Covid-19 (Coronavirus) - Keeping safe and well
COVID-19 is an illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called coronavirus.
This page will be updated regularly with information and guidance for patients, carers, friends and family.
Our staff understand that these are worrying times and that you and your loved ones will have lots of concerns, particularly about your loved ones. We understand those concerns and are here to help you throughout it.
The latest information on symptoms of Coronavirus infection as well as advice on looking after yourself and what to do if you are a carer can be found on nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/.
As a Trust, our top priority remains the safety of our patients and staff and as the Covid-19 situation continues to evolve we are working with NHS England and our staff to ensure that we are working in line with Government guidance. This means that in order to reduce face to face contact we may make changes to services and to patient care. We will only do this to protect our patients and staff and to ensure the whole NHS system works together to protect those whose need is greatest. Please click here for the latest information.
Where possible we will try and use alternative ways and methods for appointments with our community patients. For our outpatient appointments we will try and undertake these appointments using the use of technology including telephone, Facetime or Skype calls.
Where an appointment is non-essential or can wait we may also defer the appointment in discussion with you to avoid the need of you having to come to a clinic with other people.
If you have any concerns then please do contact the team or your allocated care coordinator.
A number of voluntary groups across South West London are offering their help to those who are unable to leave their homes during this difficult time. We have compiled a list of voluntary groups across Wandsworth, Merton, Richmond, Sutton and Kingston and have also included contact details for those services if you need them. You can find a full list of volunteer services pdf here (152 KB) .
You can find lots of helpful information and guidance:
- NHS Website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
- Gov.uk: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance
Support in a crisis
Please only attend A and E if you have an emergency with your physical health. The Mental Health Support Line can help and direct you to the right service for your mental health.
If you are already a patient (adult or young person under the age of 18) at our Trust, between the hours of 9am-5pm Monday to Friday we encourage you to call the mental health team that looks after you. You can find their contact details here. Otherwise, please contact the 24/7 Mental Health Support Line.
If you are calling urgently from a partner agency and require support and direction, you are encouraged to also contact the 24/7 Mental Health Support Line.
If you are Deaf, you can call our Mental Health Support Line using Sign Live Video Relay Service (VRS):
- On a computer, go to https://signlive.co.uk/login/ and register using Facebook, Google or email
- On phone, iPad or tablet download SignLive’s app for free and register
You will then be able to call the Trust for free.
The only exceptional circumstances where one visitor – an immediate family member or carer – will be permitted to visit are listed below:
- A parent, carer, or appropriate adult visiting your child.
- The patient is receiving end-of-life care.
Please find other ways of keeping in touch with your loved ones in hospital, like phone and video calls. We will help with this wherever we can.
Everyone should follow the expert national guidance on social distancing and self-isolation, staying at home wherever possible, to help limit the spread of coronavirus, protect the most vulnerable people in our communities and our NHS.
Family and Friends are asked to not visit even in the above circumstances if they:
- Should be self-isolating
- Are unwell, or have a fever or cough
- Are vulnerable or aged 70+
- Are aged less than 12 (except with the ward manager’s permission)
Information for patients on Clozapine
If you are not well, please let your clozapine clinic know before you attend the clinic for your blood test. They will talk through with you if you need to come in or if we can send you a small additional supply of your medicine until you are feeling better.
In some circumstances we may be able to visit you at home to carry out your blood test.
Symptoms – what to look out for
- a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
- a new, persistent continuous cough – this means you've started coughing repeatedly
If you experience either of these you should stay at home and self isolate.
You can find out more about symptoms and what to do here
How to protect yourself and others
- wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
- always wash your hands when you get home or into work
- use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
- avoid close contact with people who have symptoms of coronavirus
- only travel on public transport if you need to
- work from home, if you can
- avoid social activities, such as going to pubs, restaurants, theatres and cinemas
- avoid events with large groups of people
- use phone, online services, or apps to contact your GP surgery or other NHS services
- do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
- do not have visitors to your home, including friends and family
What to do if you have symptoms
- Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
- You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home.
- Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you're staying at home.
Staying at home or self isolating
If you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms
If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days.
If you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible.
Read the NHS advice about staying at home.
Urgent advice: Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:
- you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
- your condition gets worse
- your symptoms do not get better after 7 days
It is particularly important for people who:
- are 70 or over
- have a long-term condition
- are pregnant
- have a weakened immune system
Leisure and keeping occupied
With this in mind, we have assembled some uplifting and hopefully enjoyable resources for you explore.
We hope you find something that suits you!
Managing a routine and daily living at home
With this in mind, we have brought together some resources that you might find helpful over the coming weeks.
Hopefully it will not be for too long, keep safe and keep connected to others if you possibly can, that will help!
Information and ideas for children and families
- Self care for young people - www.annafreud.org/on-my-mind/self-care/
- Young minds advice for young people - https://youngminds.org.uk/find-help/looking-after-yourself/coronavirus-and-mental-health/
- Young minds advice for parents to support children and young people - https://youngminds.org.uk/find-help/for-parents/supporting-your-child-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic/
- Royal College Of Occupational Therapists advice for families - www.rcot.co.uk/staying-well-when-social-distancing
Information and resources for carers
Information and resources for older people
The various restrictions that have been put in place, ranging from the closure of important services such as day care, to the prohibition of visits to care homes affects older people more than most, particularly those with dementia and their carers.
As such we hope that you find the guidance and resources below helpful.
General Guidance and information:
- COVID-19: information for families looking after someone with dementia Dementia UK this includes information on self isolation, tips on activities, games and physical exercise as well as helplines
- Alzheimer Europe Living-with-dementia/COVID-19 Alzheimer Europe has collected resources on support for person with dementia and their carer and these will be updated on regular basis
- COVID 19 tips-for-dementia-caregivers Alzheimer’s Society This paper provides guidance for carers as well as professionals and includes ideas on managing ‘wandering’, responding to dementia related behaviours and social isolation
- Support for people with Dementia COVID-19 Alzheimer’s Society Information and support for people with dementia who may be feeling lonely and isolated
- Corona virus: Guidance for people with dementia and their carers Alzheimer Scotland 2 page leaflet outlining recognising the symptoms of virus, avoiding it and useful tips around exercise and ways ofhttps://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/coronavirus/staying-safe-and-well-at-home/social-distancing-and-self-isolation/ reducing isolation.
- Advice on Social Distancing (Age UK)
- corona virus online free therapy sessions : voluntary therapists over the phone
- Contact your local social services, many of whom have set up a network of volunteers to help with things like shopping
Guidance for family carers
In the latter case, if the person’s care needs are such that any remote support will not be sufficient, the family carers should adhere to the social distancing guidelines ie washing hands immediately on arrival, no physical contact, keeping a distance of 2m wherever possible and keeping visits as short as possible.
Information and advice or people with learning difficulties
The following information supports the learning disability population understand the information in a format that uses pictures and easy to read language.
- The University of Glasgow: Access the Self-help Booklet (14 KB)
- SWLSTG SaLT Face Mask Communication Tips (271 KB)
- Supporting Children with LD ASD with COVID Isolation (5) (2.55 MB)
- PPE Poster (1.03 MB)
- PPE easy read covid 19 (1.57 MB)
- COVID 19 LD Information Pack (5.86 MB)
- Easy read wearing oxygen mask (580 KB)
- Having swabs taken easy read (407 KB)
- LD Senate or use by families 27 3 2020 (1.74 MB)
- LD Senate Coronavirus resources for use with people with learning disabilities 30 3 2020 (5.08 MB)
Safeguarding and Covid-19: Keeping everyone safe
Families are under increased amounts of stress due to financial pressures, household isolation, school closures and lack of normal outlets for stress and frustrations.
Adults are at increased risk of financial exploitation by some pretending to help under the guise of ‘COVID kindness’.
Children, young people and adults who are already at risk of abuse or neglect may be more at risk as the normal support mechanisms for them are not in place. Many children and adults may be struggling without the regular contact and support they get from friends, workmates or school.
Self or household isolation could mean some people are trapped in their homes with abusers and isolated from people who can help them.
Here are some useful contacts and websites you may find helpful at this time.
Are you experiencing domestic abuse? You are not alone.
- National Domestic Violence Helpline 0808 2000 247
- Women’s Aid online chat service (Monday-Friday 10am-12pm)
- Men’s Advice Line 0808 801 0327
- NSPCC Helpline 0808 800 5000 or email email@example.com
- Specific advice on managing self-isolation and anxiety about coronavirus here.
Other useful websites and resources
- Merton Council Coronavirus information
- Sutton Council Coronavirus information
- Wandsworth Council Coronavirus information
- Wandsworth Council Community Hub
- Kingston Council Coronavirus information
- Richmond Council Coronavirus information
- Carers UK
- Carers Support Merton
- Wandsworth Carers Centre
- Kingston Carers Network
- Richmond Carers Centre
- Sutton Carers Centre
- Mind - Coronavirus and your wellbeing
- Rethink Covid 19 support