Coronavirus & Children Accessing Healthcare
COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus. We can all help to protect ourselves and our families by following good hygiene practices. For further government information on the restrictions and staying safe please click here.
The success of the vaccination rollout, alongside falling infections and hospitalisations, is paving the way for the safe and gradual lifting of restrictions. Vaccines will mean that fewer people will get COVID-19 and that those who do are far less likely to go to hospital or to die. However, not all those offered the vaccine will take it up and there are some groups, such as children, for whom the vaccine is not yet authorised. Even when vaccinated, there is still a chance people can contract the virus and pass it on. Based on the infection rate, the Government are proposing the following roadmap to recovery:
From 8th March all schools and colleges are open for all students. Recreation or exercise outdoors with household or one other person is allowed but no household mixing indoors. Wraparound childcare can take place. Government advice to encourage people to stay at home stays in place.
From 29 March there will be a rule of 6 or two households outdoors, still no household mixing indoors. Outdoor sport and leisure facilities open and outdoor parent & child groups (up to 15 parents).
No earlier than 12 April indoor leisure (including gyms) open for use individually or within household groups. Rule of 6 or two households outdoors but still no household mixing indoors. Outdoor attractions and hospitality open including libraries, community centres and all children’s activities, indoor parent & child groups. Domestic overnight stays (household only) will be allowed but no international holidays.
No earlier than 17 May indoor entertainment and attractions will open with a 30 person limit outdoors. Rule of 6 or two households (subject to review). International travel — subject to review.
No earlier than 21 June, the Government hopes to be able to introduce no legal limits on social contact.
Help us to reinforce the importance of following public health guidance
Remember — hands, face, space
- hands — wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds
- face — wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet
- Maintain space with anyone outside your household or bubble.
- Meet with others outdoors where possible.
- Minimise the number of different people you meet and the duration of meetings, if possible.
- Let fresh air in.
- Download the NHS Test & Trace app.
- Get a test immediately if you have symptoms.
- Self isolate if you have symptoms, have tested positive, or had contact with someone with COVID-19.
Download the NHS COVID-19 app
- The free NHS COVID-19 app is a vital part of the NHS Test and Trace service in England — and also provides the latest Government guidance. Download the app.
If you have coronavirus symptoms — self-isolate and get a test
- If you develop a high temperature; new, continuous cough; and/or loss of or change in sense of smell or taste you must self-isolate and get tested.
- This means if you have you must not leave your home or come into any of our offices until you have a confirmed negative test result.
- To apply for a test go to nhs.uk/coronavirus or call 119.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are recent onset of:
- a new continuous cough this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly
- a high temperature
- loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia).
What to do if you are displaying COVID-19 symptoms:
If you develop these symptoms, however mild, or you have received a positive coronavirus (COVID-19) test result, then you should immediately self-isolate stay at home for at least 10 days from when your symptoms started.
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. If you live with others, all other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay but if you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible. See the stay at home guidance for further information.
You do not need to call NHS 111 to go into self-isolation. If you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, or your condition gets worse, or your symptoms do not get better after 10 days, then use the NHS 111 online service. If you have do not have internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999
If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, you should arrange a test by visiting NHS.UK, or contact 119 via telephone if you do not have internet access.
How to keep safe and stop the spread of COVID-19:
1. Wash your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds using soap and water or hand sanitiser, particularly after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose, before you eat or handle food, or when you get to work or arrive home.
2. Cover your mouth and nose with disposable tissues when you cough or sneeze. If you do not have a tissue, sneeze into the crook of your elbow, not into your hand.
3. Dispose of tissues into a disposable rubbish bag and immediately wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser.
4. You must wear a face covering by law in some public places unless you have a face covering exemption. You are also strongly encouraged to wear a face covering in other enclosed public spaces where social distancing may be difficult and where you come into contact with people you do not normally meet. See the staying safe outside your home guidance, and you can find guidance on how to wear and make a cloth face covering.
5. Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces using your regular cleaning products to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people.
6. Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
7. Avoid touching your face or eyes, nose and mouth unless your hands are clean.
8. Do not meet with people from other households socially in groups of more than 6. This will apply indoors and outdoors, including in private homes.
COVID-19 updates and information in British Sign Language can be accessed on SignHealth’s website.
Children Accessing Healthcare During COVID-19
Health services are open, however some services are being delivered differently — for example you may be offered a telephone or video consultation with your GP in the first instance rather than an automatic face-to-face appointment. Do not delay calling your GP if you are concerned about your child’s health. If you need immediate assistance, dial 999 or attend A&E. Hospital is still the safest place for your child if they are seriously ill.
Last year, temporary changes were made to paediatric services in north central London (NCL) to ensure patients and families could continue to receive safe and high quality care during a period of increased demand for services due to COVID-19.
These changes were always temporary and the NHS in NCL have now agreed it is safe to reopen the children and young people’s accident and emergency departments and general inpatient wards at University College Hospital from 9am on Thursday 8 April and at the Royal Free Hospital from 9am on Monday 12 April.
If any parent is unsure where to take a child in need of emergency treatment they should visit 111.nhs.uk or call the NHS 111 service. In a life-threatening emergency, dial 999 immediately.
During the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdown, families across the borough have been under an extreme amount of stress and rates of child abuse (physical, sexual and emotional harm and/or neglect) are likely to have increased significantly during this time. Please make every encounter you have with a child over the coming months count. Whatever your job role, ask all children and young people how the lockdown period has been for them.
For more information download the leaflet below.
I’m concerned about coronavirus
- Coronavirus is unlikely to make your child unwell, but other illnesses may make your child severely unwell.
- There are lots of measures in place to protect you and your child from coronavirus if you need to attend.
- Please do let the medical team know if your child has coronavirus symptoms — a fever or cough. It won’t affect the quality of the care you receive but it will ensure that those looking after you and children around you are sufficiently protected.
Immunisations for young children and baby checks after birth are essential for your child’s health and are still being delivered by your GP.
Please be assured that our local hospitals Royal Free and UCLH continue to run maternity services from the settings. Additional measures have been put in place to allow the safety of patients and staff. Parents of new born children will also continue to receive home visits within 5 days of the birth of their child. If you have any concerns or symptoms please discuss this with your Midwife or Health Visitor. Please check the websites for further details:
You can now book an appointment online to register the birth of your child. Entry into the Register Office is by appointment only to adhere to social distancing requirements. If you do not have an appointment you will not be able to access the building.
The 42 days legal requirement is not valid during this time. For more details visit: camden.gov.uk/register-birth
Sources of information and care
- For general online information and to check symptoms refer to NHS online: www.nhs.uk or use 111 online: www.111.nhs.uk
- If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, you should arrange a test by visiting https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/
- If needed call your GP to discuss your concerns and seek help.
- If you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, or your condition gets worse, or your symptoms do not get better after 10 days, then use the NHS 111 online service. If you have do not have internet access, you should call NHS 111.
- COVID 19: If your concerns relate to coronavirus you can also check the NHS symptom checker on www.111.nhs.uk/covid-19
Where to find trusted information about coronavirus
As with any new illness, there is a lot of inaccurate information in the public space. Please use trusted sources for your information:
- For the public — The GOV.UK website has regular updates
- The NHS website gives information on the virus and how to prevent it spreading
- Travel advice has been provided by the Government and will be updated regularly
- The Public Health England Twitter account provides the latest advice, facts and figures as they are announced
Confused by ‘fake news’ about coronavirus? To help challenge some of the common misunderstandings around coronavirus (COVID-19), public health experts in Camden have put together this useful Q&A: Myth-busters: Coronavirus (COVID-19) — True or False?
COVID-19 — Guidance in Multi-languages: