National & Local Coronavirus Updates
The latest news can be found on the GOV.uk website
You can also find guidance on the NHS111 website https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19/
If you have Covid-19 symptoms, please visit the government website - https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test - use the online service to book a test. GP practices do NOT have the ability to book or perform a test for you. If you are unable to use the online service, you can contact 119. Please do not contact the surgery to organise a Covid-19 test and do NOT attend the GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
If you have symptoms, you should stay at home, arrange a test and not go out until you have the results back. Everyone in your household should also stay at home until the test results come back. If your test is positive, you will be advised on how long you and your household members need to stay at home for.
If are unwell and you cannot manage your covid symptoms at home, please contact NHS 111.
Suspected COVID19 and important information to keep safe while isolating at home
Please see leaflet below
COVID19 Isolating at Home
NEW NATIONAL LOCKDOWN FROM 05.11.2020
We understand that with the announcement of a new lockdown there are going to be a number of patients concerned about the situation, especially those in very vulnerable risk groups and also those with children attending educational settings. The current government advice about high risk groups is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november#protecting-people-more-at-risk-from-coronavirus
Further publication is due Monday, and the Government will be writing affected patients. The GPs at the surgery have no additional information above and beyond this and are unable to help with requests for sick notes or other letters in such circumstances.
For people concerned about children attending educational settings; we understand and sympathise with the concerns around children attending school at this time, especially if a household has extremely vulnerable members. As a practice we are very sorry, but decisions about children attending school are not ours to make. It's not something that we can help with. We would suggest a discussion between the people involved and the school to decide on the best course of action.
Bolton Council has produced an extensive FAQs which explain how to self-isolate, who needs to self-isolate and how long for.
They also include information on what to do if a child is asked to self-isolate by their school.
It would be helpful if practices could share the FAQs or the link to them on their websites.
Children returning to school/nursery
Following the return to schools after a long break, it is common for colds & viral infections to circulate. It is important to understand how COVID19 symptoms differ from the usual colds & viruses, please click on the link https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/
If your child has any of these symptoms, they must remain at home and a COVID tests needs to be arranged via https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/get-a-test-to-check-if-you-have-coronavirus/
Advice for parents during Coronavirus
Please click below for useful guidance from the Royal College of
Paediatrics and Child Health.
Parent Guide COVID19
When should I worry - guide for parents with children with coughs, colds, earaches and sore throats
When should I worry Booklet
Children who have been shielding or self isolating
Children who have been shielding, do NOT need a consultation/letter from the GP informing them they are safe to return to school. Click on the below link for the latest government guidance.
The Government has stated that from September school attendance will be mandatory once again. This decision has been taken because the current level of risk of infection is low and therefore “perceived risk of Covid to child or parent” will not be considered adequate grounds for a child to not attend school.
Pupils who are shielding or self-isolating:
We now know much more about coronavirus (COVID-19) and so in future there will be far fewer children and young people advised to shield whenever community transmission rates are high. Therefore, the majority of pupils will be able to return to school. You should note however that:
- a small number of pupils will still be unable to attend in line with public health advice because they are self-isolating and have had symptoms or a positive test result themselves; or because they are a close contact of someone who has coronavirus (COVID-19)
- shielding advice for all adults and children will pause on 1 August, subject to a continued decline in the rates of community transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). This means that even the small number of pupils who will remain on the shielded patient list can also return to school, as can those who have family members who are shielding. Read the current advice on shielding.
- if rates of the disease rise in local areas, children (or family members) from that area, and that area only, will be advised to shield during the period where rates remain high and therefore they may be temporarily absent (see below).
- some pupils no longer required to shield but who generally remain under the care of a specialist health professional may need to discuss their care with their health professional before returning to school (usually at their next planned clinical appointment). You can find more advice from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health at COVID-19 - ‘shielding’ guidance for children and young people.
If parents of pupils with significant risk factors are concerned, we recommend parents discuss their concerns with schools and schools provide reassurance of the measures they are putting in place to reduce the risk in school. Schools should be clear with parents that pupils of compulsory school age must be in school unless a statutory reason applies (for example, the pupil has been granted a leave of absence, is unable to attend because of sickness, is absent for a necessary religious observance etc).
You can get a note from 111 for your employer for the isolation period by visiting https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note/
Face Masks/Face Coverings
The latest guidance for face masks can be found on the government website
along with guidance on those who be considered exempt from wearing a mask
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. Please see the below letter for more information.
Guidance note for patients requesting exemption letters
You can download an exemption card, you will need to use the card most appropriate to your circumstances. If you are on regular medication for one of the exempted conditions, you could also consider having a copy of your repeat medication list with you from the right hand side of your prescriptions.
Patient Mask Exemption Card Own
For - public transport - some operators such as First Bus and Arriva have their own exception cards for which passengers can apply
First Bus - https://www.firstgroup.com/help-and-support/coronavirus-information/face-coverings
Arriva - https://www.arrivabus.co.uk/travel-help-and-accessibility/how-to-obtain-assistance-cards/
Childhood Immunisation Programme
During the pandemic, it is more important than ever to keep up with your child's immunisations to prevent outbreaks of other diseases. Our Childhood Immunisation Clinics are still continuing every week.
Please note: you will be contacted by the reception team on the morning of your appointment to check if your child or anyone in the household has COVID19 symptoms before you attend the practice.
Please click the below link for information and guidance from Healthwatch Bolton, including support groups and other information you may find useful during this time.
Diabetes Eye Screening Service
Update regarding eye screening service
If you have experienced a coronavirus (covid-19) infection and are still experiencing persistent symptoms, you can now access help directly to aid your recovery and rehabilitation - https://www.yourcovidrecovery.nhs.uk/
Domestic Abuse Support Guidance during COVID
Find out how to get help if you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse.
Fort Alice Bolton
Keeping yourself and your family safe from Domestic Abuse
If you need advice or support, please ring 01204 356 677
You can also contact via email@example.com or on live chat via www.fortalice.org.uk
Fortalice safety advice poster
PRACTICE NEWS - CORONAVIRUS
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, how you contact your GP surgery will be different at the moment. This is to limit face-face contact where possible and help stop the spread of coronavirus
Face-to-face appointments are available to all patients, but you will be asked to discuss your conditions over the phone or online first to assess what would be most appropriate for you
In addition to face-to-face consultations, many GP practices are offering consultations online or over the phone. This can be a convenient and flexible way to receive healthcare but if you would prefer to see a GP or healthcare professional in person then this will be arranged for you.
Please visit our home page click onto the blue “Online Consult” link to fill in a health enquiry form which will be reviewed by one of our clinical staff. If you do not have access to the internet, you can call the practice. If you do call the practice, one of our trained reception staff who will book you in with the correct healthcare professional. Please be aware that you will be asked the reason for your call.
If it is agreed that you need to be seen they will arrange a time for you to attend the practice – you MUST wear a face mask.
Measures are in place to keep you safe from infection during your visit to the surgery.
We would like to thank you for your patience and understanding during this difficult period and helping us to keep our patients and our staff safe and well.
Video Consultations - During this coronavirus outbreak, if you call with an urgent problem, the doctors at the surgery may need to use video consultation to assess you. This requires your smartphone using the internet browser and camera. Please update your phone operating system and internet browser to the latest version if possible. Thank you.
If you are asked to attend the surgery to see one of our doctors or nurses:
- Anyone aged 11 or over will be required to wear a face mask/covering. The practice has limited stocks, so if you have your own face masks, please use these so we can ensure we maintain a stock of face masks. If you do not have access to your own face mask/covering, you could make your own at home - please search for "make your own face mask" on youtube. Further guidance about wearing masks can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-wear-and-make-a-cloth-face-covering/how-to-wear-and-make-a-cloth-face-covering
- Please ensure you keep 2 metres apart and maintain social distancing where possible.
- Please stand away from the reception desk.
- Please use the hand sanitiser facility when entering the premises and leaving the premises.
- Please attend appointments alone wherever possible unless you require a carer, interpreter, or are attending with children/babies (only 1 adult to attend).
Medicals - Please note - we are offering a limited service to provide appointments for medical - e.g. taxi/HGV/fostering - whilst we manage the coronavirus outbreak.
Travel - The surgery is currently receiving a lot of requests for travel cancellation forms from people who want to cancel their trips due to the risk of contracting coronavirus. Please Click Here for advice from the Foreign Office regarding travelling to specific areas of the world. Depending on your specific travel insurance policy, most insurance companies will cover cancelled trips to countries to which the Foreign Office advise not to travel. No certificate from your GP is required. In addition, please be advised that the surgery is unable to provide letters or certificates to travel insurance companies supporting requests for refunds by patients who, without any significant medical illness, cancel their travel plans.