16th March 2020
We have provided the following Q&A to try and answer some of the more common questions patients may have about coronavirus. This is based on information we have to hand and may change over time.
Where can I find more information on Coronavirus?
- Via the Chelford surgery website and the links found on our news page and home page
- Via the gov.uk website – https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response
- Via NHS 111 online – https://111.nhs.uk/
I haven’t travelled to one of the at-risk areas am I still safe?
- With the rate of spread of the virus we now have to assume that any one symptomatic may have coronavirus and should follow self-isolation advice regardless of travel out of the country or contact?
What can I do to reduce my risk?
- Ensure you avoid contact with anyone that may have symptoms of fever or cough
- Ensure you are washing your hands regularly and try to avoid touching your face
- Always wash your hands when you get home or into work
- Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- 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
- Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
Am I at more risk?
- If you are aged over 60 years or have problems with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease or lung disease, or are on medication that affects your immune system then we would suggest your risk is higher and you should take more care
- If you are unsure speak to your GP
Should I travel?
- Check the Gov.uk website for the latest foreign office advice regarding travel
- If you are at higher risk you may need to reconsider travelling to all areas at this time.
What symptoms suggest I need to self-isolate?
- A new continuous cough and/or a high fever
- You do not need to contact 111 if you aren’t seriously unwell and have the symptoms above
- Instead self-isolate and contact 111/999 if symptoms worsen significantly
How long should I self-isolate for?
- The advice is to self-isolate for 14 days and this includes family members even if they don’t show symptoms immediately
- Stay at least 2 metres from other people in your own home
- Sleep separately from others who are well and use a separate bathroom to others if possible.
What if I get worse?
- If you feel your symptoms are worsening contact 111 via the online service. For a medical emergency contact 999.
How long will my symptoms last for?
- This isn’t fully clear but early reports suggest symptoms are lasting for 1-2 weeks and often worsening towards the end of the first week if suffering from a more severe form of the illness.
Is there any medicine I can take?
- There is no current cure available for us to prescribe if you have coronavirus.
- Treatments may be available if your doctor feels you have other illnesses.
- Antibiotics aren’t effective for the virus.
- Do take paracetamol (if you are able to) to help with pain or temperatures and keep well hydrated.
Why aren’t you booking me in to see my doctor/nurse?
- In order to protect our vulnerable patients and staff we are reducing footfall through the surgery.
- A doctor will now contact you by phone to see if any treatment or advice can be given by phone, if an appointment is needed the doctor will arrange for you to come in.
Should I cancel my upcoming appointment?
- If your appointment was part of a routine review, then we would advise delaying this until the situation improves.
- If you don’t feel too unwell then consider looking at the self-help advice pages on our website or some of the other ways of getting in touch with us (see below).
How else can I get in touch with my GP/nurse?
- We have a number of ways you can
contact the GP/nurse
- Online consultations – This is accessible through our Chelford surgery website and is useful if you don’t need an urgent reply. We aim to reply to you by 6.30pm the next working day.
- Video consultation – this can be arranged if you have mobile phone access but will involve a telephone discussion first so the doctor can initiate this if needed. Please ensure we have your correct mobile number
- In writing – any queries in writing will be dealt with as soon as clinically needed. This can be a useful way to feedback blood pressure readings for example.
When will normal services resume?
- We cannot predict how long it will take for this pandemic to end.
- We are preparing ourselves for the need to have these measures in place for the next few months if needed.
I have been advised to self-isolate, do I need a sick note?
- You will need to check with your employer.
- If you have been asked to get a sick note please be aware that patients can self-certify in the first 7 days
- Sick notes can be found on the GOVUK site at
- If you are off for longer than a week please contact the surgery using the eConsult feature on our website. Please allow 2-3 working days to complete your request.
Will you support my travel insurance claim?
- Patients are advised to check the foreign travel advice page to see if advice has been given about holiday cancellation to a specific area.
- Patients are asked to contact there insurer to discuss cancellations
- The royal college of GP’s advice is
- “Insurers and travel companies should be basing their decisions to offer refunds on advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Public Health England, not letters from GPs. It is not a good use of GPs’ time to be writing letters for patients who are not ill but have plans to travel – and GPs will always base their decisions on official advice“
- “Patients will undoubtedly have good and sensible reasons for not wanting to travel to certain places because of Covid-19, but this is not the same as being unable to travel due to existing illness, and it should not become the GP’s responsibility to give patients advice about where not to travel.”