Coronavirus COVID - 19
The NHS in Cambridgeshire 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.
The risk to the general public is moderate. If you have arrived back to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau within 14 days, follow the specific advice for returning travellers.
Call 111 now if you've been:
- to Wuhan or Hubei Province in China in the last 14 days (even if you do not have symptoms)
• to other parts of China, including Macau and Hong Kong, in the last 14 days and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath (even if it's mild)
• to Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Republic of Korea or Malaysia in the last 14 days and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath (even if it's mild)
• in close contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus
Do not go to a GP surgery, community pharmacy or hospital. Call 111, stay indoors and avoid close contact with other people.
Further information is available on nhs.uk.
Like the common cold, coronavirus infection usually occurs through close contact with a person with novel coronavirus via cough and sneezes or hand contact. A person can also be infected by touching contaminated surfaces if they do not wash their hands.
The risk of being in close contact with a person with coronavirus or contaminated surfaces is very low at the current time, as members of the public who have visited Wuhan or Hubei province, China are currently in isolation.
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.
Using emollients safely
A new awareness campaign that aims to support and advise the public on the importance of using emollients safely to help prevent fire risk has launched across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
Emollients are moisturising treatments used by all ages to manage dry, itchy or scaly skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Applied directly to the skin to soothe and hydrate it, emollients cover the skin with a protective film to trap in moisture.
There is a fire risk associated with all emollients whether they contain paraffin or not. However, emollients are an important and effective treatment for dry skin conditions when used safely.
How can you use your emollients safely?
•Keep away from fire, flames and cigarettes when using any type of emollient. Dressings, clothing and bedding that have been in contact with an emollient can easily catch fire.
•Change clothing and bedding regularly – preferably daily. Emollients soak into fabric and the build-up of residues can increase the fire risk. Washing fabrics at high temperatures may reduce the build-up but does not remove it entirely.
•Tell your doctor, nurse or pharmacist if you normally smoke. They will be able to offer you help and advice to stop smoking.
•Tell you relatives or carers about your treatment and the fire risk. Those who care for you can help to keep you safe.
Further information on using emollients safely can found online at https://www.cambridgeshireandpeterboroughccg.nhs.uk/news-and-events/campaigns/fire-risk-with-emollients/
Don’t swallow up your NHS - use it wisely this winter
Winter illnesses such as colds and coughs, sore throats, and upset stomachs can easily be treated at home with medicines available at low cost from your local pharmacy - no GP appointment or prescription required.
Be sure to stock up on the following winter self care essentials to not only help save you time and help you to feel better quicker, but help save the NHS much needed resources.
- pain relief (paracetamol)
- cough and sore throat remedies
- first aid kit
- upset stomach treatment
- rehydration treatment
- heartburn and indigestion treatment
Your local pharmacist can also offer you advice and guidance on the best treatment for you – no appointment needed. Pharmacists are available on every high street and in supermarkets with many open evenings and weekends. Click HERE to find a pharmacy near you.
NHS 111 - available 24/7, 365 days a year
NHS 111 can help if you have an urgent medical problem and you’re not sure what to do.
To get help from NHS 111, you can:
- go online at 111.nhs.uk
- call 111
How NHS 111 works
You answer questions about your symptoms on the website, or by speaking to a fully trained adviser on the phone. Depending on the situation you’ll:
- find out what local service can help you
- be connected to a nurse, emergency dentist, pharmacist or GP
- get a face-to-face appointment if you need one
- be told how to get any medicine you need
- get self-care advice
So, if you think you need urgent medical help, call NHS 111 or visit 111.nhs.uk
Evening and weekend appointments available
All our patients now have access to more pre-bookable evening and weekend GP and nurse appointments.
To book an appointment, contact our reception team who will be able to book an appointment for you.
Appointments may not be at this practice, but if you talk to our receptionists, they will help you find the right service and at a time that is convenient.
Please see below the link to the Extended Access Service, Twitter & Facebook pages.
Use antibiotics on your doctor's advice
Antibiotics are essential to treat serious bacterial infections, but they are frequently being used to treat illnesses such as coughs, earache and sore throats that can get better by themselves. Taking antibiotics encourages harmful bacteria that live inside you to become resistant. That means that antibiotics may not work when you really need them.
Despite the risks of antibiotic resistance, research shows that 38% of people still expect an antibiotic from a doctor’s surgery, NHS walk-in centre or ‘GP out of hours’ service when they visited with a cough, flu or a throat, ear, sinus or chest infection in 2017.
If your GP refers you.....YOU CAN CHOOSE
If your GP needs to refer you for a physical or mental health condition, the NHS constitution says you can choose which hospital or service you go to. Patient Choice allows you to:
Go somewhere you prefer parking
Be treated as soon as possible
Be closer to home or family
Be closer to work
Choose a particular consultant
Ask your GP, call the Choice E-referral manager on 01223 725571/01223 725572 or visit www.nhs.uk/patientchoice and search 'services near you' for further information about which options are open to you when being referred by the GP. A choice is available for most patients in most circumstances. There are exceptions, for example if you are being sent to a triage service or if you need to be seen urgently.
If you are not able to attend an appointment you have booked, for whatever reason, please let us know. We can then offer that appointment to someone else who needs it.