Latest updates on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

2 March 2020

Make sure you keep up-to-date with the latest information and advice on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and encourage your colleagues to do the same.

Joint statement from the health and social care regulators

We are working closely with other organisations, including governments, the NHS and other regulators, in response to novel coronavirus.

As part of this, we have signed a joint statement from the health and social care professional regulators in the UK. The statement sets out how we will continue to regulate in light of the novel coronavirus.

The statement highlights that we recognise that health professionals may be working in highly challenging circumstances and may need to depart from established procedures and find new ways to care for patients and people using services. Our regulatory standards are designed to be flexible and to provide a framework for decision making in such situations.

Standard operating procedures for novel coronavirus

NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) have published new Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for primary care teams. This includes a standard operating procedure for community pharmacy teams.

The guidance explains how to deal with patients presenting in the pharmacy with suspected COVID-19 infection and preparations pharmacy contractors can take to deal with such a scenario. All pharmacy contractors and pharmacy professionals should read the guidance and then undertake appropriate preparations for dealing with potentially infected patients.

This includes making sure patient information posters for NHS settings are displayed so they can be seen before patients enter the premises.

Other information and advice

The Department of Health and Social Care has published an action plan and guide about what to expect across the UK. [PDF 263 KB]

Public Health England has produced specific guidance for health professionals.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has put together Key facts for pharmacy teams.

Community Pharmacy Scotland links to a Coronavirus (COVID-19) communication toolkit which includes processes for managing risk, key messages and links to resources for organisations to print and share.

Health Protection Scotland has a collection of resources on their website.

What should I tell members of the public?

Public Health England has produced guidance to assist health professionals in advising members of the public.

You can also direct members of the public to the UK government information and advice for the public for further information. There are also public information resources including a poster available from NHS England and NHS Improvement.

NHS Scotland has information for the public on their website.

Public Health Wales has issued a statement and advice for the public on Coronavirus (COVID-19).

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