COVID19 - Patient Information

Face Masks, Coverings and Exemption Letters

We are aware that some patients might be understandably anxious about the UK Government’s recent announcements around the use of face masks in various public settings. This does not apply to Wales, but may in the future. Therefore it is important to be aware that GPs are unfortunately not in a position to provide individual risk assessments or letters for patients who feel that they should be exempt from wearing a face mask.

The UK government guidance on exemptions suggests there is no requirement for evidence for exemption therefore it is sufficient for an individual to self-declare this. The responsibility for issuing exemptions lies with the transport provider not your GP. Similarly, practices are under no obligation to provide letters of support for anyone who does not fall under the list of exemptions but considers them to have another reason to be exempted.

UK Government advice on the use of face coverings can be found here:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers#face-coverings

We hope that this guidance provides some reassurance for you on this issue.

The BMA have also issued guidance here.

We are here to still help you

The Practice is here to support you through the current Pandemic that is affecting so many of us. The Government has written to many already medically vulnerable patients who may become unwell if they catch the virus. Please know we are here for you and your families. You will also have seen on the news that many patients are discussing with their GPs their wishes for their care should they become seriously unwell. If you would like to have that discussion or if you think you have an underlying significant condition but have not been included on the Government’s list, then please let us know by using the online form below.

Newly Pregnant?

Cardiff & Vale University Health Boards Maternity Services

To further reduce patient contact we have now changed our maternity referral system for the Midwife at West Quay. Please email pregnancybooking.cav@wales.nhs.uk, you will receive an automated response with a booking referral attached.  Please fill out this referral and send it back to same email address. You will then be contacted by a midwife with a date and time of your booking which will be completed over the telephone and a dating ultrasound scan will then be arranged as normal.

Patient Shielding Letters (COVID19)

 

Extremely Vulnerable - High Risk Individuals

You will have received a 'shielding' letter from the Welsh Government's Chief Medical Officer (Dr Frank Atherton) as you are considered extremely vulnerable. You should isolate at home for 12 weeks and not go out, due to greatly impaired immune system.

 

What is in the shielding letter?

The shielding letter advises people to stay at home for 12 weeks and contains a range of further information and advice, including how those who have no-one else to support them can get medication and other essential items such as food. Welsh Government has also published information on their website about support for extremely vulnerable people:

These links clearly state that if you are employed, this is proof that you will not be able to go to work while you are shielding and can be shared with your employer. If you are able to, you can work from home, if your job allows it. You will not need a fit note from the surgery.

 

Broader Vulnerable Groups - At Risk Individuals

You are considered to be an at risk individual if you are entitled to receive an annual flu vaccine. Welsh Government will not have proactively contacted you and there is no plan at present to do so. You DO NOT need to stay at home for 12 weeks but should strictly adhere to the social distancing guidance

https://gov.wales/coronavirus-social-distancing-guidance.

This guidance encourages you to work from home if possible, but that will be a discussion between the you and your employer.

 

Extremely Vulnerable Groups

 

List of those who are in the extremely vulnerable who will qualify for a shielding letter from Welsh Government Chief Medical Officer in the High Risk Group.

  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 cancer
  • 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.
  1. People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  2. People with severe single organ disease (e.g. Liver, Cardio, Renal, Neurological)
  3. People with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID), homozygous sickle cell disease)
  4. People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection
  5. Pregnant women with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired
  6. Children (up to the age of 18) with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired

Broader Vulnerable Groups

 

Broader vulnerable groups who should strictly follow social distancing guidance that are NOT being issued a shielding letter are those in the at Risk Group. This group has been identified to the public as those who are: 

  1. aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
  2. under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (ie anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds):
  3. chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
  4. chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
  5. chronic kidney disease
  6. chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
  7. chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy
  8. diabetes
  9. problems with the spleen – for example, sickle celldisease or if you have had your spleen removed
  10. a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tabletsor chemotherapy
  11. being seriously overweight (a BMI of 40 or above)
  12. those who are pregnant

This wider group, who broadly speaking comprise the criteria of adults eligible for an annual flu vaccine, will not be proactively contacted but have instead been asked to take steps to reduce their social interactions in order to reduce the transmission of coronavirus.

Guidance on social distancing can be found here:

https://gov.wales/coronavirus-social-distancing-guidance

 

I have NOT received a shielding letter ?

If you meet the extremely vulnerable criteria above and believe you should have received a shielding letter, please fill in the form opposite and we will be in touch within 72 hours --->

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

 

Information for the public on the outbreak of coronavirus in China, including the current situation in the UK and information about the virus and its symptoms. 

 

UK Government Blog on everything you need to know about the Coronavirus

 

Guidance issued by Welsh Government 

 

Public Health Wales is working closely with the Welsh Government and the other UK public health agencies to carefully monitor the situation in China and implement our planned response, with measures in place to protect the health of the public.