The coronavirus pandemic has resulted people becoming reluctant to use NHS services for a range of conditions that are not related to coronavirus.
This includes: adults and children attending at A&E departments for urgent and emergency medical issues, including serious conditions such as stroke and heart attacks; cancer patients attending their ongoing treatments; and expectant mothers attending for regular scans.
It’s important to seek medical advice if you need it:
Information and advice for all patients
- If you need medical help, the NHS is still here for you.
- If you need medical help from your GP practice, contact them either online, by an app or by phone to be assessed.
- If you need urgent medical help, use the NHS 111 online service. If you cannot get help online, call 111.
- If it’s a serious or life-threatening emergency, call 999.
- If you are told to go to hospital it is important that you go to hospital.
- You should continue to attend your appointments, unless you have been told not to attend.
- You can order your repeat prescriptions on the NHS App and through your GP surgery or pharmacy’s online service, where available.
- If you need to collect a prescription and have coronavirus symptoms or are self-isolating at home – please arrange for a friend, relative or volunteer to collect for you.
- To help the NHS to keep supplying medicines to everyone who needs them, please only order repeat prescriptions in your usual quantities at the usual time.
- It is important that you or your baby or child still have routine vaccinations. They protect against serious and potentially deadly illnesses and stop outbreaks in the community.
- If the person needing vaccination has coronavirus symptoms or is self-isolating because someone in the household is displaying symptoms, please contact your GP practice for advice.
• If you have a symptom that you are worried about, you must contact your GP practice.
• Your clinician will discuss with you the benefits of starting or continuing your cancer treatment against the increased risks of contracting coronavirus.
Heart attack patients
• If you think you or a family member are suffering with the symptoms of a heart attack you must dial 999 immediately.
• If you or a family member develop symptoms such as heavy or tight chest pain that may spread to your arms, neck or jaw, or make you breathless, sick, sweaty or light-headed and that doesn’t go away, this could be caused by a heart attack. Dial 999 immediately.
• If you think you or a family member are suffering with the symptoms of a stroke you must dial 999 immediately.
• You can spot the symptoms of a stroke by using the FAST test:
- Face - is the face drooping / fallen on one side? Can they smile?
- Arms - can they raise both arms and keep them there?
- Speech - is it slurred?
- Time to call 999 if you see any of the above signs.
• If you are pregnant it is important that you still attend your antenatal appointments and continue to seek advice from your midwife or maternity team.
• If you are worried about your health or the health of your unborn baby, please contact your midwife or maternity team.
Parents of young children
• If you are worried about the health of your baby or child, please call 111.
• If it’s a serious or life-threatening emergency, call 999
Mental health patients
• NHS is here to support your mental health during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as your physical health.
• If you are concerned about the mental health of your child, please contact your GP or check online self-referral options for under 18 years olds at: www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/
• If you are facing mental health issues contact your GP or key worker, if you have one, and continue to access your mental health services as usual. They are also still open for new referrals, via your GP or online.
• If you’re experiencing stress and anxiety, you can get further information, including how to self-refer to psychological therapies at: www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/
• If you are facing a mental health crisis, use the NHS 111 online service. If you cannot get help online, call 111.
There is also a raft of information and advice on our mental health page which you can find here.
Learning disability and Autism
• If you need medical help reasonable adjustments will be made so you get the right care and support.
• Your local community teams and crisis support lines are available if you are worried or anxious.
We have developed advice and information pages if you need advice on:
- How to stay safe and well this winter
- Coping with family pressures
- Coronavirus is affecting my mental health – what can I do?
- Coping with loneliness and isolation
- Mental health support information and advice for West Sussex
- Coping with drinking habits during the pandemic
- Sleeping well during the pandemic
- Helping children cope with stress during the Coronavirus outbreak
- Someone I love has died - where can I find support