As a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we must refocus our staff and resources on essential services only - supporting hospitals to discharge those well enough to go home or to another appropriate setting; and caring for the vulnerable in our communities. We are therefore currently working through the necessary changes to be made to services. We will share information directly with those affected (e.g. if appointments are rescheduled / postponed); and more generally via social media and on this web page.

Changes to phlebotomy service from Monday 30 March 2020
Due to COVID-19, with effect from Monday 30th March 2020 the Phlebotomy clinic will no longer provide a walk in blood test service. All blood tests will need to be booked by telephoning 01634 471098 to arrange your appointment. Please see our poster for open clinics.

Changes to anticoagulation service from Monday 30 March 2020
From Monday 30 March, patients within the community  anticoagulation service will no longer be able to attend as  a walk-in patient. All anticoagulation  clinics (at Balmoral Gardens, Walter Brice Centre and Rochester Healthy Living Centre) will now be by  booked appointment times only.  

Please do not attend any clinics as a walk-in patient if you have  not been  allocated a clinic appointment time.

We will contact you with an appointment if you are due to be seen in the coming weeks. Please call us on 0300 123 3444 if your require further information.


Background to pandemic

On 31 December 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) was informed of a cluster of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. On 12 January 2020 it was announced that a ‘novel coronavirus’ had been identified in samples obtained from cases and that initial analysis suggested that this was the cause of the outbreak. Public Health England (PHE) is using the name Coronavirus (COVID-19).  On Thursday 12 March, the World Health Organisation declared declared Coronavirus as a pandemic. A pandemic is a disease that is spreading in multiple countries around the world at the same time.

What can you do?

Please ensure that from now, you are following this guidance:

  • If you develop a new persistent cough or a temperature of 37.8 degrees or above (regardless of travel history), you should self-isolate for seven days. Do not contact 111 unless your symptoms get worse. 

The NHS has created an online symptom and advice checker here

Any change to public health advice will be published here (on the NHS website)

Handwashing remains the best way to stay healthy. You should wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, using liquid soap and warm water:

  • after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose
  • before leaving home
  • on arrival at school/workplace
  • after travelling on public transport
  • after using the toilet
  • after breaks and sporting activities
  • before food preparation
  • before eating any food, including snacks
  • before leaving school/workplace.

Try to avoid speculation and look up reputable sources on the outbreak. Please see the list of useful links on the right where you can find the latest official information and advice.