The NHS in Bath and North East Somerset and Public Health England (PHE) are extremely 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.
That said, the situation is fast-moving and constantly evolving. We will try to keep you as informed as possible on these pages with the latest available advice. You can also see the latest NHS advice here.
We have now suspended all routine appointments at both surgeries. Our GP’s will telephone patients requesting an appointment to assess whether, in the interests of both your own and our staff’s health, a face-to-face appointment is necessary. If it is deemed appropriate for the patient to come in to the surgery then the doctor will make the necessary appointment during that triage phone call. This also applies to appointments with our nurses and health care assistants.
Collection of medicines
From Tuesday 17th March 2020 we are asking that all requests for repeat prescriptions allow at least 72 hours before they are ready for collection at the surgery. Currently this period is 48 hours but it is likely that staff shortages and other Coronavirus issues will impact on our ability to prepare medications as quickly as we would like. We thank our patients for their forbearance in this. Repeat medication may be ordered in a variety of ways, including online, by email and we will also take requests by telephone rather than you dropping in paper repeat slips during the current crisis.
Stay at home if you have Coronavirus (Covid19) symptoms (updated 18:00 following the Prime Minister’s national briefing this afternoon)
If you, or any member of your household, have
- a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
- a new, continuous cough – this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly
you should stay at home for fourteen days. This means that you could find yourself having to stay at home even though you may not be ill yourself. It is likely that even more stringent social distancing recommendations will come into effect soon so do keep an eye on the latest NHS advice.
If you need to isolate in this way do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. You also do not need to inform NHS111. Advice and tips for staying at home may be found here. However, you can use the NHS 111 online service if
- you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
- your condition gets worse
- you don’t get better after seven days
There will no longer be routine testing of the public for Coronavirus, unless the suspected case has been sent to hospital. Testing of suspected coronavirus cases is carried out in line with strict regulations. This means that suspected cases are kept in isolation, away from public areas of the hospital and returned home also in isolation. Any equipment that come into contact with suspected cases are thoroughly cleaned as appropriate. Specific guidance has also been shared with NHS staff to help safeguard them and others. Patients can be reassured that their safety is a top priority, and are encouraged to attend all appointments as usual.
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 Further information is available on nhs.uk.