1 Communicating with patients and minimising infection risk

1 Communicating with patients and minimising infection risk

1.1 For patients with COVID‑19 symptoms explain:

  • that the typical symptoms are cough, fever and loss of sense of smell or taste, but they may also have breathlessness (which may cause anxiety), delirium (which may cause agitation), fatigue, headache, muscle aches and sore throat

  • that they should follow the UK government guidance on self-isolation and the UK government guidance on protecting vulnerable people

  • that if the symptoms are mild they are likely to feel much better in a week

  • who to contact if their symptoms (such as breathlessness) get worse; see NHS 111 online for details on who to contact. [amended 26 May 2020]

1.2 Support patients' mental wellbeing, signposting to charities and support groups (including NHS volunteers) where available, to help alleviate any anxiety and fear they may have about COVID‑19.

1.3 Minimise face-to-face contact by:

1.4 For patients with known or suspected COVID‑19, follow appropriate UK government guidance on infection prevention and control. This includes recommendations on patient transfers and on decontaminating reusable equipment between each patient and after patient use.

1.5 If a patient shows typical COVID‑19 symptoms, follow UK government guidance on investigation and initial clinical management of possible cases. This includes information on testing and isolating patients.