Folder Coronavirus (Covid-19)
Last updated: 18 May 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
Visit the NHS website to get the most up-to-date information and guidance on:
- how to look after yourself and others
- self-isolation and social distancing
Learn about the government response to coronavirus on GOV.UK.
For information on routine outpatient appointments and in-patient visiting hours at our local hospitals please visit:
Getting tested for COVID-19
Find out where you can get tested and who is eligible by visiting the Essex County Council website.
We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. This means you must:
- stay at home as much as possible
- work from home if you can
- limit contact with other people
- keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
- wash your hands regularly
Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has the following symptoms:
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
- a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of smell or taste (anosmia)
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 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
- 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 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.
For more information, check out Health at home: how to access NHS services online.
Managing your health at home
The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak means you should only leave your home if it's essential, unless you feel very unwell or you are told to attend an existing appointment for ongoing treatment. While you are at home it's still easy to get NHS help using your smartphone, tablet or computer. The Health at Home webpage has information letting you know how to:
- contact your GP
- order repeat prescriptions
- manage long-term conditions
- maintain your mental and physical wellbeing
If you need an NHS service, try to do it online first. If you cannot get what you need this way try asking a friend or family member to help you, or speak to your GP surgery on the phone.
Find out more at: nhs.uk/health-at-home
Support for those in high-risk groups
If you have been identified as being in a high-risk group, and are shielding, you may be eligible to receive support to help with food and essential supplies.
For more information, please contact the Essex Welfare Service by completing their online form. If you don’t have online access, please call 0300 303 9988.
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 deadly illnesses and stop outbreaks in the community.
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.
Mental health support
If you are feeling anxious or stressed at this time, the Every Mind Matters website has developed some helpful tips on coping with lockdown.
North Essex IAPT provides access to a wide range of talking therapy treatments for adults with common mental health problems including:
- low mood
- anxiety and depression.
Learn more about the free support available in west Essex in the Healthy Minds: working together to improve mental health news story.
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 the GOV.UK website.