Requests for Isolation letters for patients due to be admitted to hospital
The Practice have been receiving requests from patients for MED3s (sicknotes) or letters for their employers, when the patient has been notified that they (or a member of the household) need to self-isolate for 14 days prior to elective admission to hospital.
We have been advised that unless the patient is ill a MED3 should NOT be issued.
We therefore advise:
1. The admission letter from the hospital should be sufficient evidence for an employer.
2. Apply to https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note/ for a self-isolation note. You should answer yes to the question: “Have you been told to self-isolate by an NHS service…?” and tick the box that says “I have been told to self-isolate by a test and trace service”.
3. Print the letter below and give a copy to your employer.
As of 18.05.2020, a loss or a change in a person's normal sense of smell (can also affect taste as the two are closely linked) has been added to new continuous cough or fever as a symptom of coronavirus and individuals should self isolate.
Cough and loss of smell or taste can persist after 7 days. You do not need to keep self-isolating after 7 days unless you have a high temperature or are unwell.
What to do if your child is ill or injured
Please click on the document below on what to do if your child is ill or injured during this pandemic.
Practices in Bexley are getting a huge number of requests for inhalers, particularly from patients that have not had these prescribed for years. There is no evidence that these will help with corona symptoms and local chemists are now running out of inhalers for those that need them for their daily asthma/COPD management. Please refrain from requesting these 'just in case' so as to help those that need them get their treatment. Your request for inhaler(s) will be rejected if it is not something that you are usually on or have not had for a long time.
We are getting a large number of calls from patients with coughs or a temperature who think they may have coronavirus. Please follow online advice using this link. If you have symptoms and are coping you are supposed to self-isolate for 7 days. If you feel that you can't cope with your symptoms you are advised to call 111, not your GP. Please follow the online guidance and call us only if you are unsure as to what to do.
The government recently sent out letters to those who have clinical conditions which are likely to put them at the highest risk of mortality and severe morbidity from Covid-19. This group were advised that they should undergo strict social isolation for at least 12 weeks and included the following people:
- 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 disease)
- People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection
- People who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired
The following who were not written to individually have also been asked to take steps to reduce their social interactions in order to reduce the transmission of coronavirus:
- aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
- under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (i.e. anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds):
- chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
- chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
- chronic kidney disease
- chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
- chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy
- problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
- a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
- being seriously overweight (a BMI of 40 or above)
- those who are pregnant
A subset of this group have clinical conditions which are also likely to put them at the highest risk of mortality and severe morbidity from Covid-19. We are starting to help the government identify these patients, but if you feel you have a medical condition that makes you vulnerable to Covid-19 then please register yourself, or ask someone to do it for you, at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable and say whether or not you need support.
Please find below a link to the Government guidance. This guidance covers the whole of the UK population and not just those who have been sent a letter by the government. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable-adults
Local support can also be accessed from Bexley Council by visiting this link or by phoning the Bexley Coronavirus helpline on 0203 045 5398 which is open 8am to 6pm. Contact them if you need someone to get shopping, pick up other essentials, or to give you information, guidance and advice.
If you have a medical condition which puts you at higher risk of complications from Covid-19 infection (e.g. Asthma, COPD, High Blood Pressure) and have decided that you do not want to travel, the surgery can provide a print-out which lists your medical conditions. However we are unable to write bespoke letters or assess individual's suitability for travel.
The 111 website has now got the facility (111.nhs.uk/isolation-note) for patients to apply for isolation notes to give to employers. This is for: 1. those who have symptoms and have used the 111 online service, or 2. have been told by a healthcare professional that they have symptoms, or 3. live with someone who has coronavirus.
Statutory Sick Pay (Government advice)
People who cannot work due to coronavirus and are eligible for Statutory Sick Pay will get it from day one, rather than from the fourth day of the illness.
Statutory Sick Pay will be payable to people who are staying at home on government advice, not just those affected. Employers are urged to use their discretion about what evidence, if any, they ask for. If employees need to provide evidence to their employer that they need to stay at home due to coronavirus, they will be able to get it from NHS 111 Online (http://www.111.nhs.uk/isolation-note) and not from their doctor.
Self-employed claimants on Universal Credit who are required to stay at home or are ill as a result of coronavirus will not have a Minimum Income Floor (an assumed level of income) applied for a period of time while affected.