This page was reviewed and updated on 22 September 2020.
Coronavirus Information for service users and the public
Guidance issued can change as new information becomes available or a change of approach is needed. To be sure that you are following the most up-to-date information, check the Gov.uk website:
Below we have attempted to answer some common queries and concerns many people have. This is based on the best public health information we have at present and we hope you find it helpful.
What can I do to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus?
There are three key actions we would encourage all of our service users, patients and visitors to consistently do:
Hygiene Advice Good hygiene measures such as washing your hands is highly effective in preventing onward transmission of the virus. Regardless of future changes in guidance, the need to follow basic hygiene practices (outlined below) remains.
- Wash hands with soap and water often (and for a minimum of 20 seconds)
- Always wash your hands when you get home or into work; especially after travelling on public transport
- Use hand sanitiser if soap and water not available
- Keep 2 metres apart from people you do not live with
- Work from home if you can
- Wear a face mask when in public. If this isn't possible, always cover your hand and mouth when you sneeze.
- Put used tissues in the bin straight away after use and wash your hands afterwards
- Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
- Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
- Keep surfaces clean
If You Have Symptoms If you have the following symptoms however mild please stay at home and reduce your contact with other people (self-isolate) for 7 days if:
You have a new continuous cough – this means you have started coughing repeatedly
or a high temperature (37.8 degrees or above). You do not need to call NHS 111 to go into self-isolation. If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after 7 days, contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.
Anyone living with you should also reduce contact with others for 14 days; even if they don’t have symptoms. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill
Self Isolate and Socially Distance The vast majority of people who have been infected with Coronavirus have had relatively mild symptoms. However, it is important to follow guidance to protect the most vulnerable in our communities (Coronaviruses may cause more severe symptoms and complications in people with long term conditions*; or who have a weakened immune system*; are pregnant; as well as people who are 70 and older) and ensure our health services are not overwhelmed.
Some of the advice on self-isolation seems a little extreme - Do I really need to follow it?
Some of the advice on self-isolation can seem a little unnerving but it is there for a reason. We know that people can spread the virus even if they have very few (or no) symptoms. Limiting your contact with people will help to reduce the spread of the virus and also protect the most vulnerable in our communities. MIND the mental health charity have some good advice for all of us if we need to self isolate. Advice on how to cope https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/
Can I still visit family or friends in hospital?
Contact the ward to discuss ways to stay in contact and communicate with your relative or friend.
The general public are being asked to reduce contact with each other. What does this mean?
This basically means reducing your contact with others and reducing your risk of contracting coronavirus. It’s a method of reducing the spread of the virus. Advice given by the government means we must all play our part in helping to reduce the spread of the virus, to socially distance where possible, to wear a face mask when on public transport and to work from home where we can.
Latest government advice on social distancing>>
Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services. This may mean that your usual activities are postponed or appointments are conducted over the phone or email. This can be a difficult time so please use electronic forms of contact to stay in touch and check in with friends and family.
You can help to reduce the impact and spread of misinformation by relying on information from trusted sources, such as that on www.nhs.uk and www.gov.uk.
*Long term conditions and weakened immune systems
- 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
- being seriously overweight (a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above)
- those who are pregnant.