Local Doctor Service
Arundel Surgery, The Glebe and Pulborough Medical Group are all open.
Contact with the surgeries is by phone consultation; home visits may be organised following a phone consultation.
If you have a pre-existing medical condition for which you need advice, or if you are unwell from something other than Coronavirus, call your doctor's surgery and they will arrange for a medical professional to call you back. Most issues will be resolved by telephone or video consultation, but if a face-to-face appointment is necessary, the doctor will arrange an appointment, or a visit, and will wear personal protection equipment (PPE), keeping physical contact to a minimum.
If you are asked to visit the surgery, you may have to wear a mask. Please see our general advice section for information on the wearing of masks.
Infection Hub RegistrationThis is a voluntary, confidential register to track the virus in the local area. Advice and support are also offered over the phone: 07484 157156 (Richard Robinson, Katie Armstrong, David Lyon, Jeff Feakins, Claire Bruce)
Use the online NHS 111 service for advice on Coronavirus symptoms. Only call 111 if you can't get online help.
Testing is becoming more widely available. So that we can track the spread and effect of Covid 19 in our community we would be grateful if those who have been tested could register the results of the tests, either positive or negative, by phoning 07484 157156. As with those who have registered with presumed symptoms of Covid 19infection, the results will treated in the strictest confidence.
The distinction between the two types of tests can be confusing. The first, the throat and nose swab is now becoming more widely available. It tests for the actual presence of the virus. If someone has contracted the infection, it will be positive in the day or so before they develop symptoms, and for the first few days after they first develop symptoms. This is sometimes called the Antigen Test ( antigens are on the virus and act as triggers for the immune response ). This test is useful if positive for tracking the spread of infection in the community, and for prompting both self isolation of the infected person and their household. It can also be used for tracing other people with whom the infected person has been in contact and who may themselves have contracted the infection. If negative it can act as reassurance that their symptoms are due to something else - for example hay fever, or another common but less serious virus, so normal life can resume.
The second type of test is a blood test. It tests whether the immune response has been triggered - by picking up the antibodies generated by the virus. It takes some three weeks for the immune mechanisms to swing into action and for the antibodies to become detectable. This, for obvious reasons is known as the Antibody Test. It is useful for confirming ( or refuting ) that previous symptoms were caused by the covid19 virus. If widespread antibody testing becomes available it can tell us how many people in a community have been infected. The antibodies protect a person from being infected again - although the degree of protection they give and how long it lasts for, are questions which have yet to be answered. It is thought that if some 65% of people in a community have the antibodies, then it is unlikely that a second wave of infection will occur if the virus comes back. Too many people have the antibodies to allow the virus to cross from one person to another - so it dies out. This is known as" herd immunity". It is clear that a significant number of people have been infected without developing symptoms. We do not yet know therefore what level of herd immunity we have achieved and estimates vary widely. The antibody test therefore is of less immediate importance to the individual, but since the virus is not going to disappear completely is very important in trying to determine what is likely to happen next.
TEST AND TRACE
It is noteworthy that there has been no spread of coronavirus within the Wildbrook parishes. This has been for two reasons. First, those households who contracted the virus outside the parishes in February and March self isolated scrupulously. We owe them our thanks. Second, the rest of us have stuck to government guidelines during lockdown.
We should anticipate that our rural bubble will become more porous by the middle of June as lockdown eases. For some of us therefore it will be possible to move around more. This should be no more than necessary. It will be all the more important to maintain social distancing and regular handwashing. This increased mobility is unlikely to apply to the vulnerable ( over 70s, and those with certain medical conditions). Nevertheless there will inevitably be the risk of increased exposure to the virus so new cases may occur.
Hence the introduction of the new Test and Trace system this week , which enables targeted lockdown. There are three main situations:-
In all cases of a positive test result or if you have been asked to self isolate because you are a contact, could you please let the Amberley Covid 19 Help Hub know in the usual way: calling 07484157156. This will allow us to maintain a picture of how the pandemic is impacting our community and alerts us to the possible need for support.
If you have developed symptoms and find you are in difficulties the Amberley Neighbourhood Volunteers stand ready to help in whatever way they can.
If you do not know your local area volunteer the 2 volunteer leads are Sarah Wheeler ( 07929 769824, firstname.lastname@example.org) and Catherine Cunningham ( 07887 796212, email@example.com ) .
Anyone asked to self isolate is entitled to Statutory Sick Pay if eligible.
This note will be posted on the amberley helpline website. More detail is available at www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-how-it-works
If you are in any doubt as to what you should do please call Richard Robinson on 07929 906436.
Useful information for the ambulance service
The following form, which can be downloaded and printed, can be used to provide valuable information for the ambulance service in the event that you need to be hospitalised.