Covid-19 Antibody Testing
Covid-19 IgG Antibody testing is available at the practice for patients for a fee of £75.00
Coronavirus continues to circulate at high levels in all boroughs in North West London and our hospitals remain very busy. It is absolutely vital that everyone continues to follow the national lockdown guidance to stay home; the single most important action we can all take to protect the NHS and save lives.
National lockdown guidance is available here www.gov.uk/coronavirus
What is the best way to slow the spread of the virus?
1)Wash your hands more often than usual, for at least 20 seconds (sing happy birthday twice) and whenever you:
- get home or into work
- blow your nose, sneeze or cough
- eat or handle food
It's important to use soap and water as often as you can. You can use hand sanitiser if soap and water is not available
2) Cover your mouth with a tissue when coughing and bin used tissues straight away and wash your hand afterwards
3) Try to avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth without first washing your hands
For more information please visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/common-questions/
Symptoms of COVID-19 are most commonly any of the below. If you have any of these symptoms you must stay at home and arrange to have a test:
- anew continuous cough
- a high temperature
- a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)
Further information on testing below and here https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test .
Coronavirus: managing your symptoms
Many people will have mild coronavirus symptoms and will be able to treat their symptoms at home. You can find out more about managing your symptoms here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-and-treatment/how-to-treat-symptoms-at-home/
When to seek help
If your symptoms worsen and you experience any of the following you should seek advice from NHS 111, online at 111.nhs.uk or by calling 111.
- Feeling breathless or difficulty breathing, especially when standing up or moving
- Severe muscle aches or tiredness
- Shakes or shivers
- If you use a pulse oximeter, your blood oxygen level is 94% or 93% or continues to be lower than your usual reading where your normal oxygen saturation is below 95% (re-take a reading within an hour first)
- Sense that something is wrong (general weakness, severe tiredness, loss of appetite, peeing much less than normal, unable to care for yourself – simple tasks like washing and dressing or making food).
Seek emergency help by calling 999 if –
- You are unable to complete short sentences when at rest due to breathlessness
- Your breathing gets worse suddenly.
- If you use a pulse oximeter and your blood oxygen levels are 92% or less (retake your reading immediately first)
- OR if you develop other worrying symptoms.
You can measure the oxygen levels in your blood at home with the help of a small device called a ‘pulse oximeter’. Your GP will be able to advise if this is necessary and provide one if needed.
Covid-19 Vaccination Programme
This week, the NHS in NW London started to deliver the Covid-19 vaccine, in line with the government’s priority list of which people will get it first.
This is a very exciting development and we want to be clear about how it will work for local people.
The NHS will get in touch with you directly when it is your turn to be vaccinated.
The NHS will contact you when we are able to offer you an appointment, this will either be a letter, or phone call from your GP.
- We know it can be frustrating to see some people being offered the vaccine when you have not yet heard about your own; we are opening all our vaccination sites as quickly as possible and we will get to you soon.
- If you miss the phone call please don’t worry, we will call again or send you a letter.
- Please don’t contact your doctor or the NHS asking about vaccination; this is not a service that you are able to book in advance. The NHS will contact you when your turn comes in the months ahead. If you are contacted, please do attend the appointment.
- Please also be aware some people may receive two invites. If this happens, please pick the site you would prefer to go for your vaccination and follow the booking-in advice provided. You can ignore the second invite.
- Travelling to and from a vaccination site is essential travel, but please remember to wear a face mask when visiting and adhere to social distancing measures.
- Be ready to accept your invite when called - reading the covid19 vaccination guide for adults leaflet is a god way to prepare – you can find this leaflet here.
- Local GP Genevieve Small talk about her experience of having the vaccine.
- We must all continue to follow the national public health guidance, covid-19 is still very prevalent in our community.
NWL vaccination information in full here – https://www.nwlondonccgs.nhs.uk/coronavirus/nhs-covid-19-vaccination-programme/large-vaccination-site-locations
Joint advice from the NHS and law enforcement agencies on COVID-19 Vaccination scams
In the UK, coronavirus vaccines will only be available via the National Health Services of England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. You can be contacted by the NHS, your employer, a GP surgery or pharmacy local to you, to receive your vaccine. Remember, the vaccine is free of charge. At no point will you be asked to pay.
- The NHS will never ask you for your bank account or card details.
- The NHS will never ask you for your PIN or banking password.
- The NHS will never arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine.
- The NHS will never ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of personal documents such as your passport, driving licence, bills or pay slips.
If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up. If you are suspicious about an email you have received, forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Suspicious text messages should be forwarded to the number 7726 which is free of charge.
If you believe you are the victim of a fraud, please report this to Action Fraud as soon as possible by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.
The NCSC is asking people to report suspect emails to its Suspicious Email Reporting Service simply by forwarding them to email@example.com. All emails forwarded to the service are analysed and if they are found to link to malicious content, it will be taken down or blocked, helping prevent future victims of crime.
The Suspicious Email Reporting Service is a world first which was launched last April by the NCSC in conjunction with the City of London Police. It has now received more than four million emails from the public, leading to the removal of over 26,000 scams and over 49,000 links to malicious content.
Further information about Covid-19 vaccine scams can be found here.
Pausing Planned Procedures - Due to a rise in Covid-19 Numbers - Statement from North West London Clinical Commissioning Group
Like the rest of the capital, hospitals across North West London are now very busy. At a sector and trust level, we have launched plans to care safely for this increase in patients and actions include standing up additional critical care capacity with some staff redeployed and on standby for redeployment to support patients.
With admission rates still rising due to Covid-19, we have made a decision to reduce the levels of non-urgent, planned care and some outpatient appointments. This will allow us to continue to provide all urgent and emergency care, including cancer care.
Patients who are affected by this decision will be contacted directly as soon as possible. If they so not hear from the hospital/clinic, patients should visit their hospital or attend their phone/video appointment as planned.
NWLCCG is already taking every precaution to ensure our patients, visitors and staff are safe in our hospitals and encourage patients that require urgent or emergency care to access the support they need.
We know this will be disappointing news for those waiting for planned treatment, and we are sorry for this. We will monitor this position on an on-going basis so that we can stand back up non urgent care as soon as possible.
To keep patients on our wards safe, visitors will not be able to attend any of our sites, however, compassionate visits to vulnerable individuals can still be arranged with ward teams.
Accessing NHS Services
If you need medical attention, the NHS is open, contact your GP, use the 111 online service or call 111 when your GP is closed. In a medical emergency as always you should dial 999
Tier 4 Guidance
We advise residents to follow the tier 4 national guidance over the Christmas period to stay at home, with their household and minimise contact with others
The full tier guidance can be found here - Tier 4: Stay at Home - Gove.UK (www.gov.uk) - with summary below:
- It is vital to follow the “Hands, Face, Space” guidance – and that get a test locally if you develop any Covid-19 symptoms.
- Stay home unless making essential journeys
- All non-essential shops and close contact businesses, including hairdressers, nail salons and gyms in the borough will close
- People should work from home if they can
- No mixing of households allowed indoors
- No overnight stays outside your household or support bubble in Tier 4
- We should not travel outside of your local Tier 4 area
- We are allowed to meet one other person outdoors
We wish you well during this very difficult time.
Dr Victoria Muir's Practice kindly asks patients who have a query regarding their outpatient appointment or procedure to contact the clinic directly as the practice will not have access to this information.
Rapid Coronavirus testing for people without symptoms
Some people have Covid without knowing it, because they don’t show or feel symptoms. All North West London Local Authorities are currently offering rapid testing using lateral flow tests, particularly for critical care workers unable to work at home.
Further information on how to get a rapid lateral flow test in a local test centre is available on your Local council website.
Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19
If you are in this group, you will previously have received a letter from the NHS or from your GP telling you this. You may have been advised to shield in the past. New guidance is available here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19
Help Us Help You – access Mental Health services
We know mental health needs are increasing as a result of the pandemic, help is available from the NHS.
- The NHS is asking anyone facing feelings of anxiety and depression to come forward for care.
- Just talking can help – and NHS talking therapies are an effective way to address mental health issues.
- NHS Talking therapies can be delivered safely even during lockdown, with appointments available over the phone and online. Face to face appointments are also still available, and services have implemented new measures to limit infection risks.
- Download and circulate the new resources amongst your networks to reach as many people as possible.
Access services near you, you can refer yourself or speak to your GP or another healthcare professional for a referral. Visit www.westlondon.nhs.uk/service/iapt/ or www.talkingtherapies.cnwl.nhs.uk/.