IMPORTANT COVID-19 INFORMATION FOR PATIENTS
UPDATE LIFTING RESTRICTIONS - 19.07.2021
Most legal restrictions to control COVID-19 have been lifted at step 4. This means that:
- You do not need to stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with. There are also no limits on the number of people you can meet.
- However, in order to minimise risk at a time of high prevalence, you should limit the close contact you have with those you do not usually live with, and increase close contact gradually. This includes minimising the number, proximity and duration of social contacts.
- You should meet outdoors where possible and let fresh air into homes or other enclosed spaces.
- The Government is no longer instructing people to work from home if they can. However, the Government expects and recommends a gradual return over the summer.
- The requirement to wear face coverings in law has been lifted. However, the Government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport.
- There are no longer limits on the number of people who can attend weddings, civil partnerships, funerals and other life events (including receptions and celebrations). There is no requirement for table service at life events, or restrictions on singing or dancing. You should follow guidance for weddings and funerals to reduce risk and protect yourself and others.
- There are no longer restrictions on group sizes for attending communal worship. COVID-19 has not gone away, so it’s important to remember the actions you can take to keep yourself and others safe. Everybody needs to continue to act carefully and remain cautious.
Get tested and self isolate
If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, self-isolate immediately and get a PCR test, even if your symptoms are mild. You should self-isolate at home while you book the test and wait for the results. You must self-isolate if you test positive. Your isolation period includes the day your symptoms started (or the day your test was taken if you do not have symptoms), and the next 10 full days. This is the law.
The most important symptoms of COVID-19 are recent onset of any of the following:
- a new continuous cough
- a high temperature
- a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)
For most people, COVID-19 will be a mild illness. However, if you have any of the symptoms above, even if your symptoms are mild, stay at home and arrange to have a test.
You must also self-isolate if you are told to do so by NHS Test and Trace, for example if you have come into contact with someone who has tested positive. This remains the law, regardless of your vaccination status.
From 16 August, if you have been fully vaccinated you will be exempt from the requirement to self-isolate if you are a contact of a positive case. You will instead be advised to take a PCR test as soon as possible.
You will also be exempt from self-isolation from 16 August if you are under 18 and a contact of a positive case. As with adults, you will be advised whether a PCR test needs to be taken. If you are 18 years old you will be treated in the same way as under 18 year olds until 4 months after your 18th birthday, to allow you the opportunity to get fully vaccinated.
If you test positive you will still need to self-isolate regardless of your vaccination status or age. When self-isolating, follow the stay-at-home guidance. This will help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 to other members of your household and community. You must stay at home at all times and not have contact with other people. There are only very limited circumstances when you do not have to do this, such as seeking medical assistance. If you do leave your home during your period of self-isolation for a permitted reason, you should maintain social distancing and keep 2 metres apart from other people.
You may be entitled to a one-off payment of £500 through the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment scheme if you are required to stay at home and self-isolate, or you are the parent or guardian of a child who has been told to self-isolate. You should visit your local authority website for details on Test & Trace Support Payments and practical support offered in your area.
You could be fined if you do not self-isolate following notification by NHS Test & Trace.
ROADMAP OU TOF LOCKDOWN - 22.02.2021
From 8 March, people in England will see restrictions start to lift and the government’s four-step roadmap offer a route back to a more normal life.
For more information click this link COVID-19 response spring 2021 (summary) Roadmap out of lockdown
For more information click this link (Large Print) Large print COVID-19 response spring 2021 (summary) Roadmap out of lockdown
For more information click this link (Easy Read) Easy Read COVID-19 response spring 2021 (summary) Roadmap out of lockdown
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE COVID 19 VACCINE
COVID-19 vaccine fact check. The COVID-19 vaccine will always be available free of charge. The NHS will never ask you to share bank details to confirm your identity.
Update from - From 18 January
All travel corridors to close and you must self-isolate after arriving in the UK, even if you have tested negative. Most people travelling to the UK from abroad need proof of a negative coronavirus (COVID-19) test result. You need to have taken the test in the 3 days before you travel.
UPDATE on Accessibility resources to help you communicate about COVID-19/Flu Vaccine
The attached link is a resource developed by Mencap which explains the benefits of the COVID vaccine to patients with learning difficulties, and other vulnerable patient groups.
Resource for LD and Vulnerable patients for Flu/COVID vaccine
Update from 5th January 2021
Shielding Patients – update re: Tier 4
The Department of Health and Social Care has sent the following update and documents to explain that patients previously identified as needing to ‘shield’ should once again be shielding due to the move to Tier 4 in Bolton.
The advice for the clinically extremely vulnerable in these areas is the same as was in place nationally during the November restrictions, and includes the following:
Stay at home as much as possible, minimise contact with others and not to travel unless essential
Work from home, but if this is not possible, they should not attend work. The formal shielding notification people will receive will act as evidence for their employers and the Department for Work and Pensions for benefit eligibility purposes
Avoid going out to shops, including pharmacies. Support will be available to assist in accessing shopping and to arrange the free delivery of medicines
Those children whose clinician has confirmed are still clinically extremely vulnerable should not attend school
People are encouraged to go outdoors for exercise and to continue to attend medical appointments
This shielding advice for Bolton will remain in place until at least 01 February 2021, even if the town is taken out of Tier 4 before that date.
The full version of the guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19
The Department of Health and Social Care will be writing to all of those impacted by this change in advice. They will make use of email, where possible, and copies of the letter will be published alongside the guidance.
Update from 3rd December 2020
Guidance making a Christmas bubble with friends and family - please click on the link for more information (making a Christmas bubble with friends & family)
The surgery is following strict social distancing rules for both staff and patients. It is requested that anyone who attends the surgery premises for any reason, must wear a face covering whilst on the premises, this is to protect both our patients and our staff.
Update from 24th July 2020
PRINTABLE FACE COVERING EXEMPTION CARDS
Mask Exemption Cards – Print & Wear
From 15 June 2020, it is the law that you must wear a face covering when travelling in England on a bus, coach, train, taxi or tram.
From 24 July 2020, it is the law that you must wear a face covering in shops and supermarkets in England
However, some people don’t have to wear a face covering including for health, age or equality reasons. You do not need to wear a face covering if you have a reasonable excuse not to. Reasonable excuses include:
- not being able to put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
- if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress
- if you are travelling with or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading to communicate (note – there are lip-reading masks available, with clear panels that make the lips visible)
- to avoid harm or injury, or the risk of harm or injury, to yourself or others
- to take medication
Here are some links to sources of printable face mask exemption cards...
Printable face mask exemption cards (specific reasons)
First Transport printable face mask exemption cards (generic reasons)
KeepSafe website – printable face mask exemption cards (fairly generic) plus lots of other plain and simple COVID-19 guidance factsheets – including in other languages
We thank you for you co-operation.
Guidance note for patients requesting exemption letters
We are aware that some patients might be understandably anxious about the Government’s recent announcements around the use of face masks/coverings in various public settings.
GPs are unfortunately not in a position to provide individual risk assessments or letters for patients who feel that they should be exempt from wearing a face mask/covering. The government guidance on exemptions suggests there is no requirement for evidence for exemption therefore it is sufficient for an individual to self-declare this.
Please go to the GOV.UK website for further information on the use of face coverings.
Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) ALL appointments will be triaged via the telephone by a GP and will then be advised if you should attend the surgery, if required.
Update from 26th May 2020
Information regarding Coronavirus in other Formats and Languages
Coronavirus in other Languages
Accessibility resources to help you communicate about COVID-19
The Deaf Health Charity - Sign health
Handwashing Rap - People who have a learning disability
Information in easy read
Update from 20th April 2020
Advice for parents during coronavirus
Child Advice Unwell
Update from 16th April 2020
Shielding Letters for patients
We are experiencing a high number of calls to see if you will be receiving a high risk letter. Please bear with us and if you are a high risk patient information will be sent out in due course.
Letters requesting people to shield have been sent either directly from NHS England, recently, General Practice has been asked to identify patients on the advice of NHS England.
These letters have been sent to patients with a variety of underlying health conditions which may make patients significantly more at risk of complications related to COVID-19. Identifying patients is, unfortunately, not an exact science and there may be some inclusions or exclusions of patients from this list. Please be assured that we are doing all we can to identify our most at risk patients to help them stay as safe as possible. If you feel we have made a miss take them please contact the surgery.
Shielding at this time is for your own personal protection. It is your choice as to whether you follow this guidance. Should you choose to shield, this letter can be used for evidence for your employer and support from the Government.
Please consult the Government website using this link for further detailed information relating to shielding.
Advice for everyone - Coronavirus (COVID-19) http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
COVID-19 guidance for Employees
Please remember do not attend A&E or your GP practice if you are experiencing symptoms.