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Coronavirus Update: 17 March 2020

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 we will not be able to book face to face GP appointments in the first instance. Instead, the doctor will phone you first before asking you to come to the surgery if that is required.

Nurses appointments for immunisations, urgent blood tests, smears, dressings and urgent ECGs are carrying on as normal, but if you have symptoms of fever or a new cough then please call the surgery on 01202309500 before coming for your appointment, and we will advise you. Long term condition reviews and pill checks are being done over the phone, and appointments for NHS Healthchecks, New Patient Checks, Ear Syringing and routine blood tests are being postponed.

Appointments are currently unavailable to be booked via online services. You will still be able to request medication, view your record and cancel appointments.

If you already have a routine GP appointment booked, the surgery will contact you to advise you further.

We understand that this may be disappointing, but we are doing our best to protect both our patients and our staff so that we can continue to provide an essential service to you all.

Click here for a Patient Information Letter 17 March 2020


How to Avoid Catching or Spreading Coronavirus

Everyone should do what they can to stop coronavirus spreading. It is particularly important for people who:

  • are 70 or over
  • have a long-term condition
  • are pregnant
  • have a weakened immune system

Do

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • always wash your hands when you get home or into work
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • avoid close contact with people who have symptoms of coronavirus
  • only travel on public transport if you need to
  • work from home, if you can
  • avoid social activities, such as going to pubs, restaurants, theatres and cinemas
  • avoid events with large groups of people
  • use phone, online services, or apps to contact your GP surgery or other NHS services

Don’t

  • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
  • do not have visitors to your home, including friends and family

Do I Need to Avoid Public Places?

Most people can continue to go to work, school and other public places. You only need to stay away from public places if you’ve been:

  • to Hubei province in China in the last 14 days
  • to Iran, areas of northern Italy in lockdown or “special care zone” areas in South Korea since 19 February
  • to other parts of mainland China or South Korea, Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau in the last 14 days and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath
  • to other parts of northern Italy (anywhere north of Pisa, Florence and Rimini), Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos or Myanmar since 19 February and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath
  • in close contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus

Treatment for Coronavirus

There is currently no specific treatment for coronavirus. Antibiotics do not help, as they do not work against viruses. Treatment aims to relieve the symptoms while your body fights the illness.

You’ll need to stay in isolation away from other people until you’ve recovered.


What’s the risk of catching coronavirus in the UK?

The UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the public from low to moderate. But the risk to individuals remains low. Health professionals are working to contact anyone who has been in close contact with people who have coronavirus.

Symptoms of coronavirus

The symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a cough
  • a high temperature
  • shortness of breath

But these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness. The symptoms are similar to other illnesses that are much more common, such as cold and flu.

Urgent advice: Call 111 now if you’ve been:

  • to Hubei province in China in the last 14 days
  • to Iran, areas of northern Italy in lockdown or “special care zone” areas in South Korea since 19 February
  • to other parts of mainland China or South Korea, Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau in the last 14 days and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath
  • to other parts of northern Italy (anywhere north of Pisa, Florence and Rimini), Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos or Myanmar since 19 February and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath
  • in close contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus

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

Lockdown areas in northern Italy

  • in Lombardy:
    • Codogno
    • Castiglione d’Adda
    • Casalpusterlengo
    • Fombio
    • Maleo
    • Somaglia
    • Bertonico
    • Terranova dei Passerini
    • Castelgerundo
    • San Fiorano
  • In Veneto:
    • Vo’ Euganeo

Special care zones in South Korea

  • Daegu
  • Cheongdo

How coronavirus is spread

Because it’s a new illness, we do not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person. Similar viruses are spread in cough droplets. It’s very unlikely it can be spread through things like packages or food. Viruses like coronavirus cannot live outside the body for very long.