As you’re no doubt aware, Coronavirus (or COVID-19 to give it its proper name) is now present in the UK. As a healthcare professional it’s important that you understand what this means for you and your role, so this guide brings together some helpful government and NHS information.

The NHS and Public Health England (PHE) are well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to protect the safety of all patients and NHS staff while continuing to ensure services are available to the public.

Like the common cold, coronavirus (COVID-19) infection usually occurs through close contact with a person with coronavirus via cough and sneezes or hand contact. A person can also be infected by touching contaminated surfaces if they do not wash their hands.

It is possible that coronavirus may cause mild to moderate illness, in addition to pneumonia or severe acute respiratory infection, so patients could potentially present to primary care. If you suspect a patient meets the case definition, then these are the actions to take. There are also recommendations regarding environmental cleaning following a possible case.

We recommend that our workers and anyone involved in the healthcare sector specifically should familiarise themselves with this guidance from the NHS and Public Health England.

Please also remember the importance of hand hygiene. If in doubt familiarise yourself with the NHS hand hygiene guidelines.