Latest Advice
The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of:
  • New continuous cough and/or
  • High temperature
  • loss or change to your sense of smell or taste  

For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness If you have coronavirus symptoms:
  • Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital
  • You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home
  • Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you're staying at home
  • Plan ahead and ask others for help to ensure that you can successfully stay at home and consider what can be done for vulnerable people in the household
  • Ask your employer, friends and family to help you to get the things you need to stay at home
  • Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, each time using soap and water, or use hand sanitiser
  • If you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, or your condition gets worse, or your symptoms do not get better after 7 days, then use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service. If you do not have internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999
  • Visit NHS 111 Online for more information

Stay at Home
  • If you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus illness (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started. (See ending isolation section below for more information)
  • If you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill
  • It is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community
  • For anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14 day isolation period. (See ending isolation section below for more information
  • If you can, move any vulnerable individuals (such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions) out of your home, to stay with friends or family for the duration of the home isolation period
  • If you cannot move vulnerable people out of your home, stay away from them as much as possible
Find out more about UK Gov Coronavirus Response
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What we have to say about your health and well being
Apr 2018
Accessing Health Information by Rina Patel

Accessing Health Information by Rina Patel

Whenever you visit an NHS service in England a medical/health record is created.

A health record is any record which consists of information relating to the physical or mental health or condition of an individual made by a health professional in connection with the care of that individual. It can be recorded in a computerised form, in a manual form or a mixture of both. Information covers expression of opinion about individuals as well as fact. Health records may include notes made during consultations, correspondence between health professionals such as referral and discharge letters, results of tests and their interpretation, X-ray films, videotapes, audiotapes, photographs, and tissue samples taken for diagnostic purposes.

Health records must be clear, accurate, factual, legible and should be contemporaneous. They must include all relevant clinical findings, the decisions made, information given to patients, and drugs or treatment prescribed. Health records should not be altered or tampered with, other than to remove inaccurate or misleading information. Any such amendments must be made in a way that makes it clear that they have been altered.

Individuals have a right to access their own health record, and in limited circumstances, access to the records of other people.

When an individual requests access to a health record it must be done in writing but can be done verbally where a written request is not possible. The request should be handled within 21 days, although the Data Protection Act grants 40 days to comply. The Data Protection Act 1998 governs access to the health records of living people.

Hospital records are kept for a minimum of 8 years and GP records for a minimum of 10 years following treatment.

In relation to health records for deceased patients, they can only be accessed if it’s a personal representative or someone has a claim resulting from the death, however access may not be granted if the patient when alive requested confidentiality, this is governed under the Access to Health Records (1990).

There are some reasons why a health record is not disclosed, for example if it is likely to cause serious physical or mental harm to the patient or another person, or it relates to a third party who has not given consent for disclosure (where that third party is not a health professional who has cared for the patient).

While the responsibility for the decision, as to whether to disclose information, rests with the data controller, advice about serious harm must be taken by the data controller from the appropriate health professional. If the data controller is not the appropriate health professional, then the appropriate health professional needs to be consulted before the records are disclosed.

This is usually the health professional currently or most recently responsible for the clinical care of the patient in respect of the matters which are the subject of the request. If there is more than one, it should be the person most suitable to advise.

The Summary of Care Records is an electronic record of important patient information, created from GP medical records and other sources. Patients can ask to view or add information to their summary of care records by visiting their GP practice. It can be seen and used by authorised staff in other areas of the health and care system involved in the patient's direct care.

Due to the information being of a sensitive nature it needs to be treated with care. There are strict laws and regulations to ensure health records are kept confidential and can be accessed by health professionals directly involved in the care of that patient, information governance.









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