❗️UPDATE | Please see changes below to testing guidance.

From 11 January, people who receive positive lateral flow results for COVID-19 will be required to self-isolate immediately and won’t be required to take a confirmatory PCR test.
This is a temporary measure while COVID-19 rates remain high across the UK. Whilst levels of COVID-19 are high, the vast majority of people with positive LFD results can be confident that they have COVID-19.
This reflects similar changes made in January last year when there was also a high prevalence of infection meaning it was highly likely that a positive LFD COVID-19 result was a true positive. Anyone who develops one of the three main COVID-19 symptoms should stay at home and self-isolate and take a PCR test. They must self-isolate if they get a positive test result, even if they have had a recent negative lateral flow test – these rules have not changed.
UKHSA CEO Dr Jenny Harries has thanked the public and critical workers who continue to test regularly and self-isolate when necessary. Read more: https://www.gov.uk/…/confirmatory-pcr-tests-to-be…

The NHS is here for you this Christmas

The NHS is urging people to make the right healthcare choice when they are seeking medical help or advice over the holiday period.

Making the right choice this Christmas doesn’t just mean picking the perfect present or selecting your favourite flavour from the chocolate tin.

A range of healthcare options, from local pharmacies to NHS 111, are available over the holidays, and each option is best suited for different medical needs.

Over the festive season, a number of local pharmacies in Birmingham and Solihull will be open, offering quick, confidential advice on lots of common illnesses, as well as over-the-counter medication.

You can find pharmacy opening hours over Christmas and New Year’s here. Please do not visit a pharmacy if you have COVID-19 symptoms.

While many people enjoy a break this week, your local NHS is working really hard to help people who need our help. That’s why patients should use NHS 111 first to help NHS urgent and emergency care services maintain social distancing and ensure that patients receive the right care in the right place, in a timely and safe way. It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can call 111 or visit the website 111.nhs.uk.

Dr Richard Mendelsohn, Chief Medical Officer at NHS Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “There are a range of healthcare services available to people in Birmingham and Solihull throughout the festive period.

“There are many common illnesses and injuries that can be treated at home, so make sure you have a well-stocked medicine cabinet, to avoid having to venture out. Good items to have include your usual pain relief, diarrhoea relief, rehydration sachets, antihistamines and heartburn and indigestion remedies, as well as first aid essentials, such as plasters, dressings, eye wash and bandages.

“There are steps we can all take to look after ourselves and loved ones, such as wearing a mask indoors, taking regular lateral flow tests and getting your COVID and flu vaccines.”

Copy of a Press Release by Birmingham & Solihull CCG

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