7. Symptomatic residents
Seeking help. Residents with new symptoms (for coronavirus symptom information go to NHS Inform) should self-isolate within their flats. This may mean that meals and other deliveries will have to be delivered to their door. Advice is available on NHS inform. Medical help should only be sought if the resident becomes significantly unwell. This can be accessed by using NHS 24 via 111 and speaking directly to the COVID hub. It is important not to phone 999 unless it is a medical emergency, or you have been instructed to do so by the COVID-19 Hub. In units that do not have onsite wardens, it may be helpful to establish an early prompt process or procedure to enable residents to access the right support. The process will depend on local circumstances but may involve the use of telecare.
Staff or visitors should not enter the flat without PPE where someone is suspected as having the virus even for a short period of time or to respond to an emergency.
Advice on what to wear and how to don the PPE is available in HPS guidance and all staff must be made aware of it. This includes advice on the disposal of the equipment and on laundry and waste.
Providing personal care for symptomatic residents within a sheltered housing flat should be as per our advice above (section 5). There will be residents who are not receiving personal care but who become unwell and then require assistance with looking after themselves. Landlords or housing support services can call their local social work department or visit NHS Inform for more information in the first instance. There is also a dedicated information helpline 0800 028 2816. NHS 24 should only be called on 111 if symptoms worsen and additional medical advice is required.