THERE have been so many changes to our daily lives during the past six months with the introduction of face coverings, social distancing, regular hand washing for at least 20 seconds and self-isolation and testing if you think you have symptoms of coronavirus.

This week, the rule of six has also come into effect, meaning that any social gatherings of more than six people will be against the law.

You may have felt overwhelmed recently with the changes and how we’ve had to adapt our lives and it can be hard to know what to do if you're unwell or whether or not to keep your upcoming clinic or hospital appointment.

Our message to you and your family is: "it's still important to keep your routine appointments and get medical help if you need it."

Here at Wirral Community Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust we want to reassure you that we have quickly and safely adapted our services so we can carry on supporting and providing care for you and your loved ones, despite the restrictions of COVID-19.

Many services across our Trust have introduced telephone and video consultations which service users have welcomed with open arms.

With the click of a button, people have been having face-to-face conversations with a health professional on their iPad, smart phone or laptop.

In the last few weeks you may have recently received an appointment to come into one of our clinics and we want to reassure you that our number one priority is to keep you and our staff safe and we want your visit to any of our services to be the best it can be.

We have therefore made some changes to our clinic areas and buildings and introduced guidance that we ask you to follow.

When attending your appointment, it’s important to follow these steps:

  • Wear a face covering before entering any of our clinic buildings
  • Gel your hands on entering the building and on arrival in the clinic waiting room
  • Keep a two-metre distance from other people in the building
  • Come on your own (exceptions apply)

You will also notice that all clinic areas look and feel different; areas will seem quieter as there are less people in the building, all patients/visitors and staff will be wearing face coverings or masks, you’ll see hand gel stations dotted around and we’re recommending you use these at every opportunity.

We want to make your visit to any of our services as safe as possible.

If you are worried about attending your appointment please call the number on your letter in advance and the team will answer any queries you may have.

If you are feeling unwell there are many things you can do for you and your family:

  • Contact your GP surgery for advice - a phone or video call with a GP, nurse or other healthcare professional may be booked for you and you'll only be asked to visit the surgery if absolutely necessary.
  • The best place to get accurate health information is the NHS website – - the website has information and advice on medical conditions and symptoms, common medicines and healthy lifestyle.
  • Mental wellbeing support - call the mental health helpline from Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CWP) on 0800 145 6485. The phone line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is open to people of all ages - including children and young people.
  • Dental treatment - some routine dental treatments are now available again. Contact your dentist by phone or email and only visit if you’ve been told to. If you think you need urgent dental treatment call your dentist.
  • Hospital appointments - keep going to any appointments you usually have, unless you're told not to. Some appointments may be online, by phone or by video call.
  • Urgent medical help - if you need urgent medical help, use the regular NHS 111 online service. The 111 online service asks questions about your symptoms to help you get the help you need.
  • Emergency medical help - for life-threatening emergencies, call 999 for an ambulance.
  • Please do not attend any of your appointments if you have a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste or have been asked to self-isolate.

For more information visit the NHS website Keep an eye out on our website and Twitter feed @wchc_nhs for further information about all of our services and remember.

Remember, we are still here for you. Stay Safe, Stay Well.