  Call 111,  stay indoors and avoid close contact with other people.

Further information is available on nhs.uk

Like the common cold, coronavirus infection usually occurs through close contact with a person with novel coronavirus via cough and sneezes or hand contact.  A person can also be infected by touching contaminated surfaces if they do not wash their hands.

The risk of being in close contact with a person with coronavirus or contaminated surfaces is very low at the current time, as members of the public who have visited Wuhan or Hubei province, China are currently in isolation.

Testing of suspected coronavirus cases is carried out in line with strict regulations.  This means that suspected cases are kept in isolation away from public areas of the hospital and returned home also in isolation.  Any equipment that comes into contact with suspected cases are thoroughly cleaned as appropriate.  Specific guidance has also been shared with NHS staff to help safeguard them and others.  Patients can be reassured that their safety is a top priority, and are encouraged to attend  all appointments as usual.

Everyone is 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 is soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

You can find the latest information and advice from Public Health England and further information is available on nhs.uk

Feb 2020

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