The government has stated that taking care of your health is important and attending medical appointments is important during this lockdown.
If you have a booked appointment, a scan, a test or planned surgery, then it's important to keep that appointment.
People with mental health issues are also been encouraged to access NHS support.
The NHS has learned over the last eight months how to safely run face to face healthcare appointments in a world with Coronavirus. Appropriate social distancing, appropriate PPE and appropriate infection control measures are all in place.
If your pre existing condition should worsen while you are awaiting treatment please call your GP or the appropriate hospital team for advice as soon as possible. Should you require urgent medical care please access 111.nhs.uk or call 111 immediately. People with potentially life-threatening illnesses or injuries are still being advised to contact 999.
If you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in contact with someone who has symptoms, DO NOT visit your GP or the hospital. Instead, people with symptoms should self-isolate and book a test at a local designated testing centre, or order a home testing kit by calling 119 or by visiting the NHS COVID-19 testing website.
The NHS has also launched a campaign urging anyone concerned about cancer to get checked and to keep routine appointments, as new research found that even now, nearly half (48 per cent) of the public would delay or not seek medical help at all.
A fifth (22 per cent) would not want to be a burden on the health service while a similar number said that fear of getting coronavirus or passing it onto others was a major reason for not getting help.
More than four in ten people would leave it longer to get health advice than they normally would have before the coronavirus outbreak, however delaying can have serious consequences for some cancers.
NHS staff have pulled out all the stops to keep cancer services going throughout the pandemic, with almost one million people referred for checks or starting treatment since the virus took hold.
England’s top GP says that people should not hesitate to get help and that waiting could have serious consequences for patients.
Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and medical director for primary care in England said: Alongside treating 110,000 people with coronavirus, NHS staff have gone to great lengths to make sure that people who do not have COVID can safely access services.
Flu vaccination clinics across the South East of England are well underway and Surrey Heartlands Health and Care Partnership is encouraging anyone who is eligible for a free flu vaccination to book an appointment with their GP or pharmacist, as soon as possible.
This year, the NHS is aiming to vaccinate around 4.5 million people in the South East – up from 2.6 million last winter – to help prevent the spread of flu. Every year the flu virus kills people and hospitalises many more. This year it is even more important people who are most at risk of flu have their free flu vaccination.
All clinics will run in line with infection prevention control and social distancing measures will be in place. For the first time, children in school Year 7, and household contacts and carers of those on the NHS Shielded Patient List, are all eligible for the free vaccination. These groups are in addition to people aged over 65, those under 65 with long-term health conditions, pregnant women, children aged 2 and 3 and children in primary school. Vaughan Lewis, Medical Director for NHS England and NHS Improvement’s South East region says: “This year with both the flu virus and Covid-19 circulating flu immunisation is more important than ever to reduce infections, protect each other and protect the NHS.
“There is an expanded list of priority groups this year and we are offering the vaccine to children aged from 2 to 11, as well as those over the age of 65 and anyone with chronic illness including diabetes and weight problems. So, if you have a Body Mass Index of more than 40 or a chronic illness or learning disability, look after yourself and protect the NHS by having the flu jab.
“People aged between 50 and 64 who are not in a clinical at-risk group may also be offered a free flu vaccination later in the year, providing there is enough vaccine available. This is to ensure that those who are most at risk are vaccinated first.
“Anyone of any age, including those between 50-64, who is a household member or a carer of a shielded patient, is eligible for the flu vaccination and should contact the GP practice they are registered with or their pharmacy to book an appointment.
“Flu is a highly infectious disease that is spread from person to person and infects the respiratory system, where it can lead to pneumonia and other complications. The flu viruses are constantly changing and this is one of the main reasons why people should be vaccinated annually. The symptoms, that come on very quickly, include fever, chills, headaches, aches and pains in the joints and muscles, and extreme tiredness. The best way to avoid getting the flu is by having the vaccination. Doing so reduces the risk of developing the illness significantly.”
Dr Charlotte Canniff, NHS Surrey Heartlands CCG Clinical Chair says “It is vital that those who are eligible have the flu vaccine every year as it helps protect against different strains which evolve each year. It is particularly important that those who are at increased risk of flu, and their carers, get the vaccine as it is one of the most effective ways to reduce harm”.