Richmond Council statement on coronavirus (COVID-19)

6 May 2020

Richmond Council’s Director of Public Health, Shannon Katiyo, said: 

Over the past few weeks I have focused on several issues in my regular updates, including how to protect yourself from coronavirus, looking after your mental health, caring for children and accessing help at your local pharmacy.

As more and more people are now discussing how the lockdown will end, and how we will exit the restrictions, I feel it is important to reiterate that it is not over yet. Coronavirus and the impact can still be seen in care homes and hospitals. Too many people are still getting sick from coronavirus and sadly people are still dying. Coronavirus is likely to be with us for a while to come. In the last few weeks there has been a potential increase in people walking or driving, and I would urge people to continue to follow social distancing and good hygiene measures when they get to their destination or on returning home. We need to continue to follow these measures to reduce the spread of infection even further, and to protect vulnerable people.

The fact that we have all been so brilliant at following social distancing measures has introduced new challenges for our health because there are some people who need valuable and potentially life-saving medical attention and have not been accessing it. 

The pandemic has resulted in a decrease in people accessing NHS services that they genuinely need for a range of conditions that are not related to coronavirus, including people with other important health conditions such heart disease and stroke; cancer patients attending their ongoing treatments; and expectant mothers attending for regular scans.

We think this is because people are worried that they will be a burden on the NHS or indeed that they are scared they will 'catch' coronavirus if they visit a doctor. Sadly, in some cases this has resulted in people with serious conditions not receiving treatment when they have urgently needed it.

The NHS is still open for business. NHS 111 can help if you have an urgent medical problem and you’re not sure what to do. – please seek help.

The key points to remember are:

  • If you need medical help, the NHS is still here for you
  • If you need medical help from your GP practice, contact them either online, by an app or by phone to be assessed
  • If you need urgent medical help, use the NHS 111 online service. If you cannot get help online, call 111
  • If it is a serious or life-threatening emergency, call 999
  • If you are told to go to hospital it is important that you go to hospital
  • You should continue to attend your appointments, unless you have been told not to attend

Previous statements

Shannon Katiyo, Richmond Council’s Interim Director of Public Health

Shannon Katiyo, Richmond Council’s Interim Director of Public Health

Updated: 6 May 2020