Dr Miriam Stoppard’s guide to NHS coronavirus advice for the most vulnerable: Part 2

This is the second part of the NHS letter to the most vulnerable members of the community, some of whom have written to me saying they haven’t received it.

It contains valuable advice which we could all benefit from.

In your home, if you live with others who are not self-isolating, you should:

  • Minimise the time you spend with others in the kitchen, bathroom and sitting areas and keep shared spaces well-ventilated if possible.
  • Aim to keep two metres (three steps) away from others and encourage them to sleep in a different bed where possible.
  • Use separate towels, and, if possible, use a separate bathroom, or clean the bathroom after every use.
  • Avoid using the kitchen when others are there, take your meals back to your room to eat.

The Government is helping pharmacies to deliver prescriptions that will cover the same length of time as usual.

If you don’t currently have your prescriptions collected or delivered, ask someone to pick them up or contact your pharmacy who’ll find a volunteer to deliver it.

Discuss your daily needs with carers, family, friends, neighbours, or local community groups to see how they can support you.

If you don’t have anyone, please visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable.

If you have an urgent medical question please contact your GP or your specialist hospital care team, directly.

The NHS will arrange a visit in your home or, where necessary, treatment in hospital.

In case you need to go to hospital, prepare a single bag.

This should include your emergency contact, a list of the medications you take (including dose and frequency), any information on your planned care appointments and things you would need for an overnight stay (snacks, pyjamas, toothbrush, medications etc).

If you have an advanced care plan, include that.

Staying at home and having limited contact can be frustrating. It’s easy to fall into unhealthy patterns of behaviour, making you feel worse.

Simple things you can do to stay mentally and physically active during this time include:

  • Look for ideas of exercises to do at home on the NHS website.
  • Spend time doing things you enjoy – reading, cooking and other indoor hobbies.
  • Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, drink enough water, exercise regularly, and try to avoid smoking, alcohol and recreational drugs.
  • Try spending time with the windows open to let in fresh air, to see a nice view and get some sunlight. Get out into the garden or sit on your doorstep if you can, keeping a distance of at least two metres from others.