NHS Dorset - Information
01.06.20 Dorset residents encouraged to use NHS Test and Trace service
The new NHS Test and Trace system launches today (Thursday 28 May) across England, and Public Health Dorset is encouraging any residents with symptoms of coronavirus to use the service.
NHS Test and Trace will identify those who have had close contact with people who have tested positive for coronavirus, helping to reduce the spread of the virus and save lives.
Public Health Dorset is reminding residents of what they need to do if they develop coronavirus symptoms:
- Isolate: As soon as you develop symptoms – a new, continuous cough OR a high fever OR a loss/change of taste or smell – you should self-isolate. Stay at home for 7 days, and anyone else in your household should stay home for 14 days.
- Test: Book a test online at uk/coronavirus or call 119 if you have no internet access. Anyone with symptoms can book a test, now including children under 5.
- Results: If your test is positive, you and your household need to complete your period of isolation. If it’s negative, you can all end your isolation.
- Share contacts: If your test is positive, the NHS Test and Trace service will contact you by text, email or phone to give you instructions on sharing details of places you’ve been and who you’ve been in close contact with so they can be given advice on what to do.
If you’re identified as a close contact of a positive case:
- Alert: You will be contacted by NHS Track and Trace by text, email or phone call, and you’ll be told what you need to do to communicate with the service.
- Isolate: You’ll be told to stay at home and self-isolate for 14 days from your last contact with the person who tested positive, even if you currently feel well, to avoid unknowingly spreading the virus. Other members of your household don’t need to self-isolate unless you have symptoms, but they should take extra care with handwashing, social distancing and avoiding contact with you.
- Test if needed: If you develop symptoms, other members of your household should self-isolate immediately for 14 days. You should book a test – if it’s positive, you should stay home for 7 days and you will need to follow the process for identifying contacts. If it is negative, you must still complete your 14-day self-isolation period because the virus may not be detectable yet.
Changes to NHS services in Dorset to help manage COVID-19 28.03.20
NHS services in Dorset are gearing up for changes help minimise the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and deal with any upturn in patient numbers caused by the outbreak.
This will involve reducing or closing some non-essential services to protect the most essential services and, ultimately, save lives. The NHS regularly plans for such events, so its staff are prepared and have a clear understanding of what will work best.
Dr Steve Tomkins, Medical Director for Dorset HealthCare, said: “We will be looking at providing services in different ways to meet the needs of patients, families and communities.
“Some of our staff will be re-deployed from their usual services to areas where their expertise is most needed, and we are working with teams across Dorset’s NHS system to manage any impact this may have on patients.”
From now on, people won’t be able to turn up at a GP surgery, minor injuries unit or urgent treatment centre without an appointment.
Weymouth’s Urgent Treatment Centre and Minor Injuries Units (MIUs) at Blandford, Bridport, Portland, Shaftesbury, Sherborne, Swanage and Wimborne hospitals are still running, but by appointment only.
You can no longer walk into these services. If you have an ailment or injury which requires urgent care, please call your local MIU or 01305 762541 and you will be given advice or booked in for a face-to-face appointment at the appropriate site.
If you need GP services, please refer to your practice website for information on how to access GP care. If you do not have online access, please phone your GP instead. The clinical staff in your GP surgery will speak to you on the phone to assess your medical need and how to manage it.
This use of telephone triage will keep both the public and our staff safe. However, rest assured that if you need to be seen, you will be seen.
Practices will be increasingly working together over the coming weeks to support patients.
Emergency departments are still open 24/7 for serious conditions and injuries. Phone NHS 111 if you’re not sure what support you need, or call 999 for anything life threatening as normal.
If you think you have symptoms of coronavirus go to nhs.uk/coronavirus to find out what to do. Staying at home, washing hands as directed for 20 seconds regularly, and observing the latest government guidelines will help keep you and NHS staff safe.
Hospitals have also suspended all non-urgent elective operations for at least three months and there are new restrictions on visiting patients. Check the hospital websites for the latest information.
Dr Tomkins added:
“We know many people will be unsettled and concerned by changes to NHS services, and fully understand that. However, these changes are absolutely necessary to ensure we can effectively manage the current outbreak, keep people safe and, ultimately, save lives.
“We will be contacting people about cancelled operations and appointments, and anyone else directly affected, as soon as possible.
“In the meantime, please remember that our staff are extremely busy at present dealing with the impacts of COVID-19 and that you should call upon NHS services only when absolutely necessary. This will help us to help you.
“We thank everyone for their patience and understanding at this challenging time for everyone.”
For regular updates about hospital and community services in Dorset, go to the following websites:
Dorset County Hospital: www.dchft.nhs.uk
Dorset HealthCare: www.dorsethealthcare.nhs.uk/
Poole Hospital: www.poole.nhs.uk/
Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals: www.rbch.nhs.uk/
Read the latest government guidelines on how to control the coronavirus, protecting yourself and others, health and wellbeing, employment and working safely,
Latest coronavirus Government guidelines
In common with other businesses and organisations, pharmacies and opticians will be adhering to social distancing so whilst you may have to wait longer than normal to get the help you need, you can get it. If you need medicines, your GP will be asking you to nominate a pharmacy so that the prescription can be sent electronically for you. You can save time by getting on-line access through your surgery to request prescriptions.
Find a pharmacy and check opening times at https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-pharmacy/
You can also download our Waitless app to locate your nearest pharmacy, opening times and travel distances.
Technology - Making the NHS more accessible
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing, GPs throughout Dorset have been asking people to consider alternative ways of contacting them in order to help reduce the spread of the virus amongst local communities and minimising their own personal risk.
Read more about how technology can help you access GP services and watch our short video.
Urgent Treatment Centres and Minor Injuries Units
For the most up to date opening times and contact details please visit the Dorset HealthCare website
Carers' week 8-14 June 2020 -Find out more https://www.carersweek.org/about-us
Local carers support organisations
Local carers support organisations will be holding virtual coffee mornings, workshops, poetry writing events for carers this week. They will also be available for telephone chats and online coffee and tea! To find out more please contact:
Carer support Dorset
Tel 0800 3688349