Advice on self-isolation and social distancing, for those managing a long term health condition

As more and more people are choosing or being advised to stay at home, we want to make sure our patients have the most up to date information and guidance on self-isolation and social distancing. 

The latest government guidance is for everyone to avoid unessential contact with others, as by reducing social interaction, this will help reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) between people. It is important that you stay as up to date as possible with government measures, so please regularly check in with their website here or with NHS.UK Coronavirus information.

Anyone over the age of 70 are now being advised to follow these measures, regardless if they have a medical condition or not. However, those with medical conditions should limit interaction with family and friends as much as possible.

Social distancing and self-isolation is basically, staying at home and avoiding interaction with people. To do this, you should:-

  • Avoid contact with someone displaying symptoms of coronavirus (such as a high temperature and coughing).
  • Avoid use of public transport, and gatherings of people – whether large or in smaller public spaces such as pubs, cinemas and restaurants.
  • Work from home where possible.
  • Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, social media and video chat, where possible, including when contacting your GP or other health services

If you believe you or a member of your household has Coronavirus, you should follow the specific government advice here as there are measures you can take while staying at home together, to help reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community. It is still important to wash your hands regularly, for 20 seconds, even when in self-isolation.

Digital services are available and a great way to continue interaction with family and friends, as well as receiving household essentials through online grocery shopping. For those with a health condition, Pharmacy2U is an easy to use way of getting your medication delivered, without leaving home. People can find out more online here or download the Pharmacy2U app.

Apps not only help to keep pressure off the NHS in a time of high demand, but also allow patients to protect themselves and others from unnecessary risk. Other digital health services available and approved by ORCHA (which review the safety and value of health services apps) include:

  • Ask NHS – Olivia is a virtual health assistant where people can talk through their symptoms in complete confidence
  • Wysa – an ’emotionally intelligent’ bot, acting as a virtual coach to help sustain mental health
  • mymhealth – NHS approved apps for patients with Asthma, COPD, Diabetes and Heart Disease
Phil Day By Phil Day Superintendent Pharmacist Published 17/03/2020