Medway Community Healthcare (MCH) provides a wide range of high quality community health services for Medway residents; from health visitors and district nurses to speech and language therapists and out of hours urgent care.
Published on: 13 March 2020
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Top clinicians are issuing advice to help reduce the spread of infection as the country moves into the ‘delay’ phase of its response to Covid-19.
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday, people worried about symptoms are being told by the chief medical officer not to call NHS 111 to try to book a test, as Public Health England have recommended an end to routinely testing for coronavirus in this next phase of the epidemic.
Instead, anyone worried about having the virus should self-isolate, without calling or checking with NHS 111 first.
Travel and contact history are no longer important for diagnosis, which will now be made on the basis of symptoms: a new continuous cough or high temperature.
The NHS is urging people to visit a new online advice hub at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus as the go-to place for clear advice for people with early symptoms of coronavirus.
The new web page details the latest guidance for anyone experiencing these possible early signs of coronavirus, and people should use this page as their first port of call if they are experiencing symptoms.
Professor Stephen Powis, national medical director for the NHS, said: “Everyone who has symptoms including a new continuous cough or high temperature should now stay at home and self-isolate, without needing to call or checking with NHS 111. As recommended by the chief medical officer, routine testing will now stop as it is unnecessary for those staying at home.
“As the chief medical officer also warned yesterday, calling NHS 111 routinely can put extra pressure on the NHS and could even make it harder for people with life-threatening conditions to get the help they need.
"The alternative option is expert and convenient advice online at nhs.uk/coronavirus which is the best port of call for help with coronavirus.
“For anyone who needs to stay at home and get better, they should continue to follow our advice and practice good hygiene, especially washing your hands more often and for longer, which will keep you and your family safe.”
Anyone who has either a new continuous cough or high temperature should follow this advice:
This advice will continue to be reviewed and updated by experts, and the public can access the most up to date information at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus