Important information about the coronavirus (COVID-19)
Updated on - February 2021
If you have concerns about the new South African Strain, please click here.
You can check if you need to get a test by clicking here
Anybody who is experiencing any symptoms of the virus should self-isolate straight away, then make an appointment to get a test by calling 119 or visiting gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test
- The NHS has started the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccination programme. When it is the right time for you to receive your vaccine, you will receive an invitation to come forward. Please do not contact the NHS to get an appointment until you are contacted.
- The NHS is prioritising the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine. When it is your turn to get the vaccine you will be contacted. This may be by phone or letter from your GP or national NHS booking service.
New national lockdown restrictions in place - for more Info, CLICK HERE
Were you were a 'high risk' (shielded) patient? CLICK HERE
As you find yourself recovering from COVID-19, you may still be feeling the impact on both your body and mind. Please visit here for NHS support.
The wearing of Face Coverings are mandatory for every patient with an appointment at Birchills Health Centre. From the 24th July, 2020, face coverings will be mandatory in shops and supermarkets. GPs will not write an exemption letter. For more advice, CLICK HERE
The case definition for COVID-19 has been updated to include loss of or change in smell or taste.
For the Latest information and advice, CLICK HERE
To get a Sick Note (Med3) or an isolation note, please CLICK HERE and download the document
If you feel you should have received a letter but you haven't, you can self register HERE
Thinking of returning to work? Employers have a 'duty of care' for staff, customers and anyone else who visits the workplace. This means they must do all they reasonably can to support their health, safety and wellbeing. Employers should keep up to date with the latest government guidelines to help plan ahead. More information can be found here;
If you have concerns about returning to work, contact HSE at https://www.hse.gov.uk or call 0300 790 6787
What to do if you have the following symptoms
- high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- 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)
- loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
You do not need to contact NHS 111 to tell them you're staying at home.
- If you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus illness (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started.
- if you live with others and you are the first in the household to have symptoms of coronavirus, then you must stay at home for 7 days, but all other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.
- for anyone else in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14 day isolation period. The ending isolation section below has more information, and see the explanatory diagram
- it is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community
- if you can, move any vulnerable individuals (such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions) out of your home, to stay with friends or family for the duration of the home isolation period
- if you cannot move vulnerable people out of your home, stay away from them as much as possible
- if you have coronavirus symptoms:
- do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital
- you do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home
- testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home
- plan ahead and ask others for help to ensure that you can successfully stay at home and consider what can be done for vulnerable people in the household
- ask your employer, friends and family to help you to get the things you need to stay at home
- wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, each time using soap and water, or use hand sanitiser
- if you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, or your condition gets worse, or your symptoms do not get better after 7 days, then use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service. If you do not have internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999
The NHS in Walsall and Public Health England (PHE) are well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal.
The latest information on symptoms of coronavirus infection and areas where recent travel may have resulted in a high risk of exposure can be found on www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19
NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need medical help and advise you what to do.
Use this service if:
• you think you might have coronavirus;
• in the last 14 days you've been to a country or area with a high risk of coronavirus;
• you've been in close contact with someone with coronavirus.
Do NOT go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Call 111 if you need to speak to someone.
Like the common cold, coronavirus infection usually occurs through close contact with a person with novel coronavirus via cough and sneezes or hand contact. A person can also catch the virus by touching contaminated surfaces if they do not wash their hands. Testing of suspected coronavirus cases is carried out in line with strict guidelines. This means that suspected cases are kept in isolation, away from public areas of GP surgeries, pharmacies and hospitals and returned home also in isolation. Any equipment that come into contact with suspected cases are thoroughly cleaned as appropriate. Specific guidance has also been shared with NHS staff to help safeguard them and others. Patients can be reassured that their safety is a top priority, and are encouraged to attend all appointments as usual.
Everyone is being reminded to follow Public Health England advice to:
• 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.
For the Latest information and advice, CLICK HERE