We provide below answers to frequently asked questions about coronavirus and your NHS care. If you have a question that you would like to see answered, please send us an email or use the details listed in our Contact Us page.
What are the symptoms of the Covid-19 coronavirus?
ommon signs of the Covid-19 coronavirus include a new continuous cough, fever, aching body, sore throat, blocked or runny nose, shortness of breath, breathing difficulties and a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste. Most symptoms for most people will be mild. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
What is being done to ensure the safety of patients and staff?
Some of the measures we have introduced to protect patients and staff include:
- encouraging the use of video and phone appointments where appropriate
- testing patients before surgery or procedure
- asking patients to self-isolate for a short period before their procedure
- requiring patients to wear face coverings and staff to wear masks
- screening upon arrival for Covid-19 symptoms – this includes a temperature check and the Covid-19 symptons checklist
- safety screens at reception desks and other high-traffic contact points
- ensuring staff have the PPE they need
- floor markings or signs to help people maintain social distancing
- restricting the use of some building entrances
- new routes into some Covid-19 free services
- encouraging those who can use the stairs to leave the lifts for those who need them most
- limiting the number of people by restricting visiting
What can I do to protect myself and others?
It's very important to do what you can to reduce the risk of you and other people getting ill with coronavirus. You can spread the virus even if you do not have symptoms. There are many things that we can all do to reduce the risk of catching and passing on COVID-19, including:
- Letting fresh air in (open windows, or if possible go outside)
- Consider wearing a face covering in crowded enclosed spaces and if you are requested to in a healthcare setting
- Stay at home if you are unwell
- Take a test if you have covid-19 symptoms (cough, sore throat, temperature etc)
- Wash your hands wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds and use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
- Remember to wash your hands with soap and water after using the toilet, before meals and meal preparation, after coughing and sneezing
- Follow advice to Catch it, Bin it, Kill it
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze. Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
- Avoid close contact, when possible, with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
- do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
What are the rules on wearing face coverings?
The evidence shows that wearing a face covering or face mask can help limit the spread of Covid-19.
From 15 June 2020, when you attend an appointment for planned and outpatient care at our sites, you will need to wear a face covering. By doing so, you're helping to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus and keeping our staff and those who use our NHS buildings safe.
Patients are asked to wear a face covering or mask at all times when attending appointments at sites where we provide our services – this includes our clinics, our health centres and our walk-in centres.
For the face covering to be effective, please be aware that:
- the face covering should cover your nose and mouth while allowing you to breath comfortably
- you should wash your hands or use hand sanitiser before putting it on and taking it off
- when wearing the face covering, you should avoid touching your face at all times
- you should also follow other infection control safety measures, including social distancing and regular hand-washing.
For safety reasons, the following groups do not need to wear a face covering:
- young children under the age of 3
- anyone with breathing or developmental difficulties
- anyone who experiences genuine discomfort or distress while wearing a face covering
- anyone unable to remove their face covering without assistance
Where can I find advice on how to make a face covering at home?
The government has set out detailed advice for people on how to make their own face coverings easily at home, using scarves or other textile items. These face coverings should cover the mouth and nose, whilst allowing the wearer to breathe comfortably and can be as simple as a scarf or bandanna that ties behind the head to give a snug fit.
Where can I find the latest government advice on the Covid-19 coronavirus?
For the latest advice on the Covid-19 coronavirus, visit the coronavirus page on NHS.UK
Is there coronavirus advice available in different languages?
Doctors of the World, an independent humanitarian movement working in the UK and abroad, have produced translations on coronavirus advice for patients in 60 languages. The translations were produced in partnership with the British Red Cross, and can be accessed via the Doctors of the World website.
How do I make a comment about the care or treatment I have received?
We aim to provide the best possible service and our staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have. If you have any suggestions or comments about your care or treatment, please either speak to a member of staff or contact our patient advice and liaison service (PALS).