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Coronavirus Advice

Summary

From 13th March 2020 the public are being advised to stay at home (self-isolate) without any testing for COVID-19, regardless of travel history or contact with confirmed cases, if they have:
a. A new continuous cough
AND/OR
b. High temperature (of 37.8 degrees centigrade or higher)

This will help to protect others in your community while you are infectious. DO NOT ATTEND AT THE PRACTICE OR A PHARMACY OR HOSPITAL

The geographic element of the case definition has now been removed. Travel and contact history are no longer important for diagnosis, which is on the basis of symptoms alone. If people who have travelled do not have symptoms they do not need to stay at home, regardless of their travel history.

Individuals should stay at home (self-isolate) for 7 days from the onset of symptoms following the stay at home guidance found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-people-with-confirmed-or-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection

If you have serious symptoms and cannot manage at home you should use NHS 111 online (people should only call NHS111 if they cannot get online).

After 7 days of self-isolation, people who feel better and no longer have a high temperature can return to their normal routine. If they have not had any signs of improvement after 7 days and have not already sought medical advice, they should use NHS111 online (people should only call NHS111 if they
cannot get online) before they leave their home or let visitors in.

Cough may persist for several weeks in some people, despite the coronavirus infection having cleared. A persistent cough alone does not mean someone must continue to stay at home for more than 7 days.

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.

You can find the latest information and advice from Public Health England at www.gov.uk/coronavirus.


Very high risk (shielding) patients

Patients who are identified as being very high risk will be receive a letter in the upcoming weeks containing guidance on shielding. Shielding is a measure to protect extremely vulnerable people by minimising interaction between those who are extremely vulnerable and others. Currently, the NHS is still identifying all very high risk patients, so we would ask that you please do not contact the practice to enquire about your position. Please be assured that if you are identified as being at very high risk then you will receive a letter. 


Testing

Testing for coronavirus will not be offered routinely to individuals staying at home. 


Supporting mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic

Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has launched a new mental health support line, which has been developed to provide additional mental health support to Derbyshire residents of all ages during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The support line intends to provide additional support to:

  • People who are currently having less contact with usual mental health services, and their carers
  • Derbyshire residents who are experiencing increased distress or anxiety as a result of current events
  • Individuals who indicate a need longer term for help

The support line is staffed by experienced mental health practitioners and is currently available between 9am - midnight, seven days a week. 

The mental health support line can be contacted on: 0300 790 0596. This is a low-cost number.


What should I do if I've been advised to self-isolate?

Public Health England have produced advice and guidance for patients with and without symptoms of infection who are isolating themselves due to potential exposure to coronavirus. This can be accessed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-people-with-confirmed-or-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection


Ashbourne COVID-19 community support group

A facebook community group has been set up for the residents of Ashbourne. To join the group, visit: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2917885761604275/ 


Frequently asked questions

I'm worried about how I will access my medication - can it be delivered?

Ashbourne Medical Practice unfortunately cannot offer a delivery service for medication. However, Ashbourne Community Transport are offering some collection and delivery services - for more information please contact them directly on 01335 300670 or enquiries@ashbournect.org.uk

I've decided not to go on holiday now - do I need a GP letter?

If you have changed your mind and decided not to travel, you do not need a letter from the GP.

"Insurers and travel companies should be basing their decisions to offer refunds on advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Public Health England, not letters from GPs." Professor Martin Marshall, chair of the Royal College of GPs

Our clinicians will not provide any private letters or reports relating to travel plans which may be affected by coronavirus. You will need to speak to your holiday provider and/or travel insurance provider.


If I'm self isolating - do I need a sick note?

If you have to stay at home but feel well enough to work, ask your employer if you can work from home. If you can work from home, you will not need an isolation note.

There is now a service for patients who have been told to self-isolate because of coronavirus and need a sick note for their employer. This service is only for people who have symptoms of coronavirus or live with someone who has symptoms of coronavirus. To use this service, go to: https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note/ 

Sick notes cannot be provided for very high risk patients who have been informed that they need to shield for 12 weeks. Patients in this category will receive a letter which can be used as evidence for employers.


I'm generally worried about coronavirus - what should I do?

If you do not have a new continuous cough and/or a high temperature (of 37.8 degrees centigrade or higher) you shouldn't worry about coronavirus. 

The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus. Most of the following is good practice for everyone, to reduce infection risk in general:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand gel if your hands are not visibly dirty
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and other people
  • Catch it, Bin it, Kill it - cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue (or your flexed elbow), then throw the tissue in a bin
  • Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces at home and work
  • If you feel unwell, stay at home, do not attend work or school
  • Call 111 and inform them of your symptoms and travel history
  • Do not go to the surgery, hospital or any other healthcare place without seeking advice first


 
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