The COVID-19 crisis has put health at the top of everyone’s agenda, but sometimes it can be difficult to know what to do if you’re feeling sick or unwell – whether you’ve recently developed an illness or are coping with a chronic condition.
It’s important to remember that if you're feeling unwell or concerned about your health there are many ways you can access healthcare. No one should have to suffer in silence or ignore their health if they feel ill. There are a number of different ways in which you can get the help and advice that you’re entitled to.
Pharmacies can offer excellent advice about minor illnesses and symptoms and how these can best be treated. If you need to visit a pharmacy, there may be social distancing measures in place such as rules about the maximum number of people allowed in at one time, or remaining 2 metres away from staff and other customers. You can always give them a call to see if they’ll provide advice or guidance over the phone before having to make the trip.
Getting your prescription
The vast majority of pharmacies are still open, so your repeat prescription should be available as usual. If you’re self-isolating, you can ask someone else to pick up your medication. Many pharmacies are also offering a home delivery service, which means you can have your medicines delivered directly to your home. You can contact your local pharmacy to check whether this is something they are doing for customers.
If you need to visit your GP, you should first call the surgery. They can then give you advice and guidance on what to do. You’ll probably only be asked to visit the surgery physically if absolutely necessary, but many will have alternative ways of receiving help and advice including a telephone conversation or even a video call with your doctor, nurse or another healthcare professional.
The NHS 111 online and phone service can be a good first port of call for medical queries which don’t require an ambulance. You can speak to a trained professional who will be able to provide advice on your symptoms and direct you to the best place to receive help and support.
Remember – whilst COVID-19 has resulted in changes to the way healthcare is provided and delivered, no one should feel they need to put their health at risk or that they are not deserving of receiving health advice or guidance. If you are ill or unwell, you have a right to seek treatment.
For further information on accessing healthcare during the COVID-19 crisis, see the following links:
Date of Preparation: July 2020