IMPORTANT ADVICE TO KEEP YOU SAFE FROM CORONAVIRUS
Your safety and the continued provision of the care and treatment you need is a
priority for the NHS. This letter gives you advice on how to protect yourself and
access the care and treatment you need.
The NHS has identified you, or the named person you care for, as someone at
risk of severe illness if you catch Coronavirus (also known as COVID-19). This
is because you have an underlying disease or health condition that means if you
catch the virus, you are more likely to be admitted to hospital than others.
The safest course of action is for you to stay at home at all times and avoid all
face-to-face contact for at least twelve weeks from today, except from carers
and healthcare workers who you must see as part of your medical care. This
will protect you by stopping you from coming into contact with the virus.
If you are in touch with friends, family or a support network in your community who
can support you to get food and medicine, follow the advice in this letter. If you do
not have contacts who can help support you go to www.gov.uk/coronavirusextremely-vulnerable, the Government’s dedicated website.
If, at any point, you think you have developed symptoms of coronavirus, such as a
new, continuous cough and/or high temperature (above 37.8 °C), seek clinical advice
using the NHS 111 online coronavirus service (https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19/). If you
do not have access to the internet, call NHS 111. Do this as soon as you get
You, or the person you care for, should:
• Strictly avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus
(COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature (above 37.8 °C) and/or a
new and continuous cough.
• Not leave your home.
• Not attend any gatherings. This includes gatherings of friends and families in
Private spaces e.g. family homes, weddings and religious services
• Not go out for shopping, leisure or travel. When arranging food or medication
Deliveries, these should be left at the door to minimise contact
• keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media
• Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services
• Regularly wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. Ask carers or
support workers who visit your home to do the same.
The rest of your household should support you to stay safe and stringently follow
guidance on social distancing, reducing their contact outside the home. In your
home, you should:
• Minimise the time you spend with others in shared spaces (kitchen, bathroom and
sitting areas) and keep shared spaces well ventilated
• Aim to keep 2 metres (3 steps) away from others and encourage them to sleep in
a different bed where possible
• Use separate towels and, if possible, use a separate bathroom from the rest of the
household, or clean the bathroom after every use
• Avoid using the kitchen when others are present, take your meals back to your
room to eat where possible, and ensure all kitchenware is cleaned thoroughly.
If the rest of your household are able to follow this guidance, there is no need for
them to take the full protective measures to keep you safe.
You will still get the medical care you need during this period. We are considering
alternative options for managing your care and will be in touch if any changes are
needed. Your hospital care team will be doing the same. We also advise that:
1. Carers and support workers who come to your home
Any essential carers or visitors who support you with your everyday needs can
continue to visit, unless they have any of the symptoms of coronavirus. All visitors
should wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, on arrival and often.
It is also a good idea to speak to your carers about what happens if one of them
becomes unwell. If you need help with care but you’re not sure who to contact
please visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable.
2. Medicines that you routinely take]
The government is helping pharmacies to deliver prescriptions. Prescriptions will
continue to cover the same length of time as usual. If you do not currently have your
prescriptions collected or delivered, you can arrange this by:
1. Asking someone who can pick up your prescription from the local pharmacy,
(this is the best option, if possible);
2. Contacting your pharmacy to ask them to help you find a volunteer (who will
have been ID checked) or deliver it to you.
You may also need to arrange for collection or delivery of hospital specialist
medication that is prescribed to you by your hospital care team.
3. Planned GP practice appointments
Wherever possible, we will provide care by phone, email or online. But if we decide
you need to be seen in person, we will contact you to arrange your visit to the
surgery or a visit in your home.
4. Planned hospital appointments
NHS England have written to your hospital to ask them to review any ongoing care
that you have with them. It is possible that some clinics and appointments will be
cancelled or postponed. Your hospital or clinic will contact you if any changes need
to be made to your care or treatment. Otherwise you should assume your care or
treatment is taking place as planned. Please contact your hospital or clinic directly if
you have any questions about a specific appointment.
5. Support with daily living
Please discuss your daily needs during this period of staying at home with carers,
family, friends, neighbours or local community groups to see how they can support
you. If you do not have anyone who can help you, please visit
This letter is evidence, for your employer, to show that you cannot work outside the
home. You do not need to get a fit note from your GP. If you need help from the
benefit system visit https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit.
6. Urgent medical attention
If you have an urgent medical question relating to your existing medical condition, or
the condition of the person you are caring for please contact us, or your specialist
hospital care team, directly. Where possible, you will be supported by phone or
online. If your Clinician decides you need to be seen in person, the NHS will contact
you to arrange a visit in your home, or where necessary, treatment in hospital.
To help the NHS provide you with the best care if you need to go to hospital as a
result of catching coronavirus, we ask that you prepare a single hospital bag. This
should include your emergency contact, a list of the medications you take (including
dose and frequency), any information on your planned care appointments and things
you would need for an overnight stay (snacks, pyjamas, toothbrush, medication etc.).
If you have an advanced care plan, please include that.
7. Looking after your mental well-being
We understand that this may be a worrying time and you may find staying at home
and having limited contact frustrating. At times like these, it can be easy to fall into
unhealthy patterns of behaviour, which can make you feel worse. Simple things you
can do to stay mentally and physically active during this time include:
• Look for ideas for exercises to do at home on the NHS website.
• Spend time doing things you enjoy – reading, cooking and other indoor hobbies.
• Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, drink enough water, exercise regularly,
and try to avoid smoking, alcohol and recreational drugs.
• Try spending time with the windows open to let in fresh air, arranging space to sit
and see a nice view (if possible) and get some natural sunlight. Get out into the
garden or sit on your doorstep if you can, keeping a distance of at least 2 metres
You can find additional advice and support from Every Mind Matters and the NHS
mental health and wellbeing advice website.
Further information on coronavirus, including guidance from Public Health England,
can be found on the nhs.uk1 and gov.uk2 websites.
On Behalf The Partners of West Hampstead Medical Centre
List of diseases and conditions considered to be very high risk:
1. Solid organ transplant recipients
2. People with specific cancers
• People with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radical
radiotherapy for lung cancer
• People with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia,
lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
• People having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for
• People having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune
system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
• People who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6
months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
3. People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe
Asthma and severe COPD
4. People with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly
increase the risk of infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell)
5. People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of
6. People who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired