HIGH RISK PATIENTS - WHO IS HIGH RISK AND WHAT IS THE ADVICE
If you're at high risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus, there are extra things you should do to avoid catching it.
Not leaving your home – you should not go out to do shopping, visit friends or family, or attend any gatherings avoiding close contact with other people in your home as much as possible Read the full advice on protecting yourself if you're at high risk from coronavirus on GOV.UK.
Who is high risk?
You may be at high risk from coronavirus if you:
- Solid organ transplant recipients.
- People with specific cancers:
- People with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radical radiotherapy for lung cancer people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
- People having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
- People having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
- People who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
- 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.
If you're at high risk, you will be contacted by the NHS by Sunday 29 March 2020.
During the Coronavirus pandemic the following services and clinics will be cancelled until further notice:
- Cytology testing e.g. smear tests
- Audiology clinics
- Pheblotomy tests at Warwick Hospital (alternative arrangements at Stratford Hospital available)
- Physiotherapy services
- Eye screening
- AAA screening clinics
- Spire Parkway will close to private patients on 15th April for 3 months and will become an NHS facility. Please see Facebook posts for further information.
The NHS in Warwickshire and Public Health England (PHE) are extremely well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal.
The risk to the general public is moderate. If you have arrived back to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau within 14 days, follow the specific advice for returning travellers.
Anyone who has travelled to China or places listed above in the last 14 days and develops symptoms of cough or fever or shortness of breath, should immediately:
- Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with the flu
- Call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the country
Information for the public is available at gov.uk/coronavirus.
Like the common cold, coronavirus infection usually occurs through close contact with a person with novel coronavirus via cough and sneezes or hand contact. A person can also be infected by touching contaminated surfaces if they do not wash their hands.
The risk of being in close contact with a person with coronavirus or contaminated surfaces is very low at the current time, as members of the public who have visited Wuhan, Hubei province, China are currently in isolation.
Testing of suspected coronavirus cases is carried out in line with strict regulations. This means that suspected cases are kept in isolation, away from public areas of the hospital/GP practice and returned home also in isolation. Any equipment that come into contact with suspected cases are thoroughly cleaned as appropriate. Specific guidance has also been shared with NHS staff to help safeguard them and others. Patients can be reassured that their safety is a top priority, and are encouraged to attend all appointments as usual.
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.
You can find the latest information and advice from Public Health England at www.gov.uk/coronavirus.