Important information about the coronavirus (COVID-19)
The NHS across Worcestershire and Herefordshire will be better prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases, if the public follows Public Health England advice.
The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of patients and staff which may mean your patient experience is subject to change.
The Chief Medical Officer announced on Friday 13 March that the country is moving into the ‘Delay’ stage of the response to coronavirus (Covid-19).
The new advice issued by the Chief Medical Officer is to stay at home for 7 days if you have either:
• a high temperature or
• a new continuous cough
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or a hospital. 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 online.
Stay At Home advice can be found here.
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.
Information remains subject to regular change and updates. More information can be found on the NHS website here.
Medical certificate for absence from work related to the Covid-19 pandemic
Due to the current pandemic and pressure on General Practice, we are prioritising the urgent medical needs of our patients and will not be providing a medical certificate for this absence.
By law employers may use their discretion around the need for medical evidence if an employee is absent from work for more than seven days due to sickness.
If you have been asked to provide a medical certificate please complete this form and send to your employer
Exemption from wearing Fask Coverings
The Dow Surgery received the following advice and guidance from the Local Medical Council regarding providing letters for patients who are requesting exemption from wearing face masks/coverings.
14th July 2020
Re: Guidance note for patients requesting exemption letters
We are aware that some patients might be understandably anxious about the Government’s recent announcements around the use of face masks in various public settings.
GPs are unfortunately not in a position to provide individual risk assessments or letters for patients who feel that they should be exempt from wearing a face mask.
Worcestershire and Herefordshire Local Medical Committee has therefore prepared this guidance note as the statutory body that advises and supports all GPs and practice teams across both counties.
The government guidance on exemptions suggests there is no requirement for evidence for exemption therefore it is sufficient for an individual to self-declare this.
The responsibility for issuing exemptions lies with the transport provider not your GP. Similarly, practices are under no obligation to provide letters of support for anyone who does not fall under the list of exemptions but considers them to have another reason to be exempted.
Government advice on the use of face coverings can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers#face-coverings
Some people don’t have to wear a face covering including for health, age or equality reasons. Some transport staff may not wear a face covering if it is not required for their job.
We hope that this guidance provides some reassurance for you on this issue.