Information for patients who have CVD during this time of Covid-19 (Coronavirus).

In line with Government advice, The Castle Medical Group and all GP practices in Clitheroe, Slaidburn, Sabden and Whalley have reduced face –to-face contact with patients to reduce the risk of spreading the viral illness COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

For this reason, we have not been arranging routine face-to-face reviews. However, we very much want to support you over this difficult period, and our doctors and nurses are available for advice over the telephone, and we can also arrange video consultations. If, following assessment, we feel you need a face-to-face assessment then we can arrange this. We are currently conducting face-to face-appointments at Clitheroe Community Hospital.

You will have read information that certain groups of patients are at increased risk of being ill from Covid-19 and this includes patients with cardiovascular disease. This means conditions such as heart disease, including angina and heart failure, peripheral vascular disease (poor circulation to the legs), and anybody who has a history of stroke.

The best ways to look after yourself are to:

• Maintain social distancing or shielding as appropriate, and follow the guidelines regarding handwashing and reducing the risk of infection in general.

• Make sure you are taking your medication as prescribed.

• Avoid smoking, or try to reduce or stop completely. This can be difficult at times of stress, but stopping smoking will reduce your risk of complications of COVID-19. Contact your practice to speak to a Practice Nurse if you need support with this.

• Continue to self-monitor symptoms or measurements e.g. weight or blood pressure if this is something you normally do as part of an agreed self-management plan. If you are wondering whether self-monitoring would help your condition, contact your practice to speak to a Practice Nurse. Self-monitoring can sometimes increase anxiety and is not always recommended.

• If you develop a fever, shortness of breath or dry cough and you are concerned about these symptoms, please contact the Covid-19 Service via 111. If you are unsure whether your symptoms could be COVID-19, please contact your GP practice first

• Whether or not you have coronavirus symptoms, it is essential to dial 999 if you have symptoms that could be a heart attack or stroke, or if your heart symptoms get suddenly worse.

For further advice on managing heart and circulatory conditions during COVID-19, please visit: