Coronavirus FAQs

This page is updated each day around 10:00am with the latest guidance from Public Health England on the Coronavirus.

The Practice is open as usual for patients who do not need to self isolate, providing you with the very best in healthcare either here in the Practice or via home visits.  To help protect both patients and staff we have implemented screening questions for patients and rigorous infection controls are in place as always.

For patients who are self isolating, or who would prefer to speak to a Doctor from their homes, we are offering video consultations. To book an appointment speak to a member of staff on 0207 935 1000 or email info@thelondongeneralpractice.com

Updated 26/03/2020

1. What is ‘Coronavirus’

 

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common across the world.  These viruses can cause mild symptoms ranging from a fever and cough to more serious conditions such as severe pneumonia, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. 

In December 2019, a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) was first identified in Wuhan City, China.  This virus has now spread to other countries.

2. How serious is Coronavirus

 

The UK Chief Medical Officers have declared that the risk to the UK is high following the classification by the World Health Organisation of the virus as a pandemic.

3. Is the practice open

 

Yes, the Practice is open as usual for patients who are not self isolating, both here at 114a Harley Street weekdays between 8:30am and 6:00pm, and through our 24 hour a day, seven days a week home and hotel visiting service.

We also offer video consultations for patients who are either having to self isolate or who would prefer not to travel to the Practice, our booking team can help with these.

In order to protect both patients and staff we are screening all patients before any physical appointements.

4. Are there any circumstances where I cannot come to the Practice

 

The Practice is following the guidelines published by Public Health England that is if you have either:

  • a new and continuous cough OR
  • a temperature (defined as 37.8°C)

Then if you live on your own you should self isolate for 7 days and if you live with your family, the whole family should self isolate for 14 days.

5. What can I do to protect myself

 

 

The best thing that we can all do is observe the self isolation requirements and practice good personal hygiene. 

Follow good hygiene by:

  • Washing hands in soap and water thoroughly and for at least 20 seconds.  Make sure you do this several times a day; before eating and after using the bathroom, after sneezing or coughing, when arriving at home or work, and when preparing food.  Hand gels are also good but make sure they contain at least 60% alcohol, some of the gels do not and so are not effective in this instance.
  • If you cough or sneeze, make sure you use a tissue and dispose of it straight away. If you don’t have a tissue, then do not use your hand to cover your mouth but use the crook of your elbow.  This helps keep your hands clean and stops the spread of germs when you touch surfaces.  Make sure you wash your hands afterwards in any event.
  • We all, without realising it, touch our faces several times an hour, and this contributes to the spread of germs.  Try to become more aware of this and reduce it as much as possible.

If you or anyone in your family shows any of the syptoms of Coronavirus then you must self isolate in accordance with the guidance.

Following the announcement on Monday 23rd March all individuals should now be practicing social distancing which means not leaving their homes for anything except specific reasons.

6. Can I get tested for Coronavirus

 

There are currently no Private options for having a Coronavirus test in the UK. 

The only laboratories undertaking the test are being coordinated through Public Health England as part of the overall government monitoring and control plan for the virus.  Public Health England tests for COVID-19 by taking samples (ear nose throat) and sending them to laboratories in the UK for processing. 

 

7. Will a face mask help me

 

The published advice is that the best way of protecting oneself from any winter virus, including the Coronavirus, is to exercise good hygiene as described above.

Individuals are not being recommended to wear facemasks (also known as surgical masks or respirators) to protect against the virus.  Facemasks are only recommended to be worn by individuals who have been confirmed as having Coronavirus to reduce the risk of transmitting the infection to other people. 

8. Should I cancel an existing appointment I have at the Practice, A Hospital or with a specialist

 

If you are not self isolating then there is no restriction on you attending the Practice, please continue with your appointments as you would normally.

If you are self isolating then we can change your appointment to a video consultation for you. Please speak to a member of our booking team who can help with this.

The Practice has taken steps to ensure to ensure the safety of both patients and staff, and has the highest levels of infection control in place.  The Practice has not treated any individuals who have been confirmed with Coronavirus.

If you have any concerns about a forthcoming appointment in a Hospital or with a Consultant outside of the Practice then if you are concerned it is best to discuss this directly with them.

9. Will I be able to go to a Private Hospital if I have Coronavirus

 

At this moment in time it is unlikely that patients will be able to go to a Private Hospital if they have Coronavirus.  This is because the Government’s containment plan is for the majority of patients to be isolated at home, and they will not be admitted into any hospitals private or NHS.

Individuals with more severe cases or who are at risk are likely to be assessed by Public Health England and if inpatient treatment is required they are likely to be treated at specialist NHS centres throughout the UK.

10. What are ‘flu like symptoms

 

Individuals are being asked to use the 111 online assessment tool if they experience either of the following:

  • a new and continuous cough
  • high temperature (>37.8°C)

11. Where can I find the 111 online assessment tool

 

The 111 online assessment tool can be found by following this link

https://111.nhs.uk/service/covid-19

12. What is social distancing

 

All individuals are being asked to observe social distancing for at least three weeks from Monday 23rd March in order to limit the spread of the virus.  This means you should only leave the house for very limited purposes which are:

  • Shopping for basic necessities and as infrequent as possible.
  • One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household.
  • Any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
  • Travelling for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home.

Even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household.

11. What is Shielding

 

Shielding is an enhanced form of social distancing for those who have underlying health conditions.  These conditions include:

  • Solid organ transplant recipients.
  • People with specific cancers
  • People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD.
  • People with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell).
  • People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection.
  • Women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired.

Shielding measures are:

  • Strictly avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • Do not leave your house.
  • Do not attend any gatherings. This includes gatherings of friends and families in private spaces, for example, family homes, weddings and religious services.
  • Do not go out for shopping, leisure or travel and, when arranging food or medication deliveries, these should be left at the door to minimise contact.
  • Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media.

For any advice on any of the above points please contact the Practice on 0207 935 1000

CLICK HERE TO BOOK AN APPOINTMENT, A HOME VISIT OR HOTEL VISIT 24HR A DAY, OR CALL +44 (0)207 935 1000.