The Cabinet Secretary for Health has today outlined a new dedicated national service for patients experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and who need additional clinical support or advice.
What is changing?
If they have mild COVID-19 symptoms or are looking for information:
They are to visit www.nhsinform.scot/coronavirus. If they cannot find the answer, they are to call the special helpline on 0800 028 2816.
If they have COVID-19 symptoms and these are causing serious concern:
If they need more advice than is available online at NHS Inform, they call NHS 24 on 111 at any time day or night, seven days a week.
This is the new dedicated national service, accessed by calling 111 any time day or night, seven days a week.
Also from today, the Community Pharmacy Minor Ailment Service is extended to allow anyone registered with a GP practice, who has a minor illness or a common condition, to speak to a member of the pharmacy team for advice and treatment without the need to see their GP. The extended Minor Ailment Service will support the COVID-19 community hubs and assessment centres by helping demand with a whole system approach.
Why is this change being made?
By moving to one contact number for all patients around their COVID-19 symptoms we will streamline and simplify the advice. The current situation with COVID-19 is causing unprecedented demand across the NHS. We need to take steps to ensure that this demand does not overwhelm our ability to deal with patients suffering with other ailments and who need healthcare.
So for all non COVID-19 healthcare, patients should continue to use their GP and if it is out of hours, call NHS 24.
Find out more at www.nhs24.scot