Healthwatch Brighton and Hove Coronavirus Update

Gscene Editorial Team March 5, 2020

Coronavirus or COVID-19 – the latest position as at 4 March 2020

What you need to know

• People living across Sussex who have not been contacted by Public Health England are advised that they should go about their daily routine as usual.

• Our local hospital is well-prepared, and you should attend any booked outpatients’ appointment as normal.

• No new cases have been detected in Brighton and there is no current evidence to show that the virus is circulating in the local community.

• As of 4 March, a total of 16,659 people have been tested in the UK, of which 16,574 were confirmed negative. 85 were confirmed as positive.

• The UK risk level remains at moderate. The risk to individuals in the UK has not changed at this stage.

• If you are worried that you may have coronavirus (COVID-19) please call NHS 111 for advice on what to do next. Do not attend you GP surgery or A&E. Only attend the hospital if you have been referred for testing on the guidance given by NHS 111. Look out for the signs directing you to “pods”, do not go into A&E.

• A new NHS 111 online service has been put in place to help people get quick advice

• Comprehensive advice is available

• Full guidance for travellers is also available

• You can read more about what it means to self-isolate.

Remember that practicing good hygiene can help avoid possible transmission:
• Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

Brighton and Sussex University Hospital Trust (BSUH) website states:

“All services at our hospitals remain open and unaffected. Please still attend your appointments and scheduled treatment as planned.”

Royal Sussex County Hospital – coronavirus surveillance system

Public Health England (PHE) and NHS England have established a surveillance system to detect cases of COVID-19 in England. The County hospital is one of 11 NHS hospitals that have been asked to take part in monitoring. This will enable PHE to identify early evidence of spread within England, if this occurs.

Surveillance will occur in the intensive care unit (ICU) at the County hospital to test patients with severe respiratory infections, regardless of their travel or contact history. Depending on the results, patients will be given the support they need, and rapid public health actions will be taken.

Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group – West Sussex cases

Two cases have been detected in West Sussex, and two more in Surrey. No new cases have been detected in Brighton. The confirmed cases are not GPs or health workers.
Dr James Mapstone, Acting Regional Director (South of England) for Public Health England, added: “PHE is providing specialist advice to local authority partners around two confirmed cases in Surrey and two in West Sussex. The four cases are part of an adult family cluster. We are aware of the people they have been in contact with and we are making contact with those people to issue appropriate advice and steps to take if they start to feel