COVID-19 PLAN FOR WEST CALDER MEDICAL PRACTICE

To Our Patients

I am sure you are all aware of the public health crisis that coronavirus presents. This creates a very challenging time for our medical staff, and I appreciate a very anxious time for you. We too share your anxieties. We need an adaptable plan to get through the next few months as best and as safely we can.

We have limited all booked face to face patient appointments.

The reason for this is to reduce the number of people attending the Medical Practice, and hence limit the opportunity for coronavirus to spread. This will reduce the chance of you becoming unwell, of medical staff having to take time off to self isolate, and of us unwittingly passing the virus onto high risk patients. This approach can save lives.

When requesting an appointment you will, in the first instance, receive a telephone call back from one of our GPs.  They will assess you and if they need to see you – they will arrange a face-to-face appointment for you to attend the practice and see them.

For information regarding Coronavirus (Covid -19) please see “NHS Inform”

Of course, you will still have many reasons other than Covid-19 to contact your GP, such requests, that cannot be answered by our Reception staff, will be added to a list for our medical staff to call you back where capacity allows. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee to call you back on the day you make your request. If we decide a face to face medical assessment is required, this will be arranged. In addition, we will endeavour to deal with all urgent requests for medical attention by phone on the same day. As the weeks of the crisis continue, the number of these acute requests are likely to increase, limiting our ability to deal with the routine requests.

We need your help with this. Please think carefully before seeking a call-back from a GP. Use the “NHS Inform” website, or your Pharmacist, and try to call us only when necessary. Perhaps our Receptionists can help you so you do not need to speak to the GP.

In the meantime, we wish you well. Current medical advice may be found on “NHS Inform” and is presently, as below;

IF YOU DEVELOP SYMPTOMS:

If you live alone and you develop a new continuous cough or fever or loss of/change in sense of taste or smell (anosmia), regardless of your travel history or contact with confirmed cases, you should stay at home for 10 days from when your symptoms started. You should request a covid-19 test (see NHS Inform). Information and advice is available fro NHS Inform and the National Coronavirus helpline number is 0800 028 2816 – open 8am – 8pm daily. You should phone the practice if your symptoms get worse or you are not improving by the end of isolation period.

PASSING ON INFECTION

If you have symptoms, you must self-isolate immediately and book a test (/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid-19/test-and-protect/coronavirus-covid-19-get-a-test-if-you-have-symptoms). If you test positive, you must self-isolate for 10 days from when your symptoms started.

If you have had a positive test but have had no symptoms, you must self-isolate for 10 days from the day your test was taken. However, if you develop symptoms in the days after your positive test, you should re-start your self-isolation from the day your symptoms start.

Evidence suggests that people who develop symptoms are very unlikely to pose an infection risk to other people beyond the 10th day of illness. These people can return to normal activities at this point but must continue to follow the Scottish Government’s coronavirus advice (https://www/gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/).

CLOSE CONTACTS

Close contacts should book a test (/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid-19/test-and-protect/coronavirus-covid-19-get-a-test-if-you-have-symptoms as soon as possible, and self-isolate while waiting for the result.

IF YOU’RE FULLY VACCINATED

As a close contact, you can end self-isolation if all of the following apply:

  • you’re fully vaccinated – this means you’ve received 2 doses of an approved vaccine (/covid-19-vaccine/the-vaccines/the-vaccines-used-to-protect-against-coronavirus/)and have had your second dose more than 14 days ago
  • you receive a negative PCR test result
  • you do not have, or develop, symptoms

If you’re a close contact and you’ve tested positive for coronavirus in the last 90 days, you do not have to self-isolate or book a test if you’re fully vaccinated unless you develop new symptoms.

STAYING SAFE IF YOU’VE ENDED SELF-ISOLATION

Even if you’re fully vaccinated, you can still get coronavirus and pass it on to others.

If you’re a close contact who can end self-isolation, you can help protect others by following the Scottish Government’s guidance on how to stay safe and help prevent the spread (https://www.gov.scot/publications/cooronavirus-covid-19-staying-safe-and-protecting-others/).

As well as getting a PCR test, you may also consider:

  • limiting close contact with other people outside your household, especially in enclosed spaces
  • wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces and where you cannot maintain physical distancing
  • limiting contact with anyone who is at highest risk (https://www.gov.scot/publications/covid-highest-risk/pages/highest-risk-classification/)
  • not visiting people in care homes or hospitals until 10 days after your contact with the positive case, unless essential and agreed with care home or hospital staff in advance
  • taking part in twice weekly lateral flow device (LFD) testing (/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid-19/test-and-protect/coronavirus-covid-19-get-a-test-if-you-do-not-have-symptoms)
  • if you work in health and social care, you should follow the guidance specific to these settings(/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid-19/test-and-protect/coronavirus-covid-19-self-isolation-exemption-for-health-and-social-care-workers)

IF YOU’RE NOT FULLY VACCINATED

If you’re a close contact under 18 years and 4 months or you cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, you can only end self-isolation if you receive a negative PCR test result and you do not have, or develop, symptoms.

If you’re not fully vaccinated because you’re taking part in an official clinical trial, you’re exempt from self-isolation as a close contact if you receive a negative PCR test and do not have, or develop, symptoms.

If you are over 18 years and 4 months old and are not fully vaccinated, you must complete 10 days of self-isolation from your last date of contact with a positive case, even if you do not have symptoms and you receive a negative test result. The reason we say 18 years and 4 months is to allow time for individuals to become fully vaccinated.

Children under 5 years old who are close contacts do not need to self-isolate and are encouraged to book a test(/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid-19/test-and-protect/coronavirus-covid-19-get-a-test-if-you-have-symptoms).  If they develop symptoms, they should self-isolate and book a test. (/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid-19/test-and-protect/coronavirus-covid-19-get-a-test-if-you-have-symptoms).

If you’re a close contact and you’ve tested positive for coronavirus in the last 90 days but you’re not fully vaccinated, you should self-isolate for 10 days. You do not have to book a test unless you develop new symptoms.

You must contact your line Manager before returning to work so they can do a risk assessment. Before you return to work you must have had 48 hours without fever. Cough or loss of taste or smell in itself does not prevent you from safely returning to work.

At no point in this process do you need to contact us – only do so if you are more unwell, for example very breathless, and we will call you back to decide if you may need a hospital admission.

The next few months are going to be challenging for us all, but as a Community we can do our best to get through it.

Best wishes and keep well!

And remember keep washing your hands and avoid touching your face.