OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT GUIDANCE – CORONAVIRUS
Official UK Government Guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response
Northern Ireland Testing and Tracing for Covid 19 on 20 July 2020 : https://www.publichealth.hscni.net/covid-19-coronavirus/testing-and-tracing-covid-19
Shielding Advice Update on 23 June 2020 http://abbeyfamilypractice.com/spl/
If you suspect you have Coronavirus:
- PLEASE DO NOT COME TO THE HEALTH CENTRE
- Please stay at home and phone NHS 111 for advice; press 1 for NI Line
- Do not use public transport or taxis
- Do not go to work, school or public places
- Do not just present yourself to any GP surgery or hospital without seeking advice first.
Why Can I Not Come to the Practice?
WE ARE NOT EQUIPPED TO HANDLE CORONAVIRUS
- GP surgeries are not properly equipped to handle such cases as you will need specialist testing and care.
- We have a limited supply of personal protective equipment required to deal with a suspected case of Coronavirus COVID-19
- By turning up at surgery, you risk the surgery being placed into a state of lockdown and you will be putting yourself and others at risk. This cannot be stressed enough.
- Please contact the Practice by telephone if you are concerned you have symptoms of Coronavirus and need assessed by a doctor. The doctor will consider if a referral to the local COVID Centre at Ards Hospital is required or whether they can offer advice over the phone.
When and where to get tested for Coronavirus?
Everyone over five years of age in Northern Ireland with symptoms of coronavirus is now eligible for testing. You should get tested in the first 3 days of Coronavirus symptoms appearing, although testing is considered effective up until day 5.
The symptoms of COVID-19 are:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature); OR
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it maybe worse than usual); OR
- a loss of or change in sense of smell or taste.
No testing should be undertaken after day 5, unless it’s for a specific reason which will be agreed on a case by case basis by local microbiologists.
Testing for all symptomatic individuals in Northern Ireland can be booked at www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test
If you have questions about a test you’ve booked or are having trouble booking a test, you can call 119
PRACTICE MANAGEMENT OF CORONAVIRUS SITUATION
- Information is posted frequently to our Practice News Page – keep up to date HERE
- All routine work has been suspended but the doctors continue to deal with a very high demand for telephone consultations and their shifts at the local COVID centre.
- We have moved to a system of full telephone triage; no face to face consultations are available unless the doctor specifically requests you to attend the surgery at an allocated time, for a non-coronavirus related consultation. Online appointments have been deactivated for the foreseeable future. The doctors are also using video consultations if appropriate.
- Prescribing – all prescriptions are being sent directly to your nominated pharmacist. This is necessary to reduce footfall in the health centre. Acute prescriptions will either be phoned or emailed to the chemist of your choice or if a member of your family is well they can call and collect. Only acute, same day prescriptions can be collected at reception.
- Repeat sick lines will be sent via a link in a text message. They can then be downloaded and printed at home or forwarded by text or email to your employers.
- We have been advised that sick lines should not be issued for periods of self isolation or social distancing. Self isolation notes can be downloaded from NHS 111 website HERE
- Lunch Time Closure – the Health Centre is closed between 1.00 PM & 2.00 PM daily. Phone lines remain open for urgent calls.
- Keep up to date with advice re self isolation; social distancing; shielding of vulnerable groups HERE
- Please note the Treatment Room (028 91 5151254) and Community Blood Clinic (028 91 512025) are operating an appointment only system.
Public Health recommends that the following general cold and flu precautions are taken to help prevent people from catching and spreading COVID-19:
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or
- See Catch it, Bin it, Kill it.
- Put used tissues in the bin straight away.
- Wash your hands with soap and water often – use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not
- See hand washing guidance.
- Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.