Face-to-Face Assessment Centres
Increased support announced for patients with COVID-19 symptoms and members of their household
GP surgeries in Halton and Warrington are working with NHS 111 and local hospitals to provide more advice and treatment to patients with COVID-19 symptoms and members of their household who are self-isolating. The support, which includes telephone, video and face-to-face assessments, will be provided to help these patients with a range of health issues and concerns.
Advice for patients with COVID-19 symptoms
If you have COVID-19 symptoms and you need advice or treatment with any health issue, you should contact NHS 111 in the first instance, unless it is a life-threatening emergency, then you should dial 999.
- If you have possible COVID-19 and you are struggling to cope with your symptoms, you should use the NHS 111 online Coronavirus service - https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19.
- If you have COVID-19 symptoms but have another health concern, please contact NHS 111 online at https://111.nhs.uk/ or via phone.
NHS 111 may then refer you to your GP Practice for further assessment via phone or video call. If clinically appropriate, a face-to-face appointment will be booked by the practice at one of the dedicated face-to-face assessment sites which have been set up in Halton and Warrington. As a result, you may need to go to a different surgery than normal for an assessment with a GP. The sites will not offer testing for COVID-19 and are not public testing sites.
To ensure the safety of patients and staff, only patients who have the complaint and a booked appointment at the assessment sites will be allowed access. Patients will only be allowed to enter one at a time, they will be asked to wait in a car if possible and only enter when they are contacted by mobile phone.
Advice for patients living in a household with someone who has COVID-19 symptoms
If you have a health concern but are self-isolating because you live in a household with someone who has COVID-19 symptoms, you can contact the surgery directly via phone or by contacting the practice via an online form on the practice website (eConsult).
IMPORTANT: please make the surgery aware that you are living in a household with someone who has COVID-19 symptoms.
A clinical member of staff will call you back to provide an assessment over the phone and they will arrange a video or face-to face appointment for you if required. Face-to-face appointments for patients who live in a household with someone who has COVID-19 symptoms will take place at one of the dedicated face-to-face assessment sites.
Advice for patients who live in households that DO NOT have COVID-19 symptoms
To reduce any potential risk of infection, patients who live in households without any COVID-19 symptoms will be seen separately from patients with COVID-19 symptoms and members of their household. As a result of the new arrangements, you may be asked to attend a different surgery than usual. If you need to attend a different surgery, we will advise you at the time of booking your appointment.
Please be reminded… do not to come into the surgery without a pre-booked appointment. If you need help with a health concern, please contact us via phone or by completing an online form on our website (eConsult). A clinical member of staff will call you back to provide an assessment over the phone and they will arrange a video or face-to face appointment for you if required.
Where can I find out more information?
Read some frequently asked questions for patients here (insert link).
Re: Coronavirus and Requests for Doctor’s Notes (Med3)
Dear Patient and/or Employer,
The Government’s rules around issuing a sick note (Med3) are that a medical professional can only issue a Med3 when an individual has had more than seven continuous calendar days off sick due to an illness (including weekends).
For any period of illness less than seven days, you are able to complete a self-certification certificate and provide this to your employer. A SC2 form can be downloaded from the internet. In the unlikely event that your employer does not accept a self-certification then your doctor may be able to issue a private sick note for which you may get charged.
Below is the address where this form can be downloaded:
In light of the current Coronavirus situation, it is inevitable that a number of employees may be required to quarantine themselves at home, for example due to the nature of recent travel, or because other members of the household are showing symptoms even in the absence of any symptoms of an illness in the employee. In these cases, GPs will not be abIe to issue a sick note as the time off work is not due to an illness, and isn’t affecting your ability to work, but rather is a precaution to avoid transmission of any illness that is yet to produce symptoms.
We therefore expect your employer to be sympathetic if you are required to self-isolate for 14 days and to understand that the reason for this is to protect the welfare of your work colleagues and the wider community. You can now go line using the link below in order to obtain an isolation note from the NHS 111 website:
.ACAS have also published guidance for employees and employers which can be referred to below:
Whilst we appreciate this may cause some difficulties between you and your employer, equally GPs have a responsibility to prioritise the assessment and management of the healthcare needs of patients who are acutely unwell, rather than spending time dealing with requests for sick notes, particularly when they aren’t in a position to issue one.
This briefing has been written for and on behalf of Chapelford Medical Centre, so please accept this as a reply to any request for a sick note/letter from the surgery.
On behalf of our GP's,
Wuhan novel coronavirus
Information about the virus
A coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. Typical symptoms of coronavirus include fever and a cough that may progress to a severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.
Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.
Wuhan novel coronavirus is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China.
Advice for travellers from Wuhan
If you have visited Wuhan and develop a fever, difficulty breathing or a cough within 14 days, you should seek medical attention either in China or on your return to the UK. In the UK, please stay indoors and avoid contact with others where possible, call your GP or ring 111 informing them of your symptoms and your recent travel to the city. Do not come down to the doctors surgery.
Summary of action taken
There is now advanced monitoring at airports with direct flights from China.
A team of public health experts has been established in Heathrow to support anyone travelling in from China who feels unwell. These hubs will bring in rotational teams of 7 clinicians, working in shifts, who will be on hand to support patients on arrival. This is in addition to medical staff who are already permanently in place at all UK airports and the advice issued to all UK airports for people travelling to and from China.
The government has issued clinical guidance for the detection and diagnosis of Wuhan novel coronavirus, and infection prevention and control.
The Chief Medical Officer, Medical Director at PHE and Medical Director at NHSE/I have issued advice via a CAS (Central Alerting System) alert to frontline staff to increase awareness of the situation and any actions to take.
Most people who develop symptoms will get them after leaving the airport and so the priority is providing UK residents and travellers with the latest information to make sure they know what to do if they experience symptoms, and the NHS and PHE have an established plan to respond to someone who becomes unwell.
China has also introduced port-of-exit screening so people already exhibiting symptoms are not allowed to leave the country.
Diagnosis and analysis
Based on current evidence, Wuhan novel coronavirus presents with flu-like symptoms including a fever, a cough, or difficulty breathing. The current evidence is that most cases appear to be mild. Those who have died in Wuhan appear to have had pre-existing health conditions.
When a clinician suspects Wuhan novel coronavirus, they take samples from the nose, throat and deeper respiratory samples, package and send them safely to Public Health England Colindale.
OUT OF HOURS CARE:
Please phone NHS 111