31/03/2020 – Coronavirus Update

Dear Patients,

We understand that a lot of you have many questions and queries with regards to the evolving situation with Covid-19. To try to help with these we have created this “frequently asked questions” section of our website.

This is the best advice we can give you at this time and we hope it is useful. Please do take a look at it before you call the surgery. We will aim to regularly update this section.

For more information you can find the official government Covid-19 guidance here.

Best wishes,

All the team at Swallownest Health Centre

 

I am now self-isolating do I need a sick note from the GP?

No you do not. You can self-certify by using the official government isolation note which you can access here.

I think I’m high risk so should I go to work?

You can find the official government criteria for self-isolation here. If you do not fit any of these criteria but feel that you should not be travelling to work then you should discuss this openly with your employer. This is a decision you have to make together with your employer. We as your GP cannot make this decision for you.

My employer wants a letter from my GP to prove I have a medical condition?

This is not necessary but if your employer is insistent then we can send you a text outlining your medical conditions to show them.

I need a prescription but I can’t get into the surgery? 

You can sign up to the Rotherham Health App https://rotherhamhealthapp.com/users/sign_in Verification has been made even easier now with the NHS login with no need to attend the practice!

We are sending all our prescriptions electronically to the pharmacies. If you have not already signed up for electronic prescribing you will be asked to do so. If a pharmacy closes because of staff shortages or illness we will direct your prescriptions to another site. If you are staying at home a well family member or friend can collect your prescriptions for you and the local pharmacies are doing home deliveries where possible.

I am self-isolating for 3 months so can I order 3 months’ worth of prescriptions?

We are sorry but we cannot issue 3 months’ worth of medication or supplies will quickly run out. Please order your medication every month as you normally would.

I want to order an inhaler in case I become unwell?

We are only issuing inhalers to patients who have used one in the last 12 months. If this is not you then please do not ask for inhalers on prescription as we need to supply them to the patients that do need them.

Do I need a rescue pack of antibiotics?

We will not be issuing rescue packs of antibiotics or steroids at this time. If you develop a cough or a fever call 111 and if you are directed back to the surgery we will give you the most appropriate treatment.

My implant or coil has run out and I can’t get it changed. What should I do about my contraception?

We have had new guidance which tells us that the implant will work for 4yrs instead of 3yrs and the Mirena coil for 6yrs instead of 5yrs. So if you are within this time frame then do not worry. If you have a Copper coil or any other coil that has run out then do not rely on this for contraception and please use condoms. We can issue a prescription for the contraceptive pill whilst you have the coil/implant insitu for additional protection. If you are still worried and want alternative contraception then arrange to speak to a nurse or GP.

I am due my DEPO. Can I still have it?

We are not booking any new DEPO injections at present. Please contact the surgery and arrange to speak to a nurse or GP for advice so we can offer you alternative contraception.

I’m due a smear. Will it go ahead?

We are only continuing with high risk urgent smears that need to be repeated within 6 to 12 months and will arrange these in the usual way. All routine smears will stop for the time being.

Can I still have my routine injections – e.g. flu, pneumococcal, shingle, travel vaccinations?

We will continue with flu and pneumococcal injections and arrange them in the usual way. Any other routine injections will be stopped.

My baby is due their immunisations. Will these still go ahead?

Yes, we continuing with all baby immunisations and will arrange them in the usual way.

I need my ears syringed what should I do?

We are not doing any ear syringing so please use olive oil or arrange this yourselves through a high street provider e.g. Boots.

My routine blood test has been cancelled. What should I do?

For the time being we are having to cancel all routine blood tests. Only patients that need urgent blood tests will be invited to the surgery. We will book you an appointment for an urgent blood test if it is needed.

The hospital has cancelled by scan / appointment. What can I do?

All the local hospitals are cancelling routine investigations and appointments. You may find you are offered an appointment by phone instead. If your investigation or appointment has been cancelled then all you can do is wait.  The hospital will re-book the appointment when the current situation changes. If you do not hear anything from the hospital at that point then chase them up. The hospital will be able to help you re-book your appointment not us. In the meantime if there is anything you feel we can do while you wait then please do give the surgery a call.

All of this is making me feel really worried / anxious / stressed. Is there anything I can do to help myself feel better?

This is a very difficult time for everyone and it is quite normal to feel like this. We have created a list of resources to help you with your well-being so please have a look at these on the below attachment.

Well being resources for all

I am unsure if I should isolate for 12 weeks?

Please find below a link to the Government guidance. This guidance covers the whole of the UK population and not just those who have been sent a letter by the government.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable-adults

The primary purpose of the letter sent by the government is to identify the 2% of the UK population who are at critical risk of infection. The remaining 98% are still at risk and need to manage this risk alongside their employer.

You can decide if you need to self-isolate and discuss with your employer. In the first instance your employer should offer you remote working. If this is not possible then you will need to consider whether you fall into the furloughed employee category – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-could-be-covered-by-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

Because you are well enough to work, however unable to attend work because of the risk of contracting Corona virus, we are unable to offer a fit note to cover this period. You will need to work with your employer to resolve this situation.

If you suspect that you have the Coronavirus or…

If you or another person in your household develops ANY of these symptoms:-

a fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat or difficulty breathing

Please do not leave your home and self isolate for 7 days.