Health Advice

The UK is currently experiencing an outbreak of Coronavirus (Covid-19). You are advised to keep yourself up to date with information about the latest spread of the virus and health guidance issued

What you need to do...

  • stay at home as much as possible
  • work from home if you can
  • limit contact with other people
  • keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • wash your hands regularly
  • self-isolate if you or anyone in your household has symptoms

You can now exercise without a time limit either alone, with members of your household, or with 1 other person outside your household while maintaining social distancing guidelines.

Do not leave your home if you have either:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)

To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home.

Find out how to protect yourself and others from Coronavirus at NHS Coronavirus (COVID-19) (external link)

COVID-19 Symptoms/Self Care

  • Stay at home for 7 days if you have either:
    • A high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back.
    • A new continuous cough – this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly.
    • loss/change in your normal sense of smell or taste
  • Stay at home for 14 days if one of the people in your household has the above symptoms of coronavirus. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house becomes ill.
  • If you start displaying symptoms within this 14-day period, you need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared. (This applies even if you become ill within an original 14 day isolation period.)
  • Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital if you have symptoms
  • You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home.
  • Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:
    • you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
    • your condition gets worse
    • your symptoms do not get better after 7 days
  • Only call 111 if you cannot get help from 111 online.

Please visit the NHS Coronavirus Stay At Home website (external link) for advice on self-isolation and staying at home advice.

Updates from NHS West Lancashire

 

NHS West Lancashire (The West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group) has issued this brief update (external link) with an update on changes to services.

NHS West Lancashire also issues updates on Twitter (external link) and Facebook (external link).

Advice on Local Health Services in West Lancashire

During the Coronavirus pandemic, local health services will be shaped differently to protect local patients and staff.

Southport A&E – Open as usual.

Children's A&E – Closed 10pm – 8am. All patients arriving in ambulance will be diverted to Alder Hay Children's Hospital.

Southport and Ormskirk Hospitals – Non urgent appointments and visiting have been cancelled, and the hospitals are looking after the most in need.

GP practices - All practices have moved to telephone and video consultation and will only do face to face treatment when necessary. This is likely to be at a different site in West Lancashire.  Please continue to access your practice by calling their normal number.

GP Out of Hours – Please call 111

Walk in Centre and Urgent Treatment Centre - Urgent Treatment Centre in Ormskirk and Walk-in Centre in Skelmersdale will be treating minor injuries only and have moved to booked appointments. Call 01695 402180 first.

Community services - Community health services are working closely with GP practices in a blended way to ensure patients are supported during the pandemic. All patients will be screened by phone first. Please contact the ‘Single Point of Access’ with any queries: vcl.westlancs-spa@nhs.net 0300 247 0011.

Medicine - Please only order your repeat prescription if it is due in seven days. Please continue to order your prescriptions in the usual way. Please do not stockpile medicine. Please contact your pharmacy if you are unable to collect your medicine in person.

Mental Health

  • CAMHA – 01695 684 262 Monday – Friday 9am until 5pm. Weekends 10am until 6pm
  • Wellbeing and mental health helpline (all age) 0800 9154640 between 7pm-11pm Mon-Fri and 12pm-12am Sat/Sun.

A list of useful resources to support mental health and wellbeing are available online Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria (external link) website.

Help With Food - If you need further practical support for example with food, please visit West Lancs Together or call 0800 616 667 between 7am and 7pm daily.

Social Care – 0300 123 6720 or visit the Lancashire County Council (external link) website and search 'social care'

Social Media – Search West Lancs CCG on Twitter and Facebook for latest updates

Other Public Health Messages

  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

Social Distancing

Follow Public Health England issued guidance relating to social distancing (external link)

Visiting Friends and Family in Healthcare Setting

Medicines

Local health leaders are advising patients how to access medicine during the pandemic. Patients are being urged to order prescriptions in the usual way they did pre-pandemic, which includes online apps such as MyGP or Patient Access.

For patients who used to order their repeat prescriptions using a paper script, all prescriptions will now be issued electronically to your nominated pharmacy, if you do not have a nominated pharmacy you will be asked to select one. Paper prescriptions will only be issued in exceptional circumstances at the discretion of your GP practice.

The Prescribing Ordering Direct (POD) Service continues to be open but patients should only call if their repeat prescription is due within the next seven days. Please find some frequently asked questions to the Prescribing Ordering Direct (POD) Service below;

Can I have an inhaler?
Unless you have a confirmed diagnosis of a chronic respiratory condition (such as asthma) pharmacies cannot accept requests for inhalers.

Can I take ibuprofen?
If you currently use anti-inflammatory medication (such as ibuprofen) for non-Covid-19 related conditions (such as arthritis) you should continue to do so.

Can I have some paracetamol?
Paracetamol will only be provided if it is already routinely prescribed as part of a repeat prescription.

Is it safe to take ibuprofen to treat Covid-19?
There is insufficient evidence linking ibuprofen and Covid-19, and whether it can help or hinder recovery. However, it can be used alongside paracetamol to help ease some of the symptoms of Covid-19, such as fever and headache. Please follow correct guidance for usage when taking over the counter medicines and follow NHS advice if your symptoms worsen.

Can I have a rescue park?
You should not contact your GP practice, pharmacy or POD for a rescue pack. You should continue to manage your condition in the usual way and if you feel that you have symptoms of Covid-19 you should go to https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19 before doing anything else.

My B12 injections is no longer available, what can I do?
A.B12 injections have been stopped to protect staff and patients. We recommend patients who normally receive an injection take high dose B12 tablets 1mg (1000mcg) a day. Available to buy from pharmacies or online.

  • The West Lancashire Prescription Ordering Direct (POD) is experiencing huge volumes of calls.
  • Patients do not need to stockpile medicines
  • There is currently no issue with medicine supply
  • If West Lancashire patients already use My GP/Patient Access apps, they can use them to order repeat prescriptions
  • Patients currently on NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications) for other medical reasons (e.g. arthritis) should not stop them.
  • Patients, who have confirmed Covid-19, or believe they have Covid-19, should use paracetamol in preference to ibuprofen, or other NSAIDs drugs

Hygiene

Please follow the NHS instructions on hand washing on their website (external link). Please don’t forget your wrists too! 

Please also wipe down/disinfecting well used items such as phones, door handles, steering wheels and keyboards. Help and advice can be found on the BBC website (external link)

Extremely Vulnerable Patients (shielded)

If you have been identified by the NHS as someone at risk of severe illness if you contract Covid-19 and have been advised to be shielded, please follow the instructions on the letter you should have received. If you have been identified as within this group and you have developed symptoms of Coronavirus, such as a new, continuous cough and/or high temperature (above 37.8 °C), seek clinical advice using the NHS 111 online Coronavirus service (https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19/). If you do not have access to the internet, call NHS 111. Do this as soon as you get symptoms. If you think you are within this clinically vulnerable group and have not received a letter, please add your details onto the national government helpline www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable or call 0800 0288327 and liaise with your GP practice.

Age Concern Central Lancashire - Coronavirus Helpline

Age Concern Central Lancashire, who routinely support older people with long-term health conditions and through specialist dementia care and support, has launched a Coronavirus helpline in order to reach greater numbers of older people.

We are encouraging older people, their carers, businesses, professionals and health workers within the county to make referrals through the Coronavirus helpline - 01772 552 850 option 0 or via their COVID-19 Referral (external link) website  and shops during the outbreak.

What to do if you have a dental problem during COVID-19 pandemic

If you have a dental issue during lockdown, it is important that you know how to access help when you need it.

All high street dental and orthodontic practices can give advice, guidance and prescriptions, which you can collect from your local pharmacy.

If you are in pain or in need of support and need help or advice, please telephone your dental practice in the usual way. If you are not registered with a dentist you can go to Find a Dentist -NHS (external link) or call the Lancashire dental helpline on 0300 1234 010

This may be because you have severe toothache or a dental infection, or you have noticed other changes inside your mouth such as a white or red patch, a lump or an ulcer that won’t heal.

You will be assessed and given advice over the phone, which may result in a remote consultation with a dentist.

To support NHS services, it is important that you do not visit hospitals or doctors’ surgeries with dental problems

Other Useful Links