Coronavirus may feel daunting, especially for older people, people with health problems and pregnant women. As lockdown measures start to ease, some of us will be increasing our social contacts and knowing what we can do and can’t do is important to help control the spread of the virus. As restrictions begin to ease, vulnerable groups such as people aged 70 and over, those with long term health conditions and pregnant women should continue to take particular care and minimise contact with others outside of their household.
If you are staying at home here are some things to consider to help you stay safe and well.
Services across the NHS have had to change the way that they work to keep people safe.
Telephone/video appointments are now in place to reduce the number of people needing to visit GPs. There are also special sites set up to see people with coronavirus symptoms. Despite the changes, NHS services are still there for you if you need them.
Pharmacies remain open, GPs have appointments available (but you should not go to the practice without calling first) and hospitals are there for those in urgent need. For any concerns, call your GP and they will be able to advise you on the best thing to do. If you have an urgent appointment do talk to your healthcare professional rather than simply deciding not to attend.
It is important that you stay at home as much as possible, but if you have a medical condition or injury which needs treatment, the NHS is still here to look after you. For further information on how to get NHS help visit www.dudleyccg.nhs.uk/coronavirus/coronavirus-getting-nhs-help-when-you-need-it/
An army of people and services are working around the clock to support older and vulnerable people and put new measures in place to ensure that no vulnerable person in our community is left unsupported.
You can find out more information about what you can do to help older or vulnerable people in your community at Dudley CVS coronavirus webpage.
There are services available to help including Dudley Council services, charities, community groups, faith groups and other organisations. Here are some useful telephone lines:
NHS Education England have also brought together information on a range of topics from dementia and support from a number of national charities that you may find useful.
NHS also have resources available to help people with learning disabilities or autism access NHS services during coronavirus.
If you care for a family member or friend you can continue to visit them, unless they or you have any of the symptoms of coronavirus.
You can find out more about caring during the current coronavirus outbreak in the booklet that Dudley Carers Hub has produced - A guide for carers during the coronavirus outbreak. Printed copies can be requested by calling Dudley Carers Hub on 01384 818723.
If you are pregnant, there’s lots of information on a healthy pregnancy and breastfeeding support available at Let's Get Healthy. If you are pregnant and worried about coronavirus you can find specific, expert advice from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
From 28 weeks of pregnancy your midwife can sign you up to a free text service called Flo which will send you texts during your pregnancy and up to six weeks after your baby is born with useful tips and information. If you’d like to know more about Flo have a look at our introduction to Flo video.
Make sure you are also getting informed and prepared for breastfeeding by visiting the Dudley Health Visitors Facebook page and finding out about Dudley Volunteer Breastfeeding Buddies.
If you are pregnant it is important that you still attend your antenatal appointments and continue to seek advice from your midwife or maternity team.