The NHS is open for business

Bury health leaders want to reassure residents that local health services are still 'open for business' during the coronavirus pandemic. People are being encouraged to seek help for urgent or emergency health problems, even if they are not related to coronavirus, to ensure they receive the help and treatment they need. Essential services such as A&E departments, stroke and heart attack care and paediatrics continue to operate.

Parents, in particular, are being reminded to seek medical advice if their child is unwell. This follows a warning from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) that children and families are not accessing health services as soon as is needed. While children can catch coronavirus, they may not have symptoms and the virus is rarely serious for younger patients. If a child is unwell, parents are being advised, this is likely to be unrelated to coronavirus. RCPCH has produced a 'traffic light' guide for different symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, drowsiness, or a high temperature, saying which health services parents should contact.

View the pdf icon Advice for parents guide [271kb]

GP practices in Greater Manchester remain open but patients are asked to phone their practice in the first instance. They may be offered an online consultation or receive advice from a doctor or nurse over the phone. Suitable arrangements will be made for those who do need to be seen face to face. In some cases, this may not be at their usual practice location.

GP practices and hospitals have strict infection prevention and control measures in place, so it is safe to attend appointments. It is important that patients attend routine appointments, such as antenatal checks or childhood vaccinations if they have been informed that it is going ahead.

The advice regarding coronavirus remains the same. Anyone who has symptoms of this illness (a new continuous cough and/or a high temperature) will need to self-isolate at home for 14 days along with other members of their household. They should not go to a GP practice, pharmacy or hospital. This is to help limit the spread of the virus.

Detailed advice from the NHS

Prescriptions

  • You can order your repeat prescriptions on the NHS App and through your GP surgery or pharmacy's online service, where available.
  • If you need to collect a prescription and have coronavirus symptoms or are self-isolating at home - please arrange for a friend, relative or volunteer to collect for you.
  • To help us to keep supplying medicines to everyone who needs them, please only order repeat prescriptions in your usual quantities at the usual time.

Routine vaccinations

  • It is important that you or your baby or child still have routine vaccinations. They protect against serious and potentially deadly illnesses and stop outbreaks in the community.
  • If the person needing vaccination has coronavirus symptoms or is self-isolating because someone in the household is displaying symptoms, please contact your GP practice for advice.

Cancer patients

  • If you have a symptom that you are worried about, you must contact your GP Practice.
  • Your clinician will discuss with you the benefits of starting or continuing your cancer treatment against the increased risks of contracting coronavirus.

Heart attack patients

  • If you think you or a family member are suffering with the symptoms of a heart attack you must dial 999 immediately.
  • If you or a family member develop symptoms such as heavy or tight chest pain that may spread to your arms, neck or jaw, or make you breathless, sick, sweaty or light-headed and that doesn't go away, this could be caused by a heart attack. Dial 999 immediately.

Stroke patients

  • If you think you or a family member are suffering with the symptoms of a stroke you must dial 999 immediately.
  • You can spot the symptoms of a stroke by using the FAST test:
    • Face - is the face drooping / fallen on one side? Can they smile?
    • Arms - can they raise both arms and keep them there?
    • Speech - is it slurred?
    • Time to call 999 if you see any of the above signs

Pregnant women

  • If you are pregnant it is important that you still attend your antenatal appointments and continue to seek advice from your midwife or maternity team.
  • If you are worried about your health or the health of your unborn baby, please contact your midwife or maternity team.

Parents of young children

  • If you are worried about the health of your baby or child, please call 111.
  • If it's a serious or life-threatening emergency, call 999

Mental health

  • NHS is here to support your mental health during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as your physical health.
  • If you are concerned about the mental health of your child, please contact your GP or check online self-referral options for under 18 year olds at: www.nhs.uk - stress, anxiety and depression
  • If you are facing mental health issues contact your GP or key worker, if you have one, and continue to access your mental health services as usual. We are also still open for new referrals, via your GP or online.
  • If you're experiencing stress and anxiety, you can get further information, including how to self-refer to psychological therapies at: www.nhs.uk - stress, anxiety and depression
  • If you are facing a mental health crisis, use the NHS 111 online service. If you cannot get help online, call 111.

Learning disability and autism

  • If you need medical help reasonable adjustments will be made so you get the right care and support.