COVID- 19 Information Page

What Should I Do If I develop Symptoms or are asked to self Isolate through Track and Trace? 

  • You should self-isolate as soon as you develop symptoms and book a test. You must continue to self-isolate until you receive a negative test
  • If you have been asked to self-isolate through NHS Test and Trace you must complete the period of self-isolating even if you don’t develop symptoms.

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Is there help available if I am self isolating?

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Patients Requesting a COVID Test

Our GP practices in Dorset are experiencing a large amount of calls re booking COVID-19 tests.

Unfortunately, our surgeries can not help as they only have access to the national portal that residents also have.  NHS Test and Trace is working and the capacity is the highest it has ever been but there has been a significant demand for tests including some from people who do not have symptoms and are not otherwise eligible. 

New booking slots and home testing kits are made available daily for those who need them.  Please only book a test if you have Coronavirus symptoms or you have been asked to get a test.  If you have no symptoms and are not eligible to get a test you can continue to protect yourself if you wash your hands, wear a face covering and follow social distancing rules.

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Mental Health

The current COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation is particularly difficult for people who are experiencing mental ill health and emotional distress. The situation is unprecedented and will impact the way that we run our Access Mental Health services.

To ensure the safety of our staff and the public, the Retreat drop-in services in Bournemouth and Dorchester are closed for the foreseeable future. We have also closed our Community Front Rooms, but alternative arrangements are being put in place.

If you require urgent mental health support, please call the 24/7 Connections phone line (0300 123 5440) in the first instance and you will be signposted to the right service for the support you need.

You can also visit https://www.dorsethealthcare.nhs.uk/coronavirus-1/mental-healthwellbeing-advice 

Below is a list of resources you may also find useful: 

Resources for Mental Health

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Face Masks

The wearing of face masks is now required in shops and on public transport.  We do understand that some people cannot wear them but we are unable to provide an exemption letter.  However, patients can obtain an exemption cards or badges which can be downloaded from the following Government website. 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own

For those with respiratory problems,  there is an exemption card available to download from Asthma UK or British Lung Foundation. So, you can refer them to Asthma UK/British Lung Foundation and search under 'mask'.

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Supporting your recovery after COVID-19

For those people who are recovering from COVID-19, you may still be coming to terms with the impact the virus has had on both your body and mind.  These changes should get better over time, some may take longer than others, but there are things you can do to help.  A rehabilitation programme has now been created by the NHS in order to help you understand what has happened and what you might expect during recovery and can be accessed through this link.

https://www.yourcovidrecovery.nhs.uk/

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CHANGES FOR SHIELDING PATIENTS - 6th July and 1st August 2020

From Monday 6th July and again on Saturday 1st August, changes will be introduced for people who have been asked to shield.  A letter explaining this will be sent by the Government to shielding patients. 

Details on these changes can be found in the following link as well as some information for children who have had to shield:

Changes for Shielding Patients - 6th July & 1st August

Shielding Advice for Children - 6th July 2020 update

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CORONAVIRUS AND REQUEST FOR DOCTOR'S NOTE (The Med3 'Fit Note')

If you remain unwell and unfit to work after 7 days, the current advice is to visit www.111.nhs.uk where there is an online self-assessment tool: you may be invited to call 111 and given further advice and a Med3 certificate will be emailed to you.  YOU DO NOT NEED TO CONTACT YOUR GP.  Please see the link below for further advice.

Covid-19 and Request for Doctor's Note

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Help the most vulnerable in your community

BCP Council have set up a helpline for people who have COVID-19 related problems who don't otherwise have any support.  Call 0300 123 7052 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday to refer yourself or someone else, they can be contacted others in regard to vulnerable neighbours living alone without support.   

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Help for Carers

We know that in the current situation carers are under enormous pressure.  We hope that the information resources below will help carers across the county access the help and information they need. 

Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole (BCP) area

CRISP provides information, support and Coronavirus advice for carers. You can also contact CRISP on 01202 458204 or Email: carersupport@bcpcouncil.gov.uk 

Carers UK  provides national coronavirus updates.  If you have received an NHS letter or are caring for someone who has, you can register for further support or call 0800 028 8327, the government’s new dedicated helpline. 

Please participate in their survey to learn about carers' experiences during the coronavirus.

Carers hospital visiting 

Please check individual hospital websites below. 

For more advice on visiting patients please contact: Poole Hospital Karen Uphill, Carer Support and Patient Information Advisor Tel: 01202 448714 mail: carersupport@poole.nhs.uk

Dorset County Hospital  Alison Male, Patient & Public Engagement Lead, tel: 0800 7838058 email: pals@dchft.nhs.uk

Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals Patient engagement and voluntary services, tel 01202 704161 or contact Pals 01202 303626 or email pals@rbch.nhs.uk

Caring for people living with dementia

The Alzeimer's society have published information on coronavirus for people affected by dementia. To connect with other people affected by dementia, visit the Alzheimer’s Society online community Talking Point. You can also call the Alzheimer’s Society Helpline tel 0300 222 11 22 or speak to a dementia specialist Admiral Nurse on Dementia UK’s Helpline, tel 0800 888 6687.

Dorset's memory advice and support service can be contacted at tel  0300 123 1916 or email dorset@alzheimers.org.uk 

HM Government advice on looking after your own mental health, and those that you care for, including children, young people, and people who have physical disabilities, learning disabilities and autism.

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Children

COVID-19 is unlikely to make your child seriously unwell, but they like everyone else might be infectious: so it is important to stay at home if they are managing well.

However, all the ‘normal’ illnesses that can make children severely unwell can still occur and there is a risk that parents may delay bringing their child to the attention of a healthcare professionals even if they are unwell because of concerns about COVID-19. GPs and hospitals are still providing safe care as they have always done for children . If you are not sure if your child is unwell and whether they need to be seen, click here, call 111 or contact your GP. For information about crying babies, click here.

If your child appears severely unwell and advice is not quickly available call 999 or take them to ED as you would in other times.”

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Healthy Start

During this difficult time, families may be struggling to access food due to a decrease in their household income.  In order to help, the Healthy Start scheme provides eligible families with a monetary voucher towards the cost of essential food items such as fruit, vegetables and milk to as many families as possible.  Further details on this voucher scheme are available via this link:

Healthy Start Food Voucher Scheme



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