Advice about coronavirus
COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus. Here’s what to do if you think you may have coronavirus.
Last updated: 6 July 2020
This advice is for members of the public. If you work for Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, check the staff intranet for current guidelines on coronavirus.
Symptoms of coronavirus
The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
- a cough
- a high temperature
- shortness of breath
- loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
If you think you have symptoms of coronavirus:
stay at home and avoid close contact with other people for 7 days
make sure anyone who lives with you stays home for 14 days, from when your symptoms first started
use the NHS 111 coronavirus service if you cannot cope with your symptoms or they do not improve
do not go to a GP surgery or pharmacy
do not visit our hospitals
NHS.UK has more information about coronavirus.
Signhealth has developed BSL videos on coronavirus guidance.
If you are self isolating and need help with food shopping or medication, find local support on the Gloucestershire County Council website.
NHS 111 service
NHS 111 has a dedicated online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need medical help and advise you on next steps. You should only use this service if:
- you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
- your condition gets worse
- your symptoms do not get better after 7 days
How to protect yourself and others
The UK government has instructed everybody to stay at home to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
You should also:
regularly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
use hand sanitiser gel, if soap and water are not available
cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough or sneeze
put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands immediately after
stay 2 metres away from other people if you need to go outside
work from home, if you can
use phone, online services, or apps to contact your GP surgery or other NHS services
do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
Wellbeing and safeguarding
The NHS website has information about how to take care of your physical and emotional wellbeing during coronavirus. You can also access mental health support in your area through the Gloucestershire Let's Talk service.
If you need help or are concerned about a victim of domestic abuse, you can get support through the Gloucestershire Domestic Abuse Support Service (GDASS).
If you need to report a child at risk while the UK is in lockdown, visit the health and social care section of the Gloucestershire County Council website.
Attending our hospitals
We have made changes to our services and restricted visiting in our hospitals as part of our response to coronavirus (COVID-19). If you need to attend our hospitals, you should:
wear a face covering if you have to attend our hospitals or your GP surgery
attend appointments by yourself if you can, to minimise the spread of infection
follow social distancing guidelines in our hospitals by keeping 2 metres apart from staff and members of the public
cover your mouth and nose with a tissue if you cough or sneeze, and bin the tissue straight away
regularly wash your hands or use hand sanitiser
You may be asked to wear a face mask when entering certain clinical areas, which will be provided by staff at our hospitals. You may also choose to wear your own face mask or other protective equipment in line with national guidance.
It's important to seek medical help if you feel very unwell or think something is seriously wrong. Call NHS 111 for medical help, or 999 for life threatening emergencies, like a suspected heart attack or stroke.
Information for people with learning disabilities or autism
Our learning disability liaison nurses have produced 3 easy read leaflets about coronavirus:
You can call our learning disability nurses on 0300 422 4953 or 0300 422 4985 Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm for advice. They help support adults and children, their carers and family with learning disabilities and work with staff to help them understand how best to support and care for people with these disabilities.
It's also very helpful for the Health Passport to be filled in by patients or their families.
NHS England have also developed a coronavirus leaflet for people with learning difficulties and autism.
Advice for volunteers
We understand if you would like to temporarily suspend your voluntary activities, or if you would like to move to another area. You should contact the ward or department you volunteer for to let them know, or call us on:
- 0300 422 3451 (Cheltenham volunteers)
- 0300 422 6648 (Gloucester volunteers)
We also advise that you follow the national guidance if you:
- have an underlying health condition
- are in an at risk category
Your ward or department may contact you if guidance in their local area changes and you may be asked not to attend. If this is the case and you would like to volunteer in another area, please let us know.