You may have received a short text or phone message from us regarding a Coronavirus Status Update, but due to size limitations when sending text messages, you have been directed to this page for further information.
This is an update from our last status update just over a month ago.
The country remains in national lockdown and the national emergency is ongoing. Things are still a long way off from being 'normal'.
Like many other businesses or organisations, we can only provide a restricted service due to reduced staff availability from sickness, vulnerable staff isolating and social distancing rules. We continue to manage cases remotely where possible to keep patients and staff safe.
However, in recent weeks, we are having to advise an increasing number of patients with symptoms of a minor and self-limiting nature, that would have largely got better with self-care, self-help and a little patience.
There are lots of resources to help you manage your minor illness before you need to give us a call, for instance:.
We need to remind patients that, although we are open, this is for urgent cases that are absolutely necessary only.
Many people are calling in, but we know that those patients who should actually be contacting us during this time of essential need, are not getting in touch.
For instance, if you have worrying symptoms that could be related to cancer, such as coughing up, passing or peeing blood, altered bowel habit, unexpected weight loss, a worrying lump, or not being able to swallow, then again, you do need to ring for advice.
We realise some patients are not presenting to any health services at the present time because they do not want to go into hospital, but we encourage all patients with symptoms of serious illness to seek appropriate timely advice.
Our symptom checker will indicate which symptoms may mean your condition is more serious (identified with a red flag ) and which means you need to seek earlier advice:
We know that people do not stop becoming seriously unwell during a pandemic, so usual emergency rules do still apply.
For instance, if you think you are having a heart attack, suspect a stroke, have uncontrolled bleeding, think your child has meningitis, or you have severe breathlessness, you still need to ring 999.
All patients, who are at very high for complications if they were to contract coronavirus, have now been notified, including those who self-reported on the official government website.
We understand there will be many questions and some of the very vulnerable will need additional help and support, so we direct all patients and their carers, to visit:
We have also passed on the list of our very high risk patients to our care co-ordinator and social prescriber so that support can be offered where it is needed.
Understandably, we are speaking to an increasing number of patients whose mental health has been adversely affected. These are very anxious times for everybody with no quick fix. Fortunately though, there is help and support available.
If you feel you need more help and support, please visit the new mental health section that we have built specially to help those who are struggling with their mental health during this current crisis.
We are still open and here to help, but we hope that the resilience and strong will to cope that has been learnt over the last few months will not be forgotten.
Many thanks for your co-operation during these very difficult times.
© Dr Michael Wong 2019