The NHS in Hounslow and Public Health England (PHE) are well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal.
I have symptoms of Coronavirus
If you have a raised temperature or a cough please stay at home and self-isolate for seven days. Do not attend your GP practice, hospital or pharmacy. If your condition gets worse and you need medical advice or if your symptoms do not resolve after 7 days please contact NHS 111 using their online service or contact NHS 111 by telephone if you do not have online access – do not contact your GP practice.
Someone in my household has symptoms of Coronavirus
If someone in your household has a raised temperature or a cough ALL household members are advised to stay at home and self-isolate for up to 14 days. Once someone else in the household develops symptoms they only need to continue to self-isolate for 7 days after the onset of symptoms.
I have recently returned from abroad
If you have recently returned from abroad you no longer need to self isolate for 14 days. If you develop symptoms of a cough or a temperature you should self isolate for 7 days in line with the current advice.
I have symptoms and want to be tested for Coronavirus
Coronavirus testing in the community is not available yet. You will only be tested for Coronavirus if your symptoms get worse and you require hospital admission. Brentford Group Practice is unable to arrange any Coronavirus testing.
How is Coronavirus transmitted?
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.
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 regularly, 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 on www.nhs.uk
- 1) Online Appointment Booking Currently SUSPENDED!
- In line with updated advice from the NHS, as of 12th March 2020 online booking of appointments (including via the NHS app) has been SUSPENDED. To book an appointment please contact the practice via telephone on 020 8630 3844.
- Please continue to use the online services to order your medication .
- 2) All Appointments are Moving to Telephone Triage
- From Monday 16th March the practice will be offering telephone appointments only. The clinician calling you will try and manage your problem over the phone. Only if absolutely necessary will we arrange a face to face consultation.
- 3) DO NOT come to the surgery unless you have a booked appointment
- Please do not attend the surgery unless you have a booked appointment and you have been told by the clinician or receptionist to come to the practice. Attending the surgery unnecessarily could put yourself and other patients at risk. Whilst the practice will take every precaution to prevent patients infected with Coronavirus from attending the surgery, during the first few days of an infection a patient may not display any symptoms but may still be able to infect other patients.
- If you need to contact the practice, please call us on 020 8630 3844
- 4) Sick Notes / Fit Notes / Med 3 Certificates for employers
- Due to the current pandemic and pressure on General Practice, we are prioritising the urgent medical needs of our patients and will not be providing a medical certificate for Coronavirus related absence.
- By law employers may use their discretion around the need for medical evidence if an employee is absent from work for more than seven days due to sickness. We would ask employers to apply this discretion to help support NHS general practice provide care for our population rather than being asked to fulfil unnecessary administrative tasks.
- Please download the form below if you are self isolating and fill it in yourselves only if required by your employer
- 5) Letters for High Risk Patients – Social Distancing
- On Monday 16th March the UK government announced a package of measures, advising those who are or may be at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures. Patients who are at” Very High Risk” will receive a letter either directly from NHS England, from the hospital or from the GP practice.People falling into this group are those who may be at particular risk due to complex health problems such as:
- people who have received an organ transplant and remain on going immunosuppression medication
- people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radiotherapy
- people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia who are at any stage of treatment
- people with severe chest conditions such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma or COPD (requiring hospital admissions or courses of steroid tablets)
- people with severe diseases of body systems, such as severe kidney disease (dialysis)This group includes those who are:
- People who do not fall into this group, but who are consider at higher risk than the general population will not be proactively contacted but have instead been asked to take steps to reduce their social interactions in order to reduce the transmission of coronavirus.
This group includes those who are:
- aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
- under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (ie anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds):
- chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
- chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
- chronic kidney disease
- chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
- chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy
- problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
- a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
- People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection.
- being seriously overweight (a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above)
- those who are Pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired.
The practice will not be providing letters for patients who fall into the wider at risk category.
We have provided the following form that you can download and print to support your need for stringent social distancing:
6) Please bear with us
As with the rest of the population, we will also expect staff members who develop symptoms of Coronavirus to self-isolate for 7 days, which means we will have less staff available to answer the telephones.
- The Coronavirus situation is evolving rapidly, please keep an eye on our website for further updates.
- The practice and staff are under an enormous amount of pressure, as is the wider NHS. Whilst we have been working very hard to reduce our telephone waiting times, it is inevitable that the wait times to get through to reception are going to increase during this period. We are experiencing a large increase in the number of telephone calls coming through to reception and this will further increase with our advice for patients not to attend the practice unnecessarily.
Face Mask Exemption
There is no official ‘card’ or proof that you need, as set out by the UK government, if you are exempt from the new mandatory rules coming into force.
The charity Hidden Disabilities has created a face mask exemption card for anyone with the right requirements to be exempt from the law.
This card simply indicates that you have a hidden disability, illness or impairment and have a reasonable excuse not to wear a face-covering.
The card only costs 55p, but could be crucial for anyone going into shops and stores facing staff who will be told to check that members of public are wearing their masks.
tfl have produced an exemption card to use on public transport which can be downloaded from: http://content.tfl.gov.uk/face-covering-exemption-card.pdf
Last Updated 29/07/2020