Category: NHS

New moves on Self-Isolation of the most vulnerable in our Community

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The Prime Minister announced today the introduction of effectively total isolation for those most vulnerable, irrespective of age who have serious underlying health issues. The NHS will write to the individuals concerned directly, the criteria will be published shortly and we will publish it as soon as it becomes available.   The Secretary of State for the Department of Communities and Local Government announced that there would be a package of support including delivery of medicine and food to those who do not have a network of family and friends to support them.

The Deputy Chief Medical Officer emphasised that for those over 70 but outside ‘most vulnerable; category should stay at home, but in the interests of their mental well-being could go for walks providing that they adhere to the Social Distancing rules – NO CLOSER THEM 2 METRES.

In response to a question the Prime Minister reiterated that he would prefer that the general public to act reasonably and responsibly  and make sure that they following strictly the advice given by Government by staying inside, if possible but when outside to ensure they use the SELF-DISTANCING RULES. If sections of the community continue to act irresponsibly, the Prime Minister made it clear that the rules were under constant scrutiny and the Government would use whatever means was necessary to protect the Nation in this emergency.

As soon as more detailed information is available we will publish it here.

In the meantime:

  • STAY AT HOME (if you can)


Guidance on social distancing for everyone in the UK and protecting older people and vulnerable adults

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This guidance is for everyone. It advises on social distancing measures we should all be taking to reduce social interaction between people in order to reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). It is intended for use in situations where people are living in their own homes, with or without additional support from friends, family and carers. If you live in a residential care setting – guidance is available at residential care setting

We are advising those who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures.

This group includes those who are:

Note: there are some clinical conditions which put people at even higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. If you are in this category, next week the NHS in England will directly contact you with advice the more stringent measures you should take in order to keep yourself and others safe. For now, you should rigorously follow the social distancing advice in full, outlined below.

People falling into this group are those who may be at particular risk due to complex health problems such as:

  • People who have received an organ transplant and remain on ongoing immunosuppression medication
  • People with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radiotherapy
  • People with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia who are at any stage of treatment
  • People with severe chest conditions such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma (requiring hospital admissions or courses of steroid tablets)
  • People with severe diseases of body systems, such as severe kidney disease (dialysis)

What is social distancing?

Social distancing measures are steps you can take to reduce the social interaction between people. This will help reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).

They are:

  1. Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough;
  2. Avoid non-essential use of public transport, varying your travel times to avoid rush hour, when possible;
  3. Work from home, where possible. Your employer should support you to do this. Please refer to employer guidance for more information;
  4. Avoid large gatherings, and gatherings in smaller public spaces such as pubs, cinemas, restaurants, theatres, bars, clubs
  5. Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media.
  6. Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services.

Everyone should be trying to follow these measures as much as is pragmatic.

For those who are over 70, have an underlying health condition or are pregnant, we strongly advise you to follow the above measures as much as you can, and to significantly limit your face-to-face interaction with friends and family if possible.

This advice is likely to be in place for some weeks.


Government publishes updated COVID-19 industry guidance

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New and updated industry guidance published on limiting the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), following last week’s shift to the ‘delay’ phase of the action plan.

The government has today published new and updated guidance to provide affected sectors with the latest advice on managing the threat from COVID-19. The Public Health England (PHE) guidance provides important information for specific sectors, including schools and transport, on what precautions to take, what to do if someone develops symptoms and how to limit the spread of the virus.

The guidance will assist staff, employers and members of the public after the government last week shifted into the ‘delay’ phase of its action plan to slow the spread of the virus, reduce pressures on the NHS and protect the most vulnerable.

New and updated COVID-19 industry guidance:

Guidance has also been published on how to clean non-healthcare settings such as offices or hotel rooms where a person with possible or confirmed COVID-19 has spent time while experiencing symptoms.

The guidance recommends a range of measures for different industries, including:

  • using announcements in transport hubs to reinforce key messages, such as washing hands before and after travel, and what to do if unwell
  • if anyone becomes unwell with a new continuous cough or a high temperature, they should be sent home, to their room or the place they are staying. If they have to use public transport, they should try to keep away from other people and catch coughs and sneezes in a tissue
  • objects and surfaces that are touched regularly should be frequently cleaned and disinfected using standard cleaning products

The advice for these settings continues to be not to close unless advised to do so by the local Public Health England Health Protection Team or the government.

It comes after the Health and Social Care Secretary announced an expanded public awareness campaign asking people to self-isolate for 7 days if they develop a high temperature or a new continuous cough, however mild.

The most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves remains washing hands more often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water.

The next phase of the awareness campaign reiterates the importance of seeking help online by visiting NHS.UK/coronavirus to check symptoms and follow the medical advice, rather than visiting a GP.

Last week, the government published advice for the social care sector to protect older people and those with underlying conditions.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:

Our goal is to protect life by protecting the vulnerable and the NHS.

We are in the midst of the biggest public health emergency in a generation, and everyone has a part to play. As the government works round the clock as part of our action plan to tackle the virus, it’s vital that different industries know exactly what they need to do to limit the spread of COVID-19 and ultimately protect life.

This updated guidance provides clear information on what to do if someone is experiencing symptoms, how to keep people informed and the precautions that we should all be taking – including continuing to regularly wash our hands.

PHE’s National Infections Service Deputy Director Nick Phin said:

The most important actions people can all take are to wash their hands regularly, stay at home when they have symptoms – however mild – and to regularly clean and disinfect surfaces.

We will keep our guidance under constant review and update it as the situation unfolds.

Next stage of expanded coronavirus (COVID-19) public information campaign launches

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People are being urged to stay at home for seven days if they develop a high temperature or new continuous cough as part of an expanded public awareness campaign in the fight against COVID-19, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced today (Sunday 15 March).

For the first time, members of the public will see advice in TV adverts featuring Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty and voiced by actor Mark Strong as part of the government’s drive to ensure everyone knows the best way to limit and delay the spread of the COVID-19.

Building on the current campaign, which reinforces the importance of washing your hands more often, the next phase reflects the government’s shift into the ‘delay’ phase of its action plan to limit the spread of the virus. A key part of this is asking people to self-isolate for seven days if they develop a high temperature or a new continuous cough – however mild.

As well as on TV, people will see and hear the campaign advice in newspapers and magazines, on drive-time radio, online and through social media and on billboards and large digital displays, including at bus stops.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said:

Coronavirus is the biggest public health crisis we have faced in a generation. It continues to spread both in the UK and around the world and we need to accept that sadly, many more of us will become infected.

The government and the NHS are working 24/7 to fight this virus. We must all work together and play our own part in protecting ourselves and each other, as well as our NHS, from this disease. This expanded campaign will focus on ensuring the public knows exactly what they should be doing to keep themselves and others safe.

Washing hands regularly for 20 seconds or more remains the single most important thing an individual can do, but we now also need to ask anyone with a high temperature or new continuous cough – however mild – to isolate yourself and stay at home for seven days. You should continue to follow our online clinical advice and not go to A&E or your GP if you develop mild symptoms.

Combating this virus will require a national effort – we all have a role to play to slow its spread and protect the elderly and the vulnerable.

Dr Yvonne Doyle, Public Health England’s Medical Director said:

We know that novel coronavirus affects the most vulnerable the most and so it is absolutely vital that we do everything we can to protect them. This new guidance sets out what we can all do to help save the lives of those most at risk.

This week, the UK’s Chief Medical Officers raised the risk to the public from moderate to high. The campaign offers clear, practical advice so the public can play their part in preventing and slowing the spread of the virus.

As per the current advice, the most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves remains washing their hands more often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water. Make sure you cough or sneeze into a tissue, put it in a bin and wash your hands.

The next phase of the awareness campaign also reiterates the importance of seeking help online by visiting to check your symptoms and follow the medical advice, rather than visiting your GP. It also urges people with any symptoms to avoid contact with older and more vulnerable people. Where possible, we are urging people to visit the 111 website rather than calling, too, to ensure the phone service is readily available to those who need it.

Last week, the Prime Minister published a ‘battle plan’ for tackling the disease in the UK, which sets out plans for a range of scenarios. This week, the Prime Minister confirmed the UK has moved into the second stage of this plan, the ‘delay’ phase.

NHS, Public Health England and Local Authority Public Health teams up and down the country are working tirelessly to support everyone in need of advice, testing or treatment.

Since January, public health teams and world leading scientists have been working round the clock on the COVID-19 response, and government has been working with partners across the country to provide tailored advice to the public, travellers coming into the country and those most at risk from COVID-19.


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The Government and NHS are well prepared to deal with this virus.

You can help too.

Germs can live on some surfaces for hours.

To protect yourself and others:

  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch you cough or sneeze.
  • Bin the tissue and to kill the germs wash your hands with soap and water or use sanitiser gel.
  • If you have arrived back from China within 14 days follow the specific advice for returning travellers.

This is the best way to slow the spread of almost any germs, including Coronavirus.

Find out more at