Coronavirus & Children Accessing Healthcare
COVID-19 is an 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 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. Even when vaccinated, there is still a chance people can contract the virus and pass it on.
From 19 July England has moved to Step 4 of the roadmap. Everyone should be cautious while managing the risks as cases of COVID-19 remain high.
At step 4, the Government will remove outstanding legal restrictions on social contact, life events, and open the remaining closed settings. The Government will instead enable people to make informed decisions about how to manage the risk to themselves and others. The Government will provide guidance to the public and to businesses on how they can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and mitigate the risk of a resurgence which puts the NHS under unsustainable pressure.
- All remaining limits on social contact currently will be removed and there will be no more restrictions on how many people can meet.
- All settings will be able to open without any limits on attendance or social distancing requirements.
- All restrictions on life events will be removed.
- COVID-status certification will not be required in law as a condition of entry for visitors to any setting.
- The legal requirements to wear a face covering will be lifted in all settings.
- It is no longer necessary for Government to instruct people to work from home. Employers can start to plan a return to workplaces.
- Businesses must not require a self-isolating worker to come to work, and should make sure that workers and customers who feel unwell do not attend the setting.
- The Government will change the controls that apply in early years, schools, colleges and higher education institutions to maintain a baseline of protective measures while maximising attendance and minimising disruption to children and young people’s education. The Government’s intention is that from step 4 children will no longer need to be in consistent groups (‘bubbles’), and early years settings, schools or colleges will not be required to routinely carry out contact tracing, which will help to minimise the number of children isolating. Contact tracing in specific educational settings would only be triggered if deemed necessary in response to a local outbreak.
- The Government also intends to exempt under 18s who are close contacts of a positive case from the requirement to self-isolate, in line with the approach for those who are fully vaccinated.
Lifting restrictions does not mean that the risks from COVID-19 have disappeared. Instead it marks a new phase in the Government’s response to the pandemic during which people need to manage the risks to themselves and others as the country learns to live with the virus.
Help us to reinforce the importance of following public health guidance
Remember — hands, face, space
- wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds
- Let fresh air in
- wearing a face covering will reduce your risk and the risk to others, where you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet in enclosed and crowded spaces.
- 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 go into work/contact with others until you have a confirmed negative test result.
- To apply for a test go to nhs.uk/coronavirus
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
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:
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: