If you have received a text message from us regards the COVID-19 PRINCIPLE trial we can confirm this is a genuine text from the surgery.
UPDATE AUGUST 2020
People with Covid-19 symptoms must self-isolate for 10 days
People who display symptoms of coronavirus must self-isolate for a minimum of 10 days, the Government has announced today.
The increase from seven days brings the UK in line with guidance issued by the World Health Organization.
Anyone who has symptoms of Covid-19 – a fever, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – should immediately self-isolate for 10 days and book a test by visiting www.gov.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119 as soon as possible.
Shielding for the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable
The UK Government has set out a roadmap for the clinically extremely vulnerable on the future of the shielding programme.
For now, the guidance remains the same – stay at home and only go outside to exercise or to spend time outdoors with a member of your household, or with one other person from another household if you live alone – but the guidance will change on 6 July and again on 1 August , based on clinical evidence.
Shielding and other advice to the clinically extremely vulnerable has been and remains advisory.
What are the changes?
Recently, the UK Government advised that you can spend time outdoors, if you wish, with your own household, or if you live alone with another household. Following this, and alongside current scientific and medical advice the UK Government is planning to relax shielding guidance in stages.
From 6 July, the guidance will change so you can meet in groups of up to six people from outside your household – outdoors with social distancing. For example, you might want to enjoy a summer BBQ outside at a friend’s house, but remember it is still important to maintain social distancing and you should not share items such as cups and plates. If you live alone (or are a lone adult with dependent children under 18), you will be able to form a support bubble with another household.
From 1 August, you will no longer need to shield, and the advice will be that you can visit shops and places of worship, but you should continue maintaining rigorous social distancing.
Why is the guidance changing now?
The roadmap has been developed in line with the latest scientific and medical advice and with the safety and welfare of those who are shielding in mind. Current statistics show that the rate of catching coronavirus in the community continues to decrease. On average less than 1 in 1,700 in our communities are estimated to have the virus, down from 1 in 500 four weeks ago.
Unless advised otherwise by your clinician, you are still in the ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ category and should continue to follow the advice for that category, which can be found here.
We will monitor the virus continuously over coming months and if it spread too much, we may need to advise you to shield again
if you are asked to come into the surgery for a face-to-face appointment, please ensure that you wear some kind of face mask. This does not have to be a surgical mask, a home made one or a scarf will be sufficient.
CORONAVIRUS UPDATE : JUNE 2020
The health and safety of our patients and staff is our absolute priority and we have robust procedures to prevent infection and transmission.
-NHS services are still operating both online, over the phone and in some cases in person.
We are working hard to ensure we can safely increase appointments.
When attending an appointment it is important that you follow safety measures. There will be lots of useful signage and in some areas one-way systems inside our building so please follow these as they are there to ensure your safety.
When attending an appointment you will be asked to wear a face covering. All staff will also have to do the same.
Face coverings must cover the mouth and nose and can be in the form of a mask, scarf or bandanna. Government guidance has a section on face coverings that explains they may reduce infection risks, especially from people displaying no symptoms. Face coverings should not be used by children under the age of 2 or those who may find it difficult to manage them correctly. For example, primary age children unassisted, or those with respiratory conditions. You can make face-coverings at home. The key thing is it should cover the mouth and nose.
If you’re attending an appointment, you will be expected to:
wear a face covering (mask, scarf or bandanna)
-keep apart 2m and respect social distancing measures in place
regularly clean your hands
Anyone requiring information about testing should go to to the government website: https://www.gov.uk/apply-coronavirus-test
Those who do not have access to or cannot use the internet can call a dedicated phone line, which can be used to order a test if no other options are available. The Coronavirus Testing Call Centre can be contacted on 0300 303 2713 between the hours of 07.00 and 23.00. Around 98% of all Coronavirus test results are sent automatically to the individual within four days but for any that aren’t, the Call Centre can help individuals to follow up on their results. Please do not ring 111 to request testing, they cannot help you with this request.
NHS Diabetes Advice helpline
NHS England and NHS Improvement have launched a new helpline in response to disruption to normal diabetes services due to the COVID-19 pandemic and response.
The service is for adults living with diabetes who use insulin to manage their condition and require immediate clinical advice.
Whether you or a member of your household have caught the virus, or routine care has been disrupted, the helpline is available for immediate clinical advice to help you understand how to effectively manage their diabetes.
You can access NHS Diabetes Advice via Diabetes UK’s support line on 0345 123 2399 Monday-Friday from 9am-6pm.
Join a COVID-19 clinical trial
The PRINCIPLE trial aims to find treatments that reduce hospital admission and improve symptoms for people with COVID-19. You could be eligible to join if
- You have had these symptoms for fewer than 15 days:
- a continuous new or worsening cough
- and/or a high temperature
- OR have a positive test for SARS-Co-V2 infection with COVID-19 symptoms in the past 14 days
- You are aged 50 to 64 with a pre-existing illness
- You are aged 65 and above
If you are registered at the surgery and would like more information, please contact us on 01902 886500. You can also join the trial online, even if you are not currently registered with our practice. For full details, visit http://www.principletrial.org
Guidance for getting an isolation note : please click here
Patient FAQs regards letters for those patients identified as most a risk from Covid-19 please click here
THE NHS IS STILL OPEN : SEE here for details
Details of dentist services during the pandemic can be found here
Advice for carers can be found here
Advice for Patients & Public
GP surgeries are working hard to ensure that they can continue to safely provide local people with access to services when you need it. To keep you and our healthcare staff safe, we are having to change some of our services temporarily.
It is really important that you do what you can to help us to help you during this unprecedented time. Please do not attend your GP surgery unless you have an appointment and please do not contact them unless absolutely necessary. Here you will find an overview of these changes, and how this might affect you.
I think I might have Coronavirus. What should I do?
You may have Coronavirus if you have the following symptoms:
- A high temperature (your back or chest is hot to touch), or
- A new continuous cough
If you have these symptoms, please do not visit your local health services like your GP or Hospital.
You must self-isolate:
- you'll need to stay at home for 10 days (increased from 7 days 31.7.20)
- if you live with someone who has symptoms, you'll need to stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person in the home started having symptoms
You do not need to call anyone regarding your symptoms. But if you do have a question about your symptoms, use the online service https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19/ or call NHS 111.
For all non-Coronavirus queries, GP surgeries are conducting initial patient appointments by telephone or video. Please ring the practice to make an appointment.
A GP will arrange a face-to-face appointment for you, if they think it’s safe for you to come in. They will discuss this with you during your telephone/video call.
Routine monitoring and procedure
Many patients with long term conditions (such as Diabetes) need ongoing monitoring. Whilst our GPs focus on responding to Coronavirus we have taken the decision to suspend non-essential monitoring, where it is safe to do so.
If you need essential monitoring (for example, you are on medications requiring blood tests every few weeks or if you have been recently discharged from the hospital and need medication advice), this will be done, if possible, by phone or online.
Of course, some patients who need essential monitoring must attend surgery. A blood test is a good example. If this applies to you, the GP will make the necessary arrangements for you to come in.
In line with NHS guidance, other non-essential routine services are being suspended until the crisis is over. This includes services such as minor operations.
If you are pregnant, you will still need to attend your scans and monitoring. Your midwife will advise you on the best and most appropriate action to take. Don’t forget to follow the social distancing guidance as per https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/.
Dealing with your repeat medications
Our pharmacy teams are urging people to follow these 4 steps and help them to help you during these unprecedented times:
- the right time- it is important that people order prescriptions at the right time, so as not to overload the system. Don’t order your prescriptions too early, don’t leave it too late. The best advice is to order when you have around 1 weeks supply left.
- the right amount- it is important that you don’t order more than you need. There is no need to increase the amount of medication you would usually get on prescription.
- The right things- it is important that you don’t order differently, you do not need to add items to your prescription that you have not been taking regularly or recently.
- The right place- it is important that people order in the right place, do not go to your GP practice. Place your order over the telephone or online.
If everyone follows this simply advice it will ease the pressure on the pharmacy system and ensure that everyone can get the medicines they need, when they need it.
You should order your prescription by phone or by the patient app. This will stop you coming into contact with other patients when you don’t need to.
During this crisis, phone lines may be busier than usual.
How to get a sick note
Most sick notes can be issued without you seeing a doctor face-to-face. A telephone consultation with a doctor is fine.
Need a sick note? Please contact the reception team at the practice to request a telephone appointment.
The GP will now email or text the sick note to you if possible. This will avoid you attending the surgery.
Please note : you should self-certify for the first seven days of your illness. However, this guidance may change during the crisis.
If you have self-isolated and need proof of this for work, you can get it online without speaking to your GP. This is called an isolation note and is available here: https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note/
Referrals and Further Care
If you need a referral, your GP will make this as usual. However, due to current pressures, hospitals are cancelling some outpatients’ clinics and also routine operations.
Advice for Cancer Patients
For advice on Coronavirus for patients with cancer, please click here.
This set of frequently asked questions has been developed by the One Cancer Voice group of charities.
Advice for Patients with Diabetes
For advice on Coronavirus for patients with diabetes, please click here
COVID-19 translated materials in multiple languages
Doctors of the World working with British Red Cross and others have translated simple information and advice about Covid-19 into the following languages based on this week’s PHE guidance:
English, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Albanian, Arabic, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Turkish ready now
- Bengali, Dari, Farsi, Hindi, Kurdish Sorani, Mandarin, Pashto, Urdu, Vietnamese, Tigrinya, Amharic, Malayalam, Somali being updated
- Bulgarian, Latvian, and Hungarian coming soon
Need more information?
For more NHS information on Coronavirus https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
Please remember, DO NOT attend your GP surgery to request medication or book a routine appointment unless it is absolutely necessary.
Thank you for your understanding.
The latest guidance to assist professionals in advising the general public can be found on the Gov.uk website here: Gov.uk/coronavirus
Dudley Community Action and Support (including how to volunteer to offer support): please click here
Guidance for contacting 111: please click here
For coronavirus advice, please visit: nhs.uk/coronavirus
Don’t forget you can download the NHS app for trusted sources of information and advice on hundreds of conditions and treatments, and get instant advice. Find out more here https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/nhs-services/the-nhs-app
ALSO we post a lot on information on our facebook page, please follow us by clicking Ridgeway Surgery Facebook page
The coronavirus section on Dudley Council’s web page has now been updated to include information for older and vulnerable people: https://www.dudley.gov.uk/coronavirusolderpeople
Kooth 18-25 counselling services during coronavirus outbreak : Kooth
Domestic abuse help can be found here