BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The UK Government has switched to Phase 2 of its strategy to combat Coronavirus, known as ‘Delay’. This attempts to delay the spread of the virus, and lower the impact on essential services such as the NHS and Health and Social Care. Coronavirus affects the lungs and interstitial tissues and produces flu or flu-like symptoms. As with all viral infections, different people will be affected differently; some people will have mild (maybe no) symptoms, some will feel poorly and for some people it will be serious. There is currently no direct evidence, but the consensus is that Coronavirus presents a higher risk to people with other, sometimes called underlying, health conditions.

THE ROLE OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE

There has been a lot of coverage, and there will be more, about the effect on essential services like the NHS. Make no mistake; your role is critically important. You provide support and care for people who would otherwise need residential, nursing or in-patient care. Without this essential service, hospitals would quickly become overrun, and unable to provide care for the people who need it most. This is crucial to our ability to cope with this outbreak.

CURRENT ADVICE

People should self-isolate for 7 days if either of these symptoms is present:

• Fever / High Temperature (over 37.8 deg C)

• Persistent cough that wont go away

SPECIFIC ADVICE FOR HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE

• Wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (aprons, gloves).  Additional PPE will be provided if you are asked to attend a suspected case

• Follow the guidance for the general public and stay at home for 7 days if you develop any symptoms

• If you come into contact with a COVID-19 patient whilst not wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) you can remain at work. If you have any symptoms of lower or upper respiratory tract infection you must immediately stay at home for the duration of the illness or 7 days, whichever is longer

• Healthcare workers do not need to be tested for COVID-19, prior to returning to work

FURTHER INFORMATION

If you think you, or someone else has symptoms: https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19

Current NHS advice: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/