Information about Coronavirus (COVID-19) - updated 6/5/2020

2020.05.10 StayAlert Leaderboard

Information about Coronavirus (COVID-19) - updated 04/05/2020

The NHS in West Essex and Public Health England (PHE) are 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.

To make sure you receive the most up-to-date guidance on symptoms, how to look after yourself and others and information on self-isolation and social distancing, please visit nhs.uk/coronavirus

Learn about the government response to coronavirus on GOV.UK.

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Help us help you get the treatment you need

While we are being asked to stay at home to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus, it can be difficult to know what to do if you feel unwell or are concerned about specific symptoms such as cancer, heart attack or stroke. Please know that the NHS is still here to help you get the care and treatment you need, when you need it.

You can:

  • Contact you GP practice online, via an app or by phone to be assessed (https://www.nhs.uk/health-at-home/)
  • Visit the NHS 111 online service or call 111, and call 111 if you are worried about the health of your baby or child
  • Dial 999 immediately if it is a serious or life-threatening emergency for you, an adult or child

You should go to hospital if you are told to go and attend appointments unless you have been told not to.

You can still order repeat prescriptions on the NHS App and through your GP practice or pharmacy’s online service, where available (https://www.nhs.uk/health-at-home/)


Routine vaccinations

If you or your child is due their routine vaccinations it is important they are still carried out. Routine vaccinations protect against serious and potentially deadline illnesses and stop outbreaks in the community.  (https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/why-vaccination-is-safe-and-important/)

If the person needing vaccination has coronavirus symptoms or is self-isolating because someone in the household is displaying symptoms, please contact your GP practice for advice.

2020.04.17 Every Mind Matters Leaderboard

Every Mind Matters

If you are feeling anxious or stressed at this time, the Every Mind Matters campaign has developed some helpful tips on coping with lockdown. (www.everymindmatters.co.uk)

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Support for people experiencing domestic violence

If you are experiencing domestic abuse then there is support for you. You are not alone. At home shouldn’t mean at risk and if this is you then isolation rules do not apply.

Police response and support services remain available. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, dial 999.

For more information visit www.gov.uk/domestic-abuse

A quick reminder about NHS services over the Christmas and New Year period

If you or a family member rely on essential medication to stay well, don’t put your health at risk, think ahead and get your request for important repeat medication into your GP or pharmacy in good time.

Christmas is coming and GP practices in west Essex will close at 6:30pm on 24 December and re-open on 27 December at 8am then close at 6.30pm on 31 December and re-open at 8am on 2 January. However, the Evening and Weekend GP service is providing pre-bookable appointments for you to see a GP over this Christmas period – including bank holidays.  Speak to the GP practice receptionist or you can call 111 to book your appointment.

If you are not sure what you should do when you are feeling unwell, use the FREE NHS Health Help Now website or app to see available local services, get advice or find the best treatment for your symptoms. Alternatively you can call NHS 111 for urgent health advice 24 hours a day.

If you have a GP or hospital appointment that you can no longer attend, please let them know in advance so that the appointment can be used for someone else.

When you collect your prescription it’s a good idea to look in the bag before you leave the pharmacy and hand back anything you do not need.

National research data suggests that around £1million a year is being spent on medicines prescribed to patients in west Essex which are not used.

Rob Gerlis, Chair of West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group, said:  

GPs and pharmacists from across the area are working together to encourage people to consider the cost and health implications of not taking medicines as they are prescribed, or ordering medicines which are no longer needed. 

“Remember that most GP surgeries and pharmacies require at least 48 hours’ notice to prepare a repeat prescription. 

“As well as advice from pharmacists and evening and weekend to GP appointments, don’t forget that the telephone service NHS 111 is there for you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year if you urgently need health advice.”

Free to use, NHS 111 advisers and clinicians will help you to find the best service for your needs, whether that’s an out-of-hours GP appointment, emergency dentist or even a referral to A&E. It’s really important to use the right NHS service for your specific symptoms or condition and NHS 111 will help you with this.

Your local pharmacist is an expert in medicines and minor illnesses and a great source of trusted advice on a range of health issues. As well as helping you to get the right over the counter medicine to relieve your symptoms, they will also tell you if something needs attention from your practice nurse, GP, dentist, your local minor injuries unit or urgent care centre.

Please see details of pharmacy opening hours over the bank holiday.

You Can Take Care And Be A #WinterHero this Self Care Week

Winter Hero logo

Health teams have got together with Livewell Essex to create a set of messages to help us help you this winter.

Self Care Week, which runs from 18 November to 24 November, provides messages about how people can stay well, including recognising early triggers and symptoms of illness and taking action to prevent them getting worse.

Anurita Rohilla, Chief Pharmacist at the CCG said: “By covering your nose and mouth when it’s cold, particularly if you have COPD and Asthma, getting your flu vaccine, or asking your pharmacist for advice at the first sign of a cold or upset stomach, you can prevent worsening of your long-term condition and avoid visits to the GP Practice.

“We are asking people to #BeAWinterHero and do things to help themselves and people in their community. Essentially choose self-care for minor ailments and know where to get advice if you are worried about you or someone in your community.”

The strapline for this year’s Self Care Week is ‘Think Self Care For Life’ is all about making improvements in your life to protect your physical health and mental wellbeing.  

Clinical Commissioning Groups are promoting all the ways you can self care including:

  • Keeping a medicine cabinet with essentials like, remedies for upset stomachs, rehydration powders, paracetamol and ibuprofen and cold and flu remedies to see you through any ailments.
  • Know how to prevent triggers for feeling unwell in the cold – like wrapping a scarf around your nose and mouth to prevent cold air from hitting the lungs.
  • Getting your free flu jab if you are under 65 and living with a long term condition, over 65, a carer, have children under 10.
  • Making your pharmacist the first port of call for minor ailments if you want advice or call 111.
  • Eat well and live well, taking regular exercise and getting plenty of rest.
  • Keeping an eye on more vulnerable members in the community and helping them get the right care if they seem cold or unwell or even just popping in for chat to prevent loneliness.

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