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What should I do if I have respiratory symptoms – including Covid symptoms – that I can’t manage at home?

As of 1 November 2021 if you have respiratory symptoms – including Covid symptoms – that you can’t manage at home, you should call your GP for assessment, rather than 111.

Respiratory symptoms include a cough, shortness of breath, wheezing and loss or taste of smell. If you call us with any of these symptoms (including if you have existing conditions like COPD or asthma) you’ll be assessed on the phone first. You may be:

1. Given self-care advice

2. Asked to come to the Practice for further assessment if:

  • you’re under 16 years
  • you’re over 16 years and have had a recent negative PCR test, while you’ve had those same symptoms
  • you’re over 16 years and have had the symptoms for over 14 days

3. Asked to attend the special Covid assessment centre at the Western General Hospital if:

  • you’re over 16 years and we can’t establish that you don’t have Covid (via a negative PCR test) or that there’s little infection risk, because you’ve had the symptoms for over 14 days. This is to protect other patients and staff at the Practice.

Face-to-face appointments for people with respiratory symptoms

If people with respiratory symptoms are asked to come into the Practice for assessment, our team will advise you about the special arrangements for the appointment. These will make sure we can see you safely – and keep our other patients and staff as safe as possible.

They will include:

  • your appointment being at the end of the day
  • wearing a mask or visor while in the surgery, and sanitising your hands on entry
  • waiting in the car or outside, until the doctor calls you
  • entering and exiting via the Practice’s rear door
  • being seen in a specially designated room