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KEY MESSAGES: 16 March 2020

**Email sent on behalf of the LMC, Clinical Directors and NHS Calderdale CCG**

Hi Folks

As promised the LMC, CDs and CCG are working hard behind the scenes to help make sense of the situation regarding covid19 in the hope that this will make things easier for you all.

Key points for today are below:

  1. Daily bulletin from LMC/CCG around 1pm:

We will send a bulletin to practices every day even if it’s just to say there is no change. Practices can rely on this bulletin to highlight key messages but this does not replace the need for practices to ensure they are following the most up to date guidance. If there is any sudden significant change that needs immediate implementation we will circulate this as an additional newsflash.

  • Key Messages:

The key messages from Friday are still current. Please emphasise the use of 111 online initially to reduce pressure on their phone service. (https://111.nhs.uk/)

  • Home visits:

Covid19 screening by practices includes for patients requesting home visits. If possible covid19 is identified, then the patient should be directed to 111 who will arrange home visits where needed. Home visits can be carried out as normal by practices if no covid19 risk identified.

  • Anyone with new onset fever and/or persistent cough in the last 7 days should self isolate.

This advice is the same even if they have other symptoms in addition e.g. sore throat, vomiting etc. If they are unwell whether from the cough/fever or other additional symptoms e.g. think they might have tonsillitis and require further medical assistance this should be via 111. If 111 are satisfied there is no risk of covid19 then the patient can contact GP to arrange a telephone/face to face appointment.

  • Unwell with covid19 symptoms:

If a patient is unwell, 111 will arrange assessment by a clinician wearing full PPE; so this assessment should not be attempted in the GP practice. Obviously if the patient is critically unwell and requires immediate assessment or active treatment this should be done in the isolation room as per the guidelines. (https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/20200305-COVID-19-PRIMARY-CARE-SOP-GP-PUBLICATION-V1.1.pdf)

  • Clear desk policy:

This is advised to reduce the risk of contamination and increase efficiency of deep cleaning rooms. All equipment that is not essential during every consultation should be kept in drawers or cupboards including unused PPE and personal belongings. Rooms potentially contaminated should not be used by any member of staff not wearing PPE until the room has been deep cleaned as per guidelines.

  • Accurx:

Practices are advised to consider utilising accurx or at least being familiar with it and ready to use it when the need arises. https://www.accurx.com/

As a reminder, national guidance can be found here: https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/primary-care/

We hope this is helpful – any constructive feedback will be well received. We are learning as we go along and our aim is purely to try and make the burden on practices as manageable as possible and ensure equity of care across Calderdale.

Thanks very much.

Dr Caroline Taylor CCG, Dr Seema Nagpaul LMC, Dr Fawad Azam CD

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