In an effort to improve response times, NHS 111 is recommending that patients concerned about COVID-19 should use the online assessment tool in the first instance.
The NHS in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland 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.
We are now in the delay phase of our response to COVID-19. This entails significant changes to how we identify and manage potential cases of COVID-19. For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild infection.
1. From today the public are being advised to stay at home (self-isolate) without any testing for COVID-19, regardless of travel history or contact with confirmed cases, if they have:
a. A new continuous cough
b. High temperature (of 37.8 degrees centigrade or higher)
2. Individuals should stay at home (self-isolate) for 7 days from the onset of symptoms following the current advice. If someone has serious symptoms they cannot manage at home they should use NHS 111 online (people should only call NHS111 if they cannot get online).
After 7 days of self-isolation, people who feel better and no longer have a high temperature can return to their normal routine. If they have not had any signs of improvement after 7 days and have not already sought medical advice, they should use NHS111 online (people should only call NHS111 if they cannot get online) before they leave their home or let visitors in.
Cough may persist for several weeks in some people, despite the coronavirus infection having cleared. A persistent cough alone does not mean someone must continue to stay at home for more than 7 days.
This advice is for people with symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), including those with a diagnosis of coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, who must remain at home until they are well.
The main messages are:
- if you have symptoms of coronavirus infection (COVID-19), however mild, do not leave your home for 7 days from when your symptoms started (see ending isolation section for more information)
- this action will help protect others in your community while you are infectious
- plan ahead and ask others for help to ensure you can successfully stay at home
- ask your employer, friends and family to help you to get the things you need to stay at home
- stay at least 2 metres (about 3 steps) away from other people in your home whenever possible
- sleep alone, if possible
- wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, each time using soap and water, or use hand sanitiser
- stay away from vulnerable individuals, such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, as much as possible
- you do not need to call NHS 111 to go into self-isolation. If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after 7 days, contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.
Information for the public is available at gov.uk/coronavirus.
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.
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 www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
Care Quality Commission - read our latest inspection report
Changes to Repeat prescription ordering
Ordering repeat prescriptions
What is changing?
The way repeat prescriptions are ordered is changing for patients of Evington Medical Centre. From 9th March 2020 you will have to order your repeat prescriptions directly through the surgery, and not your high street or internet pharmacy or appliance contractor.
What is not changing?
If you already order repeat prescriptions directly through your GP practice this change will not affect you.
When you order your repeat prescription directly through the surgery, your pharmacy will continue to collect or receive your prescription as before. Pharmacies may also continue to deliver your prescription if they offer this service.
Why is this change happening?
In Leicester City we are moving away from pharmacists ordering on behalf of patients, to ensure that excess medicines are not being ordered. This brings the city into line with the rest of Leicestershire and Rutland, where a similar change has previously been made.
For most people, being in charge of their own repeat prescriptions means that they only get the medicine they need at the time they need it. This can help prevent the build-up of unused or old medicines at home, which prevents waste and saves valuable NHS resources.
Estimates suggest that unused or partially used medication costs the NHS £300million each year, a figure which could pay for over 11,000 more community nurses or nearly 20,000 more drug treatment courses for breast cancer.
How do I order my prescription through my GP practice?
You can order repeat prescriptions through the surgery online, by post, or in person by using the tick slip, which is the right-hand side of your prescription which lists your current repeat medication.
The online route, through the NHS GP Online service, is quick and easy to set up and enables you to book GP appointments and view some of your medical records, as well as manage your prescriptions. You simply need to speak to staff at your GP practice, who will talk you through the process. Once set up to access GP services online, you can download the NHS app so you can order repeat prescriptions from your mobile phone.
Research carried out by NHS England indicates that 85% of people who use the service say that ordering prescriptions online is straightforward.
What are you doing to help patients who will find it difficult to order their own prescriptions?
We know that some patients may find it difficult to order prescriptions themselves and we are taking steps to identify these patients, so that they will still have the option to have their repeat prescriptions ordered for them. We are also encouraging any patients or carers to speak to us if they will find it difficult to order their prescriptions themselves. We do not want vulnerable patients to be disadvantaged by this change.
An “Exemption from Repeat Prescribing Changes” form is available for patients requesting help ordering their repeat medication. This form will be available at the GP practice and may also be available from your local pharmacy. Patients should complete the form and return it to their GP practice. Any exemptions will be subject to agreement by the GP practice.
Find out more on the Leicester City CCG website http://bit.ly/Leicester-Repeat-Meds