Face coverings: when to wear one and how to make your own (including exemptions)

Important Safety Announcement

We are aware of the dangers of Corona Virus particularly for older people and those with underlying medical conditions.

Many senior leaders are planning for a second wave of coronavirus. If this does happen we want to be prepared and support you and your nearest and dearest to remain happy, healthy and as independent as possible in the event of a second lockdown.

In this situation knowledge is power. We can stream healthcare information directly to your own homes and support you and your family (as long as they are registered with our practice). However we need your help.

We need your help so that we can help you

  • Make sure that you have given us up to date email addresses and mobile phone numbers for you and your family.
  • Register for the NHS App
    This will allow you to book appointments, order prescriptions, view your medical records. All from the comfort of your own home.

Things to have at home

If you have regular blood pressure checks or are worried about your blood pressure - Purchase a blood pressure machine, you can then take readings and send them to us and we can advise you

If you are an Asthmatic - Request a prescription for a peak flow monitor, use this to monitor your asthma. The nurse can tell you what your reading should be when you have your review. This will ensure your medication is still appropriate.

Keep a Thermometer in your medicine cabinet to check temperatures

A good tool to also have in your medicine cabinet is a SATS MONITOR or PULSE OXIMETER - this is used to determine the level of oxygen in the blood. This is valuable information in an emergency setting, to help a doctor or nurse decide if intervention is required. This tool is also widely used if Corona virus is suspected.

Thank you

Dr Patel, Dr Raza & Dr Hameed

We understand that many in our community will be concerned about what the next few days and weeks will bring, our practice team are also concerned but are working hard to continue to provide care.

As a team, we are reviewing national guidance daily and adopting new ways of working to keep you, our patient community, safe. Minimising your exposure to COVID-19 symptoms and saving the lives of the most vulnerable people in our community is our priority.

At the same time we need to keep our teams safe and well so they can keep on working to provide patient care.

We understand that these are difficult and worrying times. We have been saddened and dismayed by the verbal abuse our reception and Admin team have experienced on the phone and in person this week from a small number of patients. It is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

We are genuinely sorry if you are inconvenienced by having to wait a bit longer on the phone than you usually would or if you have to queue a few minutes to collect your medication.

At this time none of us know how long this disruption is likely to continue for, so we ask that ALL of our patients are kind to our team. It’s a very worrying and stressful time for them also, some of our team suffer ill health, some of our team have young families, they are choosing to work and not self-isolate in order to provide an essential service and they deserve your respect.

Useful Apps (from

Calm Harm
Reduce urges to self-harm and manage emotions in a more positive way.

Chill Panda
Use breathing techniques to hep you and relax more, worry less and feel better

Feeling good: Positive mindset
Use audio tracks to help relax your body and mind and build your confidence.

My possible self: The Mental Heath App
Learn how to manage fear, anxiety and stress and tackle unhelpful thinking.

ThinkNinja is an app that helps 10 to 18 year olds learn about and manage their mental health

RE: Coronavirus (COVID-19) and requests for fit notes (Med3)

Sick note requests in relation to being off work. By law, medical evidence is not required for the first 7 days of sickness. For any period of illness less than 7 days you can self-certify.

In light of the emerging COVID-19 crisis it is likely a vast amount of people will be self-isolating in accordance with advice provided by the Government and Public Health. In these cases, your GP will not be able to issue you a sick note. We expect your employer to be sympathetic towards the circumstances.

If you remain unwell and unfit to work over seven days, the advice is to visit and complete an online self-assessment.

General Practice is under a lot of pressure and needs to prioritise the healthcare needs of patients who are acutely unwell. We hope that you understand the current situation and sorry for any inconvenience.

Vulnerable People

You may have received a letter from the NHS telling you that you’re clinically extremely vulnerable, or been contacted by your GP or hospital clinician.

It may take time for any support offered through this service to arrive. Wherever possible you should continue to rely on friends, family and wider support to help you meet your needs.

You can register yourself, or on behalf of someone else.

Crisis Helplines

National Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247

NSPCC helpline: 0808 800 5000 If you're worried about a child, even if you're unsure, contact NSPCC professional counsellors for help, advice and support.

Childline 0800 1111: Offers free, confidential advice and support for any child 18 years or under, whatever the worry.

MIND: Mental Health Support with specific advice on ‘Coronavirus and your wellbeing’.

YoungMinds:  Supporting children and young people and their parents/carers with their mental health and wellbeing. Specific advice on managing self-isolation and anxiety about coronavirus.

ICON: Babies cry: You can cope.

SafeLives:  Specific resources for domestic abuse and COVID.

IRISi interventions:

Useful Information

Resources for support workers who care for people with a learning disability:

Coronavirus information hub:

To help us to support those who most need it, before using the service, please

  • Ask family, friends and neighbours to support you and use online services if you can
  • If this is not possible, there are a number of voluntary and community services who can help. You can find these from Redbridge CVS on their website or by calling them on 020 8708 5555

If you still need help, then please call the well-being service.

The well-being service will not provide medication. Pharmacies will deliver prescriptions to those who are not able to have their prescriptions collected.

How to look after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak

As human beings, we are hardwired to protect ourselves from potential threats so it’s understandable that you might have concerns about coronavirus and that it could be affecting your mental health. Perhaps you’re stressed about the financial implications if you have to take time off work or if you’re already self-isolating, you might be struggling with boredom or loneliness. For those of you with an existing mental health condition, such as anxiety, depression or OCD, this might be a particularly difficult time.

Good Thinking has lots of apps and other resources support you if you feel anxious, sleep deprived, stressed or sad, including a self-assessment tool that has been updated in line with Public Health England’s guidance on coronavirus. Good Thinking has also put together the following tips to help you look after your mental health over the coming weeks.

See Appendix 1 for full content:

How to stay mentally well while you self-isolate

Staying at home comes with its challenges. You might experience feelings of frustration, boredom or loneliness. You might feel extremely stressed about the situation and worried about your loved ones. If you have an existing mental health condition, self-isolation might be particularly difficult. London’s digital wellbeing service, Good Thinking, has the answer to some of the questions you might have about self-isolation and your mental wellbeing.

See Appendix 1 for full content.

Coping with loss and bereavement – loneliness

Bereavement, which is a difficult experience under any situation, is taking place under very challenging circumstances during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Both those who experience loss as a consequence to COVID-19, or loss through another cause may experience increased trauma and may be cut off from some of their usual support network.

Very sadly, some families may not have had the opportunity to say goodbye to their loved ones before they died, which can be particularly upsetting. The observance of other practices and traditions which normally occur after someone has died may also be affected. Those who are already struggling with bereavement, or whose relatives or friends die through other causes will also be affected.

Several UK bereavement charities and organisations have offered guidance, advice, and support to deal with bereavement during this pandemic, both the practical and psychological aspects.

When you are bereaved you should stay in touch with other people, however because of the virus this needs to be by telephone, video, and online. The bereavement care charity Cruse is helping families affected by coronavirus. You can find a broad range of guidance, including easy read fact sheets, on the Cruse website. You can also contact the charity’s free national helpline on 0808 808 1677 or email them at

There is also further guidance on options for life streaming a funeral service and organising online family memorials.

1) #COVID19 may sadly mean some people are having to grieve for a loved whilst feeling increasingly isolated. @CruseCare's freephone helpline is open to provide support and advice. Call 0808 808 1677. Full info and opening hours:

2) If you or someone you know has suffered a bereavement through #COVID19, or under any circumstance during these uncertain times, you are not alone - there is support out there for you. The @goodgrieftrust has compiled a list if useful links and information:

Support for Young Children

We know that whilst observing social distancing it’s difficult to find new ways to keep busy and support young children with their development and emotional wellbeing. To help families find a range of activities they could get involved with from home, the children's centre have developed their Virtual Services. These can be accessed via the Redbridge Children’s Centres website, Facebook and Instagram. Please find links below.

Children’s Centres’ staff have been working remotely and supporting families. So, if families wish to speak with a member of their staff, join virtual sessions and link up with other families, they or you can email them at the following email address and their staff will get back to them as soon as possible:

Local Services, Let
Local Services, Let