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Get the latest NHS information and advice about coronavirus (COVID-19), a new illness that affects your lungs and airways.
Check if you have coronavirus symptoms
Find out about the main symptoms of coronavirus and where to get medical advice if you think you have them.
What to do if you or someone you live with has symptoms of coronavirus
Advice about not leaving your home (self-isolation) and looking after yourself if you or someone you live with has symptoms.
Testing for coronavirus
Information about testing to check if you have coronavirus.
People at higher risk from coronavirus
Advice for people at higher risk from coronavirus, including older people, people with health conditions and pregnant women.
Coronavirus in children
Advice about symptoms of coronavirus in children, including when to get medical help if your child seems unwell.
Social distancing advice and changes to everyday life because of coronavirus
Advice about avoiding close contact with other people (social distancing), looking after your wellbeing and using the NHS and other services.
Links to more information about coronavirus
Links to government advice, information for health professionals and advice for other parts of the UK.
On behalf of the doctors at Whiteladies Health Centre, we would like to give you some information to help you and your family in these challenging times caused by COVID 19, the disease arising from the Coronavirus.
We understand that this is a strange and scary time for everyone, and different from how life has ever been before. Your GP surgery is also going to seem strange and different.
We are not going to have the staff or the time to do lots of the things we normally do. Our main job will be to focus on the most unwell patients: to work out which of those need hospital and who we can help in the community. Many of them will have medical problems that have nothing to do with Covid 19, because these things won’t go away while we fight this crisis. All the usual serious problems like heart problems, depression, strokes and cancer won’t stop and we will need to keep treating these as well as Covid 19.
So how can you help us?
Firstly, please do not come into the surgery. Even if it is tricky to get through on the phone (and we know it will be) please do not come in unless you have been specifically asked to by one of the staff at this time. This will help to protect you, us, and other vulnerable patients. We will explain more about this as we go along.
If you think you may have coronavirus, the current guidance is to look at 111online for advice - https://111.nhs.uk/ There is currently not much we can do in general practice to help the symptoms of coronavirus beyond the options you already have: drinking enough water and getting enough rest. Paracetamol can help you feel a bit better but it won’t affect how quickly you recover from the illness or how poorly you get so don’t worry if you are having trouble getting hold of supplies.
If you feel you are becoming so unwell that you may need to go into hospital, the current advice is to call 111 (but this may change over time). In these circumstances, this is your best and quickest source of advice - please persevere if there are delays getting through.
If you think you need to phone the surgery, take a moment to have a think about why you are calling.
Think: can this problem wait and if so...how long? If it can wait until the end of the crisis, especially if you take some steps yourself to try to improve the symptoms, then don’t call us. Have a look on www.nhs.uk or https://111.nhs.uk/ , or www.patient.info to see if you can find out more about your problem: it might give you some self care tips you should try first.
Our website also contains useful self-care information https://www.whiteladiesmedical.nhs.uk/
There is no point calling to ask for a referral for a routine outpatient clinic or operation
as these are not happening at the hospitals until the crisis is over.
To keep you and us as safe as possible we are now telephone triaging all our appointments. Telephone triaging means speaking to you on the phone, to work out if your problem can be managed that way or if we need to see you face to face. The more things we can sort out over the phone, the lower our chances of catching Covid 19 from you, or you catching it from someone at the surgery or on your journey here.
We know it can feel strange not being able to see your doctor in person and not being examined. But did you know that 80% of diagnoses are made from the story of your symptoms alone?
Here are some tips for having a telephone triage consultation that can really help us:
At the end of most consultations we do something called safety netting. This is planning for what to do if things get worse and helps you know the “red flags” or warning signs to look out for. It might sound scary sometimes, because we often are describing the worst case scenario, not what we think is most likely to happen.
We can now send information via secure text messaging, and do some video consultations via your mobile phone. If we want to do a video consultation we will text you a link to click on to set up the consultation system. So far we have found the quality is not good enough to see fine details so please bear with us!
If we do ask you to come into the surgery we may ask you to wait in the car until we call you in, or even see you in your car. We will try to make this plan clear when we speak on the phone. If you are called in to the building, please use the hand sanitiser when you enter and leave.
Some things we do face to face at the surgery are currently carrying on: for example, we are still giving children their vaccinations (especially as mumps and measles are also going round in the UK at the moment), we are still dressing ulcers and wounds, and doing the blood tests that are too important to wait - including warfarin monitoring.
However, we are having to think tactically - like making a battle plan to focus on the most critical things.
So we are therefore deferring the following until after the crisis (even if you have already booked an appointment for this):
We are cancelling:
This is in line with what we have been advised by the government and what other surgeries will also be doing. However this may change. This list is up-to-date at the time of publication: we will try to post updates about this on our website.
There are some more things you can do to help us in this fight.
Remember, your GPs, nurses, health care assistants, admin staff, receptionists, pharmacists and dispensers are all under stress at this time. They may be working longer hours while juggling worries about relatives, working in different ways from usual and knowing they have an increased risk of picking up Covid themselves. Everything we are used to is changing on a daily basis at the moment.
Please be patient with us, like you would with anyone else right now.
Look after each other. Protect the vulnerable. Work as a community. Look after yourselves. Good food, good sleep, moving your body and finding the little things that still make you smile in all this craziness will help you stay fit and ready for whatever the next few months may hold.
Oh...and wash your hands! Properly! With best wishes
During this time, we may suggest a video consultation. This is helpful if we need to see you to help determine the best course of action.
We will talk to you through this during the telephone triage consultation. We will then send a text message to your mobile phone with a link to click on to set up the consultation.
Video consultations are fully secure and compliant with General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and safety standards set by NHS Digital.
The consultation is transmitted over an encrypted connection and is only visible to participants on the call. It is not recorded or stored on any server. The video consultation connection follows NHS best practice guidelines on health and social care cloud security.
In order to limit the spread of covid-19:
If you are able to, please request via online access if you are registered or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org (including name, date of birth and medication being requested).
My employer wants me to come to work. How do I respond when I don't have a sick note?
Employees should take time off work if they're ill. By law, medical evidence is not required for the first 7 days of sickness (that is, employees can self certify). After 7 days, it is for the employer to determine what evidence they require, if any, from the employer.
We continue to urge employer's to respect the need to stay at home where they are following government advice to do so and to show flexibility in the evidence they require from employees.
If evidence is required to cover self isolation or household isolation beyond the first 7 days of absence, then the employees can get an isolation note from NHS111 online of from the NHS website.
Coronavirus can make anyone seriously ill. But some people are at a higher risk and need to take extra steps to avoid becoming unwell.
This includes people who:
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 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. Click HERE for advice on shielding.
If you are in a very high risk catagory then you will receive a letter from NHS Business Services or from your hospital specialist department advising that you need to take action (shield).
You may believe that your are in a high risk group and have not received notification that you need to take shielding precautions. We appreciate how worrying this is for you and that you are concerned about the impact on your employment and are requesting notification from your GP.
Unfortunately, we are still waiting for further notification from central government about who should shield. In the meantime we cannot provide a note. If an employer is requesting an expert opinion on your fitness to work in light of Covid-19, they would be advised to seek professional occupational health advice on the matter.
Self isolation advice is available HERE
You can get a self-certification note for seven days from HERE
You can obtain an isolation note from HERE
DWP are currently not requiring fit notes.
Can do Bristol
Acorn The Union
Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK (Includes list of local Facebook groups)
The PRINCIPLE trial aims to find treatments that reduce hospital admission and improve symptoms for people with COVID-19. You could be eligible to join if:
To find out more please visit: https://www.phctrials.ox.ac.uk/principle-trial
NHS Digital are undertaking a range of work to support the government response to the coronavirus outbreak. This notice details our legal bases for processing personal data in the course of this work.
COVID-19 purposes include but are not limited to the following purposes:
For more information, click on the link:
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