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Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust Southern Health Covid-19 Service Changes

Advice on the Coronavirus

Updated 23 June 2020

Coronavirus - information and advice

Shielding advice - updated 23 June 2020

The government has updated its guidance for people who are shielding taking into account that coronavirus COVID-19 infection rates have decreased significantly over the last few weeks. This guidance remains advisory.

People who are shielding remain vulnerable and should continue to take precautions but may now choose to leave their home, as long as they are able to maintain strict social distancing. If you choose to spend time outdoors, you may do so with members of your own household. If you live alone, you can spend time outdoors with one person from another household or you may choose to spend time outdoors with one person from another household. Ideally, this should be the same person each time.

If you do go out, you should take extra care to minimise contact with others by keeping 2 metres apart. This guidance will be kept under regular review.

Full information can be found here.

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New guidance on wearing face masks and coverings 

From 24 July, face coverings are now required in shops and supermarkets – in addition to public transport where they were already required. 

All staff in hospitals across England should wear surgical masks from 15 June, and that all visitors and outpatients must wear face coverings at all times.    

You are required to wear a face covering in all of the below:

  • public transport
  • indoor transport hubs (airports, rail and tram stations and terminals, maritime ports and terminals, bus and coach stations and terminals)
  • shops and supermarkets (places which are open to the public and that wholly or mainly offer goods or services for retail sale or hire)
  • indoor shopping centres
  • banks, building societies, and post offices (including credit unions, short-term loan providers, savings clubs and money service businesses)

You are expected to wear a face covering immediately before entering any of these settings and must keep it on until you leave.

For more information, please visit the Government's website.

Attending hospital or outpatient site for an appointment 

If you need to attend one of our hospital or outpatient sites, we would ask that you wear a face covering.  Where possible we would ask that you come with your own face covering but if you do not have access to one, we will provide one for you.  Please check at the reception desk where there will be face masks, hand sanitisers and a clinical waste bin for used masks.    

If you are shielding and need to attend one of our hospital or outpatient sites, we will provide you with a surgical mask,  even if you have brought your own face covering.

What is a face covering?

You can use scarves or other textile items as a face covering - the covering should cover the mouth and noise while allowing the wearing to breathe comfortably - more guidance is available on the government website

On 30 July the Government extended the self-isolation period to 10 days for those in the community who have Covid-19 symptoms or a positive test result. 

In symptomatic people COVID-19 is most infectious just before, and for the first few days after symptoms begin. It is very important people with symptoms self-isolate and get a test, which will allow contact tracing.

Anyone who does not have symptoms must self-isolate for 14 days from when the first person in your home started having symptoms. 
COVID-19 symptoms are:

  • a high temperature 
  • new, continuous cough
  • loss or change to your sense of smell or taste


The Government announced last week some changes to the lockdown restrictions as of today, Monday 1 June 2020. Here are the main changes to be aware of:

Meeting in groups 
Groups of up to six people will now be able to meet outdoors in England from today, including in gardens and other private outdoor spaces, provided strict social distancing guidelines are followed.
Schools re-opening 
Primary schools will welcome back children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 today, and nurseries and other early years settings will be reopened. In two weeks time (15 June) secondary schools, sixth forms and colleges will begin to provide some face-to-face contact time for Year 10 and 12 and the equivalent groups in further education.
Shopping and retail 
Outdoor markets and car showrooms will be able to reopen from today, provided they meet COVID-19 secure guidelines to protect shoppers and workers. All other non-essential retail can open from 15 June, as long as the government’s five tests are still being met and COVID-19 secure guidelines are followed.

Advice for those shielding 
From today those shielding will be able to spend time outdoors to allow interaction with their household, while continuing to follow social distancing guidelines. For those who live alone they will be able to meet outside with one other person from another household.

Shielded individuals are advised not to leave the house more than once a day and to avoid shops and crowded places. For this group the advice also remains not to go into work. Therefore any working arrangements staff currently have in place are unchanged by this announcement. For staff that are shielding and working from home they should continue to do so and keep in regular contact with their manager.

The Government will issue further guidance about shielding as new evidence emerges, and those advised to shield should continue to do so until 30 June 2020.

Please note: anyone with symptoms must self-isolate for 7 days from when their symptoms started. Anyone who does not have symptoms must self-isolate for 14 days from when the first person in your home started having symptoms. For details about how and when to self-isolate, please visit the NHS website. 

COVID-19 symptoms are:

  • a high temperature 
  • new, continuous cough
  • loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

Government and Public Health England advice              

          • Find the latest information and advice from Public Health England at    

          • Use the NHS 111  online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need medical help and advise you on what to do. 

          • Find advice if you are in a high risk group from Public Health England here.

          • Find updated advice for pregnant women by Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists here.

 Advice for parents

  • Find information for parents by Healthier Together here

Easy Read information
Easy read information on Coronavirus has been produced by Mencap and you can download it from their website.

Beyond Words have created a picture story, that will help you to understand what to do if you have Coronavirus and how to keep safe. You can download a free copy from their website.             

You can find out more on our learning disability pages here.

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